In this era of interconnection, disconnection, and rapid change, it is vitally important to offer young people opportunities to dialogue and build understandings with peers from different backgrounds. An initiative of Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Out of Eden Learn is a free online program for students aged 3-19 that has so far served over 20,000 students in 57 countries. On Out of Eden Learn’s custom built, social media platform, students of similar ages from diverse geographical and socioeconomic settings come together for collective learning experiences.
Out of Eden Learn currently offers several 8-12-week-long learning experiences, or “learning journeys,” designed around three broad learning goals. All of the journeys combine offline activities with online interaction and invite young people to:
- slow down to observe the world carefully and listen attentively to others;
- exchange stories and perspectives with one another; and
- make connections between their own lives and bigger human stories
Out of Eden Learn began in 2013 as an experimental collaboration with journalist and National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek, who is currently engaged in a 21,000-mile ‘Out of Eden’ walk following the ancient pathways of human migration. It has evolved into a promising model for promoting thoughtful cross-cultural inquiry and exchange, drawing inspiration from the ways in which Salopek and other writers and artists interweave “slow journalism” and local and global storytelling.
Out of Eden Learn is also an active research project that examines such themes as students’ conceptions of culture, the character of their online interactions, and what they learn when they slow down to observe the world closely. Read more about our research agenda in our white paper.
Out of Eden Learn is generously funded by the Abundance Foundation, with additional support from Global Cities, Inc., a program of Bloomberg Philanthropies. Out of Eden Learn is open to all schools and students, free of charge.
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This is fabulous! I am working with a small pk-8 school in Baltimore, MD. We are interested in using this program with our 6-8 grade students. How can I be advised of when this program becomes available to all?
Hi – thanks for your comment and your interest. The best way is to sign up for this blog so you will get regular updates. You can also email me directly with your contact details so we can email you with news. We are really excited about opening up our program to many other schools and hope you will join us.
Interesting project! I would like to follow up on this seemingly fascinating project…if you will.
Hi I am working with secondary student in Tanzania, i am very surprised with this program as a Geography teacher i have introduced it to my student they shown their interest to know more about the real world we live.
Hi Liz, the schools in the Vermont Rural Partnership http://www.vermontruralparnership.org are interested in joining when this project opens up. We focus on local places based work but also want to make global connections for our students. Thanks! Margaret
Hi! This is exactly what I was looking for! I attended the summer session Project Zero and heard of the Out of Eden Walk. I have introduced it to my students here in Illinois and we are very excited to participate! Please keep us updated!
I am a mature student of Applied Psychology in the Institute of Art Design and Technology (iadt) in Ireland. I am wondering if I can sign up to follow this amazing journey. For my final year thesis I am research Nature Relatedness as I have a great interest in nature, the environment, horticultural therapy. I stumbled on this great journey through Project Zero as I am researching Multiple Intelligence and Howard Gardner. Can I sign up? Thank you. Christine O’Neill
Hello my name is aardrijkskunde0402.
I am 13 years old. I like hockey and tennis and acting. I like very much what Paul is doing. I love travels and I want to more see of the world. I love America so much their most he go to ! That country is so amazing. His trip is very hard but he wants to see the world. It’s looks my amazing ! More see of the world! But 7 years is long. You see than seven years no family ad friends. But he wants it and that is very special. I wish hem very much Lucky. An I hope for Paul that he much see of the world.