Like many parents right now, Monica Gomez was looking for a fun and educational way to occupy her kids – all ten of them – online. Monica is a Cisco Networking Academy Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, parent of two, and swim coach, and when the pandemic prevented her swim class, which is for kids ages 9 to 11, including her son, from practicing in the pool she looked to Cisco’s Global Problem Solvers (GPS): The Series to help.
Global Problem Solvers: The Series is a free, inclusive animated series featuring a team of diverse teenage characters from around the world. The program is designed to teach children in grades 4 to 8 to the concepts of teamwork, problem-solving, and using technology for social good. In each season, the characters identify a problem and solution using technology, develop a business plan, test and retest the solution, and launch a social enterprise. And all episodes and supplemental materials are available in English, Spanish, French, and Hindi.
“What I really like about GPS: The Series is that it not only develops kids’ STEM skills, but that the kids can relate to the different characters. It’s very gender and culturally inclusive. That makes all the difference,” says Monica.
Even though GPS: The Series is interactive by itself, complete with discussion topics and games, Monica wanted to challenge her kids even more and use it over a couple months. To accomplish this, she supplemented their daily one-hour classes with Kahoot, a popular game-based learning platform. The kids loved it!
“They love the moment when I ask them how they would fix the problem and how they would improve the solutions given by the Global Problem Solvers. It makes their creativity shine,” says Monica. “They really learned how important teamwork is to the success of a project and how each person’s knowledge, experience, and skills complements each other.”
Four ways to use GPS: The Series with your kids
There are many ways to use GPS: The Series. You can watch one episode at a time or a complete season, and use a little or as much of the supplemental materials as you like.
1. Watch Season 1: Working Well (25 minutes) and use the Teaching Companion Worksheet
2. Watch Season 2: The Storm (24 minutes) and use the Teaching Companion Worksheet
3. Watch each 3-5 minute episode (14 total) and use the Season 1 and Season 2 Teaching Companions
4. Add in Kahoot gameplay. Below are step-by-step instructions.
Step 1. Watch Episode 1.1 – The Team
Step 2. Write down 5-10 age-appropriate questions related to the episode. For example, what country is Adrien from?, what does Cristina do to help the business?, and what is Kelile’s special skill?
Step 3. Brainstorm four answer options for each question, with there being only one right answer.
Step 4. Input the questions and answers into Kahoot. Please see some examples below.
Step 5. Repeat for the remaining 13 episodes or the episodes you want to use.
To learn more about Global Problem Solvers: The Series and get started, visit Global Problem Solvers: The Series on YouTube.
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