What is the GlobalEd Connector?
For the past few years, I have been putting together an on-line teaching resource called the GlobalEd Connector. It is an on-line membership network for educators. On the surface, It really serves two main functions.
- It allows members to connect for the purpose of hosting forums, sharing experiences, mentoring and creating recorded or live lessons.
- It serves as an on-line mentoring resource for teachers searching for new and innovative ways of delivering their lessons.
Underneath the surface, however, it creates a world of opportunities for schools to open their doors, increase their visibility, enrich the classroom experience and for their teachers to serve as their ambassadors.
What was the reason for its creation?
15 years ago, when I was a French teacher at a school outside of Washington, DC., I wanted to start an exchange with a school in France. I contacted schools I picked randomly or through word of mouth via email and phone but could not get through to the people I needed to connect with. It was a painstaking and frustrating process. I did find a conference to attend in Paris, however, and my school funded my travel. Off I went. I spent a week there. The conference lasted three days. I did meet a number of schools and spent the remainder of the week on a train traveling around and visiting their campuses, doing my due diligence. I ended up finding the school I was looking for and was able to start an exchange. After about $10,000, a week of preparation and research followed by a week of travel, I succeeded in what I had set out to do. Though the experience was a success, it was only because I had a strong will, it was summer and my school had a budget.
The GlobalEd Connector was born from this experience. Teachers have so much we would like to accomplish with such little time and resources. The students are our first priority and everything else gets pushed aside. We have many ideas on how to enrich their learning experience but, due to limited resources and time constraints, we often just keep everything within the confines of our walls. It is a very insular experience being a teacher. But if you ask any teacher whether they would appreciate having a resource like the GlobalEd Connector at their fingertips, all would say “absolutely.” The platform provides the type of enrichment they look for with limited effort and resources from their end. All of a sudden the walls of their classrooms disappear and their students have immediate access to the world. The platform facilitates working on language skills with native speakers, learning first hand about the lives of students from across the world, having debates, sharing data, starting exchanges, finding a mentor, helping a fellow teacher, sharing thoughts and ideas. All of this can be accomplished through the GlobalEd Connector. All that is needed is access to a computer, the internet, and a profile.
In addition, teachers are always looking for new and innovative ways to deliver their lessons. Teaching is primarily about the transfer of knowledge. If a teacher cannot do that, it does not matter how many degrees he/she has. The students will not learn. That is why the style and creativity put into each lesson is so important.
What are the benefits?
Making connections through a site like the GlobalEd Connector allows teachers to extend their lessons beyond the confines of their classrooms.
Having the ability to seek out help when needed, for instance, when the lesson is not working, is invaluable. Our mentors are ready to assist by sharing their lesson plans and videos and by making themselves available to GlobalEd members.
Teachers are a school’s best asset. A strong faculty attracts families to the school. Why not encourage teachers to help market the school by showing how creative, innovative and effective they are with their students.
It is not always about the content. The style and the manner in which the lesson is delivered is what makes a teacher great. The GlobalEd Connector can help teachers reach new heights by connecting them with GlobalEd mentors who upload their innovative lesson plans and videos onto the site and answer questions directed at them.
F. Oakes Hunnewell, Jr., Ed. M.
Founder, GlobalEd Connector
Oakes Hunnewell founded GlobalEd Connector after twenty years of working with adolescents and young adults in schools and private practice. Oakes’s educational career began in 1994 in Millbrook, NY where he taught French, History and third grade Science at Dutchess Day School.
In 1998, Oakes earned a Masters in School Administration from Harvard University. While at Harvard, he worked extensively with Shackleton Schools, an experiential-education secondary school in Massachusetts, developing curricula for its first year of operation. Subsequently, Oakes taught French at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, MD, where he also served on the admissions committee, was an advisor to the junior class, and coached the boys’ tennis teams. While at St. Andrew’s, Oakes started an exchange program with L’École des Roches, a boarding school in Normandy, France.
In 2004, Oakes joined the staff of The School Counseling Group, an educational consulting firm based in Washington, DC that has cultivated a strong national and international reputation. There, he served as the college counselor and, for five years, worked with a wide range students (mostly from Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Maryland) helping them to find the appropriate colleges, post graduate and gap year programs.
In 2009, Oakes moved to Massachusetts and founded Hunnewell Education Group, an education consulting firm in Natick, MA. He and his team have traveled the world seeking qualified students to attend schools and colleges in the US. Locally, he continues to assist students find appropriate schools, colleges, gap year and young adult transition programs.
Oakes currently resides in Denver, Colorado with his wife and 2 children. He enjoys playing sports, including skiing, hiking, cycling, squash and tennis. He is an enthusiastic traveler and a family man. Oakes is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), the Independent Educational Consultant Association (IECA) and is a Certified Education Consultant (CEP). Oakes has served on the Board of Trustees at Walnut Hill School, a boarding school for students interested in education and the arts and Trinity Education for Excellence Program or TEEP, an urban leadership program.
Mentor/Content Provider- History/Social Studies
Doug was born and raised in the suburbs outside of New York. After graduating from Northwestern University and earning a BS in Secondary Ed in 1998, Doug began his teaching career. Alongside his wife, Katie Forrestal, he has lived and worked in a variety of independent schools, both in the U.S. and abroad, including Costa Rica and France. More recently, he spent four years in Vail, Colorado teaching at the Vail Mountain School. Currently, Doug is a History teacher at the Pomfret School in Pomfret, CT. Doug is passionate about his work in his History classrooms and deeply interested in how events from the past inform our modern world. When not in the classroom, you can often find Doug outside biking, hiking, walking his dog, running, or skiing, depending on the season. He is excited to be teaching and living at Pomfret with his wife, Katie, their two sons Luke and Gus, their daughter Tatum, and dogs Leon and Riva.
Mentor/Content Provider- History/Social Studies
Alex Haight teaches A.P. US History, and senior electives Race Matters, Hollywood versus History, and Honors Capstone Seminar at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac MD. He graduated from the College of Wooster in 1992. Alex’s interests include Nuclear History and the Civil Rights Movement; two areas of concentration in graduate school. He is also the boys Varsity Soccer Coach at the school and holds a USSF “A” License and National and Advanced National Soccer Coaching Diplomas from the NSCAA.
Mentor/Content Provider- French/English
Stephanie Turner currently teaches at Colorado Academy. She arrived in 2017 from Cincinnati State Community College in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she served as a French instructor. Her experience includes working in high schools and colleges, including Princeton University in Princeton, N.J, where, as a Teacher’s Assistant, she taught French 101 and ESL for incoming students. Turner brought more than 25 years of experience to CA, where she is a French instructor. She also served as an English teacher at the Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France, where she taught translation, reading comprehension, and conversation. Turner received her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in Amherst, Mass., and her master’s in comparative literature from Princeton University