Sustainable Development Goals – using digital tools to reach and teach them

Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs as well. The Sustainable Development Goals are seventeen interdependent goals which countries that are members of the United Nations aim to achieve by 2030. They include eliminating extreme poverty, reducing inequalities and combating the threat of climate change.

Whilst the goals are ambitious, the more countries and people who share in a common vision for a more sustainable world, the more sustainable development there is likely to be. Learners who know more about sustainable development can support specific goals, they can come up with innovative solutions to global problems and they can actively campaign to solve problems in sustainable ways in their communities. 

As a teacher you can raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals in your classroom and you can select Goals that are related to your subject or that are important in your community to incorporate into your lessons. The Teaching Sustainable Development Goals course on the Microsoft Educator Community provides teachers with a bank of over 30 lesson plans that they can use to teach each of the Sustainable Development Goals in a way that is appropriate for the grades that they teach. Useful background information, links to powerful videos and comics related to the Sustainable Development Goals can also be downloaded from the Microsoft Educator Community.

Whilst there are a number of #SDG activities that don’t require technology, we are sure that teachers with an interest in using digital tools in the classroom will be keen to try out the Flipgrid activities that encourage teachers and learners to add their voices to #SDG discussions. A range of Skype in the Classroom activities are also on offer including inviting a member of the #SDG task force to speak to your class or taking a virtual Skype field trip to a place related to one of the goals.

In addition to using the ready-made lesson plans, teachers are encouraged to embark on child-led action projects. Teachers who have developed their own #SDG lessons plans are invited to share these with a global community of teachers or classes may want to collaborate across countries on a common project that adresses on of the Goals. 

Why not try out the Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals course yourself? It only takes  an hour to work through the courseware and you can earn a badge and 500 Microsoft Educator Community points by completing the quiz at the end. More importantly, having worked through this course, you will be equipped with the skills and resources to be part of teaching the ‘World’s Largest Lesson’ – in that you will be able to spread the word of #SDG within your classroom and community. 

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