Global Conversations: Korea is Sydney Opera House’s digital creative learning program, funded by the Australia-Korea Foundation, that connects students in Korea and Australia for a shared cultural experience.
The Opera House’s successful Global Conversations: Korea project,piloted in 2015, was expanded in 2016 with a 185% increase in participating students. A total of 772 students, across 26 schools in Korea and Australia, had the opportunity to interact and learn with their peers in another country through the program.
Global Conversations pairs schools in Australia with schools in Korea allowing students to work together through a series of live performances and workshops, direct from the Opera House, via videoconferencing. The Asia Education Foundation (the Opera House’s project partner) also facilitated a 10-day homestay for the teachers in each country, and a program of professional learning delivered at the Opera House enhanced their creativity and technology skills in the classroom.
According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)'s Global Competencies research, creativity and collaboration with people from diﬀerent cultures have been identiﬁed as two key capacities that young people must develop to be competent in a globalised world. Global Conversations addresses these competencies by creating a digital classroom for students to work together, despite their different physical locations and linguistic backgrounds, using the arts as a common language. As a result, participants increase their cultural awareness and literacy, and establish ongoing international school relationships.
2016’s three-part program included participation from three theatre companies:
- Monkey Baa (facilitated digital workshops based on themes from Pete the Sheep);
- Bell Shakespeare (facilitated digital workshops based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream); and
- Force Majeure/Powerhouse Youth Theatre (livestreamed a performance of Jump First, Ask Later and facilitated a parkour workshop).
Global Conversations allows the Opera House to share the cultural assets of this UNESCO World Heritage Listed site beyond the geographical limits. This unique learning experience has proven to be a technologically innovative way to teach students about other cultures. The Opera House will continue to expand the program throughout Asia to encourage kids around the world to learn and play together and experience all that the Opera House has to offer.
For more information about this program, see the Opera House’s video.