The Lourdes community brings learning, reverence and service to life. In this four-part series, we will share our Franciscan values and how our faculty, staff and students carry out our mission.

Cheryl Lykowski
'08, MEd Instructional Technology
5th Grade Teacher
Bedford Public Schools
Monroe Road Elementary

Cheryl Lykowski has helped students from opposite ends of the world learn about one another by making a global connection.

Through her Global Explorers initiative, students at Monroe Road Elementary school in Michigan have been able to hold real-time discussions with students from Colombia, South America. As part of Cheryl's capstone project for her Master's program, she used podcasting and Skype, an internet telephony program.

international students"In 'Global Explorers,' I wanted to stress the importance of global learning and awareness," offers Cheryl. "Every day our world is becoming smaller as countries strive to work together. As an educator, I want to extend the four walls of my classroom in order to provide opportunities for an international and collaborative learning environment."

Through her capstone project, Cheryl did just that. Throughout the year, students shared details about their school life, hobbies, foods and much more throughout more than half a dozen podcasts.

The "Global Explorers" podcasting sessions were set to conclude in January of 2008, but according to Cheryl, the students had such a great time learning about one another, she felt it was important to continue with the project.

Her students aren't the only ones enjoying this global connection. Cheryl's capstone project has also garnered support from Michigan State Governor Jennifer Granholm and State Representative Kathy Angerer, who invited the class to give a presentation at the state capital.

"I am so pleased that Michigan representatives recognized the importance of this project and rewarded the students for their commitment to global learning," says Cheryl.

"It is my hope that through this project, I have encouraged other schools to commit to a global learning perspective. As a result of being part of this project, my students have made friendships that can last forever and have learned the valuable lesson of connectedness."