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Touchable Earth is the first app where kids teach kids about the world

Touchable Earth

Auckland, New Zealand
Touchable Earth promotes tolerance in gender, culture, and identity. It includes 100s of first person videos of elementary aged kids around the world sharing aspects of their lives. These include facts about where they live, their school day, games they play, culture and family. An equal number of videos are presented by girls as boys.
Introduction

Sharing the kids eye view of the world

Professor Fernando Reimers, Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative and of The International Education Policy Program at Harvard University
“"The kind of change Touchable Earth makes possible could not be more urgent and critical. It is essential for Peace and Sustainability. School systems around the world have embraced an approach to improvement that is excessively focused on the development of a narrow range of cognitive skills: literacy, numeracy and science. Important as those are they miss the mark. What schools most urgently need is not to get better at achieving the goals of the past, it is to stay relevant in helping students gain the skills that enable them to invent the future, and to do it in a way that appropriately address the challenges of our times." ”

Professor Fernando Reimers, Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative and of The International Education Policy Program at Harvard University

Touchable Earth promotes tolerance and inspires a positive sense of purpose in young people. Touchable Earth plays on the natural curiosity of children to capture their attention and subtly plants values of tolerance into their minds. It does this in 3 key ways.

1. Challenging the definition of 'us' and 'them'. Touchable Earth presents diversity as part of 'us' rather than 'them'. It normalises being taught by people of different cultures, races and genders (an equal amount of all content is presented by girls which is a rarity given what I have seen through the worlds classrooms). This means that later in life it is less likely someone will discount or dilute an idea or solution based on the characteristics of the presenter.

2. It encourages asking different questions. Kids using Touchable Earth immediately see the similarities between people, once the similarities are established as a bridge then the differences can be studied in a positive way.

3. Broadening the answers: The world cannot be explained with answers in statistics. If you asked a student 'what is a family in Marshall Islands like', for example, Google only shows a high birth rate and low income. Touchable Earth shows a loving family, a mother that helps with homework and a dad who works and loves his children. That content does not exist anywhere else. This app humanises places rather than thinking of them as a desert, or mountain or some other characteristic. These factors combine to prepare children for a lifetime of learning. They learn to view anyone as a potential teacher as they have learned from so many people at that critical age.




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Innovation Overview
8 - 11
Age Group
-
Children/Users
18
Countries
2012
Established
-
Organisation
209
Views
Tips for implementation
The entire program is free and online. It can be used on any connected device. The videos have transcripts/translations in English and French.
Connect with innovator
Tudor Clee
Media

See this innovation in action

Comment
Probably the best way to spark curiosity among children tapping on their innate intelligence to bring out the best out of them.
Peter Ngugi
Comment
If you are seeking an inside look into the culture of a community, and you are unable to travel tgere, Touchable earth is the closest thing to immerse you into that! It is such an innovative idea that took years of travelling and loads of documenting to come to life.
A
Mila teaches about language in South Africa
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Let's make friends with Anish in India
Neo and Rethabile in Lesotho fall in love with Nepal
Touchable Earth the first dedicated global citizenship app for kids
Siphokazi teaches about the flag of South Africa

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