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Global Cities, Inc. expands its Digital Classroom in Madrid

Madrid, Spain – Global Cities, Inc., a program of Bloomberg Philanthropies, is expanding its Global Scholars initiative in Madrid. Six Madrid schools have successfully piloted the project during the 2014-15 school year. The Regional Ministry of Education is eager to expand this innovative international, peer-to-peer, technology-based program that fosters global awareness amongst the next generation. This week Global Scholars presented its digital classroom and curriculum to 38 primary and secondary public school principals.

Director General for the Betterment of Education Sr. D. Pablo Hispán Iglesias de Ussel said, “We are impressed with Global Scholars’ well-structured program that motivates students to engage with their peers in other countries and exchange ideas about important global issues in English.”

One hundred and twenty-three classes from 32 cities in 19 countries on six continents are enrolled in Global Scholars. These cities are as far-flung as Accra, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Istanbul, London, Jakarta, Manila, Melbourne, Moscow, Prague, São Paulo, St. Petersburg and Tbilisi. In some cities, multiple schools participate, including Madrid, Medellin, New York, Taipei, Tel Aviv, Warsaw and Mumbai. Recent additions include Boston, Cape Town and two cities in Kazakhstan.

Global Scholars uses a digital platform that enables students age 10 to 13 to engage in a conversation in English about an important global topic which is the subject of a shared curriculum. This year the subject is water– its scarcity and conservation. The overall goal is to increase understanding across cultures by providing an interactive experience with students of the same age from other countries. Global Scholars also fosters an international dialogue amongst teachers.

Deputy Director General for Innovation Sra. Dª María Mercedes Marin said, “This program is unique in that it addresses primary school students and truly motivates them to use their English language skills because they are communicating with peers all over the world about subject matter that is important to them. They are very proud to be members of the Global Scholars community and parents are delighted that their children are actively engaged.”

Isabel Luengos, Department Coordinator for Innovation Programmes said, “Students take pride in representing their own city, and begin to think about their role as urban citizens. Their online classmates are from seven or eight other cities, and in addition to working on the curriculum topic, they are learning about each others’ realities.”

Marjorie B. Tiven, President of Global Cities Inc. said, “Six Madrid schools have successfully demonstrated how to teach global awareness education integrated into their own curriculum. Few students of any age have opportunities for international learning. Global Scholars targets a young age group in public schools. In Madrid, I saw how excited the students were to participate.” While in Madrid, Tiven also addressed the 2015 closing ceremony of the Global Classrooms/ Model UN program.

Global Cities, Inc. is a program of Bloomberg Philanthropies that connects global cities worldwide through an information-sharing network and supports global awareness for the next generation through cross-national interactive education initiatives. Marjorie B. Tiven is the founder of Global Cities, Inc. From 2002 through 2013, she served as New York City Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, under the administration of Michael R. Bloomberg.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $462 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.