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Connecting Classroom with Real-world Issues

In my experience when students see connections between classroom learning, their goals in life and what is happening around the world, they are more likely to be engaged learners. Students in my classes engage in projects involving real-world clients and utilize theoretical concepts and hands-on skills acquired through their various classes. For example, my social media class in spring 2012 worked with the United Nations Department of Public Information to develop social media planning for different U.N. agencies. U.N. social media coordinators interacted with the students throughout the semester to answer their questions and provide feedback on the projects. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the collaboration between my class and the U.N. in his keynote address to the Global Colloquium of University Presidents in April 2012. Students in my J640 Strategic Campaign classes developed communication strategies for Habitat for Humanity Kansas City and Maker Faire: Kansas City, and several of the student strategies have been implemented by those organizations. I believe this close connection between classroom learning and real-world issues can help my students visualize the enormous opportunities available through education.

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