My journey with the Global Teacher Prize


  1. What was it like being involved in the Global Teacher Prize?

    In my opinion, the standard for a teacher to involve in the Global Teacher Prize is that teaching is done with the heart. Even if you are working in a full-fledged environment, you lack the love of your students, and the material will become meaningless. It is the love of children that will do wonders. Once the teaching work comes from love, you can easily awaken the student’s passion for learning. Since then, the quality of teaching has been improved thanks to the efforts of both teachers and learners. In contact with the teachers of this award, I realize that all of them are influential students, colleagues, community, government, etc. Each person who is a teacher is a important factor to change the world. I feel so lucky to be one of those wonderful people.


2. What was the best thing about being involved in the competition?

      The most exciting part of this award is not the one million dollars that the prize brings but the opportunity to be part of the best teacher community in the world. I have been listening to their stories from the hardest schools to the modern places around the globe. I was thrilled to meet friends who had previously had the opportunity to work together online. We all feel but one family because we share our passion for education. Their sharing, their experiences have inspired me so much for a very special career that we all devoted our passion to it. My passion for teaching is aroused more than ever by these emotional stories. I also have the opportunity to share “my voice” to the world as a part of the Varkey Teacher Ambassador program. The four days at the forum are fast, every moment there was a moment that makes us proud to become teachers. I totally agree with statement of Maggie MacDonnell – the winner of Global Teacher Prize 2017 –  at her session at the forum: “A million dollars can not buy the moments we’ve spent at the Global Teacher Prize.”

3. How has it changed my outlook on your work?

    I do not think I will be able to earn so much amazing things in the four days of participating in this global education and skill forum. I have the opportunity to listen to sessions on a variety of topics from well-known global speakers. The forum gives me a clearer view of the future of education. Since then, I have had many plans for what I need to do for my students in the years to come. As an ambassador of the program, I will connect with other teachers to work together, develop programs that will motivate teachers’ motivation as well as their passion for learning and teaching. With what I’ve experienced with this award, I realized believe that education is the key to changing the world. However, in that world, every child is an important factor. Therefore, it is the duty of the teacher to provide the child with the best education possible. So, every teacher is a good teacher, do not leave any child behind the education.

  1. What will I be focusing your future teaching practices on?

    Never before, people in the world can connect with each other as easily today. So, in the present and in the future, I always want my students to be global citizens so that they can adapt to the world’s development in different cultures. At present, many schools focus only on teaching knowledge in textbooks that sometimes is outdated, formal or alien to the reality of life around students. For myself, I will help students apply the knowledge they have learned to solve problems in their lives, helping each student learn how to spend their time exploring the world around them. In addition to the formation of 21st century skills such as teamwork, using information technology, critical thinking,… education for children, human values ​​are also of interest to me. Today, I am working with children on projects related to caring, self-esteem, development goals of the United Nations,… I believe these projects will help them reach the humanitarian values ​​that I desire.

5. For me, what should the future of education focus on / or what should it look like? 

     I really love the theme of the forum this year: “How do we prepare young people for the world of 2030 and beyond?”.  As you know, the world is growing every hour, every minute and this is changing the roots of our everyday lives. Who can say in advance what will happen? How will life around us change? As a teacher, I see that future education needs to integrate with the 4.0 revolution. Facing the rapid changes in science and technology, teaching methods must change, every cadre, teachers, students must determine that learning is a lifelong goal, learning anytime, anywhere. Geographic distance, space and time have been blurred. The teaching is no longer in the traditional way with chalk, board, pen and paper that can be made on electronic devices.
One thing I would like to pay more attention to is the end of the death of the students at the school by the adult gunfire. When I heard the children share the deaths of their friends in the classroom, I could not hold my tears. In addition, education for children with disabilities is also a concern for me after attending the Global Education and Skill Forum. Give all children a chance to study!


What do teachers need to know in preparing their children for the future of 2030 and beyond?


The world is growing every hour, every minute and this is changing the roots of our daily lives. Who can say in advance what will happen? How will life around us change? How can education prepare future generations for a perspective that we do not know yet? As a teacher, what skills do you need to equip your students in the future by 2030 and beyond? Will you keep traditional teaching methods or will you also change?

As an elementary school teacher, I realize that prospective teachers need some of the skills they need to help transform education:

Technology is a friend of teaching work

As we all know, the 4.0 revolution has become an opportunity and also a challenge for many professions, including education. In the general trend, students are becoming more proficient in using technology. I believe that students also want the technology that their teachers combine in their lectures. What’s more amazing is that when your lecture is illustrated with a lot of modern technology, your students will probably have more Aha in each class. I am still impressed with Eddie Woo  – Top 10 Global Teacher Prize 2018 – with a repository of lectures posted on his Youtube channel. This is a living proof that technology is an important part of the learning process. Let’s make you an eteacher in the future.

Open class

We live in a flat world and there is no reason for you to get your students to study in the four walls of a traditional classroom. Let your students be connected with the world. By my own experience, I found Skype to be a good choice. By using this tool, you are giving children opportunities to make friends from around the world. Students will share what they have learned and what they are doing with other classes. At the same time, they also heard from friends from other countries sharing their thoughts and views related to issues that concern them. This is a great way for students to develop critical thinking as well as teamwork skills. In the future, your student should be a global citizen. To do that, you first need to be a global teacher. Barbara Anna Zielonka– Top 10 Global Teacher Prize 2018 –  is also bringing his class to the world very well.

My Passion In Digital Citizenship Education


My main job is not a teacher teaching information technology or life skills teachers, but the teaching that drives students to become a citizen is always interested in me. This is my personal passion. Therefore, at any given time, I would like to introduce the topic of educating the population to students.

Why do I care about teaching a Digital citizen’s skills to students?

We live in a flat world. The information brought to the world is never as easy as it is now. As an adult, a teacher, we need to guide our students and their children in accessing and processing the information responsibly. Our students today not only face face to face but also virtual world. Sometimes, they are not aware of their actions in the virtual world right or wrong. I firmly believe that we do not have the capacity and time to manage the use of the internet, our computers. Instead of managing them by forbidding them to use or remove their technology equipment, let’s teach them to use smart and safe technology. In addition, becoming a citizen also has many benefits for our students. Today, in order to be successful, people can not work alone but instead work together. When they become citizens, they know how to work together globally. In fact, in my classroom, many students have changed their attitudes as well as their academic performance when collaborating through global projects where technology is an important part of that collaboration. There are students who are very passive in learning the traditional way teachers teach, but vice versa, they are extremely active when working with technology.

What did I do in digital citizenship education?

* With my class:

I am a technology lover and love global collaboration. Read my story HERE

Therefore, in my lessons, I regularly organize global learning projects. To do this, technology plays a small role. Students will need to use technology to find information, to work together, to connect with friends around the world. However, my biggest worry is how to use the technology properly and safely. So, first job before the project is that I always guide them how to use computer, social network safety? Once they are aware of their responsibility for using technology, I begin the next learning activity.

You can watch a lecture that I use to guide my students. HERE

* For students in other schools:

Currently, besides being an elementary school teacher, I am also a Microsoft Learning Consultant. That’s why I regularly organize free classes for the use of safety technology for students from primary to high school in schools across Vietnam. I also collaborated with Microsoft Vietnam to develop and implement a safe Internet program for all schools in Vietnam. You can look through the curriculum we use HERE. This curriculum can be used for both students and parents.



* With friends, colleagues: 


In addition to teaching the skills to students, I regularly hold free sharing sessions on safe and responsible technology use for many of my colleagues at the school. I believe that when teachers know how to use technology properly, they can teach their students to use technology safely.

* For students’ parents:


In the past, parents often forbade their children to use technology when they could not manage their use. To me, this is not the right way to do it because the more they will curb the more curious and sneaky use. Help children learn how to use it safely. With that in mind, I regularly hold seminars to help mothers understand the importance of technology to life and, more importantly, how they can help the baby use technology. safely and responsibly.


My Global Learning Story


  1. How did you find out about Global Learning?

Eight years ago, I was a passive teacher because I taught my students the way my teachers used to teach me. The knowledge I impart to my students comes mainly from textbooks. I never thought of bringing my students out of the four walls of the traditional classroom. At that time, I was satisfied with my teaching and thought that I was a good teacher. By 2015, I am aware of the Innovative Teacher competition organized by Microsoft Vietnam and the Ministry of Education and Training. I participated in this contest and was lucky to win the first prize. After the competition, I was represented by Vietnamese teachers at the Global Education Forum in the United States. At this forum, I won the second prize along with other teachers from other countries.

Also at this contest, I met Koen Timmer – a teacher from Belgium. I was truly amazed at the new things Koen and many other teachers are doing in their classrooms. I returned to Vietnam with many thoughts that: “Am I  a backward teacher?” I told myself to change to keep up with other teachers around the globe. I started tracking the activities of other teachers, especially Koen Timmer. He organized global teaching activities and these activities really pushed me to change. One day, Koen said that his Global Learning project was chosen by HundrEd as one of 100 global innovations. I was excited with this great information and have begun to participate in Global Learning initiated by Koen Timmer.

  1. How did you get involved in the projects?

I recognize that Global Learning projects are very meaningful to my students, so I organize my students to participate in projects like the Project Water, the Human Differences project and the Climate Action project. My students have had the opportunity to connect with global classes to learn about global issues such as the importance of water for life, gender equality, climate change issues. , ..I am also the founder of a number of global projects such as We Are Little Volunteers, Five Safe Fingers, etc. I would like to thank all the global teachers who have inspired the my teaching.

  1. What was your favourite project you were involved in?

In the projects my students participate in, I particularly like the Climate Action project. In Vietnam, climate change is one of the causes of global warming, which is accompanied by countless consequences such as rainstorms, floods, etc., which affect the lives of people. Recognizing the importance of coping with the global problem, I would love to organize my students to participate in this project and many other students from 250 other schools at 69 countries around the globe.

  1. How did being involved in Global Learning positively affect your students?

When participating in Global Learning, my students’ learning is not limited to the classroom, but extended to the outside world. Students can easily talk to all around the world, exchanging their ideas. Teachers also have the opportunity to cooperate internationally so that teaching and learning techniques will be much more exciting. From there, students are provided with the skills to live in the 21 st century and become international citizens who are able to adapt themselves in different cultures.

  1. Do you have any personal stories about what students said/or have done thanks to Global Learning?

After participating in the Water Project (part of Global Learning), my 5th grade student, Minh Nhan, spent two days of her weekend devoting himself to charity in a poor province of Vietnam to instruct people here the way to protect water resources as well as treat polluted water sources. When she came back to class, I asked her, “Why do not you spend two days of your week entertaining instead of going to charity?”

“I find that protecting water is more important than entertainment because it affects the lives of so many people, so I give priority to this.”

I think this is a great way to thank my students want to send to Global Learning.

  1. What are the best things about being involved in Global learning?

The best things about Global Learning are that students can self-direction and confidence grow tremendously ever since. They can talk to people oversea, white people and could hear the accent, that was wow! With these types of learning experiences, students realize that learning can take place anytime and virtually anywhere. The classroom walls extend to the entire world! We loved being part of this project of teaching each other! Teachers, students be the community as a whole have moved into a new era where knowledge sharing is a norm in tune with if you have an idea and you have an idea, We are living in a world where we probe to the depths of global issues together, brainstorm together and work out solutions which may be effective out of the context of our local regions.    Finally, by joining classrooms around the world, we are changing the way teachers design classrooms. They are discovering new ways to teach, opening doors for their students, and becoming global thinkers, as well.

  1. Can you describe a lesson or day that you spent involved in Global Learning / how did it work?

A different approach to traditional learning is that my students can connect with students around the globe via Skype. By using tools such as Skype I am giving children opportunities to make friends from around the world. My students will share what they have learned and learned about the projects they are doing with other classes. At the same time, they also heard from friends from other countries sharing their thoughts and views related to the project. This is great a way for students to develop critical thinking.

  1. How did it improve your teaching?

Global Learning makes learning and teaching in my classroom more enjoyable and different than many other classes in Vietnam. It makes students global citizens. It mars the barriers and help students and educators to learn global cultural perspectives. It was our world as a village. International dimensions are well dealt with global education which increases the individuals’ intellectual capacity and resilience. Global collaboration also helps in conflict resolution and intercultural relations. Which in turn helps to attain peace and cooperation in the world in wider context.

  1. Why do you think other teachers should get involved with Global Learning?

If you want your students to become global citizens, you must first be a global teacher. I believe that Global Learning is the right path for you to easily become a global teacher – teacher of revolution 4.0. Make changes before your students leave you behind them.

What does the 4th Industrial Revolution mean for schools?


The 4th Industrial Revolution has created tremendous change, affecting many areas of life and socio-economy, and this is the challenge of the education sector in the training of human resources for new demands of society. The current industrial revolution of 4.0 is the connection between the real world and the virtual world through advanced technology, through the creativity and innovation of human beings. Now machines have “memorization power” through a large database and the ability to “think logically” to handle most of the problems in the field that the machine does. The fourth revolution is creating many opportunities and challenges for all schools around the world.
How does industrial revolution 4.0 affect the activities of schools? Fundamentally, the activities of schools still ensure the core values ​​are the quality of training to meet the needs of the society. But with the 4th Industrial Revolution, societies are increasingly demanding and demanding different and more rigorous, so schools must be creative and flexible in every activity.In the 4th Industrial Revolution, no one talks about qualifications, people will be judged on the value they bring to society, regardless of qualifications, regardless of origin. Future teachers will have to teach students how to self-study, self-thinking, self-improvement. Employees will become global citizens and emulate anytime, anywhere. In this revolution, each of us must move, change. Especially no one can stand outside this revolution, if not follow it will be left behind.
Facing the rapid changes in science and technology, teaching methods must change, every cadre, teachers, students must determine that learning is a lifelong goal, learning anytime, anywhere. Geographic distance, space and time have been blurred. The teaching is no longer in the traditional way with chalk, board, pen and paper that can be made on electronic devices.
In addition, a backward education program will not create the right people for the future. Instead, this people can only be created by a liberal education.
This revolution also places great demands on transforming teacher roles – the transmission of knowledge in a traditional way to the catalytic and coordinating role. Teachers must be technology oriented and responsible not only for teaching but also for learning. They have to take into account the needs of each student in a heterogeneous classroom, creating a student-centered learning environment that enhances creativity, curiosity, and learning motivation. Teacher roles have been changing from teacher to mentor, mentoring, coaching, and creating learning environments. The value of the teacher is not lecture but a guide, catalyst to help students to orient themselves in learning. The role of teachers shifted to a new, broader and broader definition to meet the needs of the learning community.
As a productive teacher in the digital age, teachers must improve teaching methods and not only cultivate the professionalism of new inventions in order to meet the requirements of teaching in digital age.

Skype is such a powerful tool that helps to bring whole the world into my classroom

The biggest challenge I have ever faced in teaching was in learning to apply technology to my teaching methods. 8 years ago, I was afraid of integrating technology, although I knew that technology would enhance the effectiveness of my lessons.

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I was lucky to be a part of Microsoft’s Innovative Educator Expert program, where I had a great opportunity to learn new and innovative technologies from the global teaching community. After that, I gained the confidence to implement technology in my classes. I realized that technology could exceed the limit of a regular class and help to expand the space of education internationally, and allows my students to discover more issues they cared about. Moreover,  information technology is such a powerful tool that helps me to empower my students. I always create activities so that students feel that every day is a happy day. One of the activities that children are very fond of is the use of Skype in the classroom. Skype has become an integral part of implementing global projects. It helps to bridge the gap between the classroom and real life. Skype has taken my students to new places and has given them opportunities to make friends from around the world. With Skype, the classroom walls extend to the entire world and students realize that learning can take place anytime and virtually anywhere.

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Simple but wonderful start with Skype

In 2015, I first used Skype in my classroom while doing the project We are little volunteers. My students got chances to work on projects with friends coming from the Philippines, Serbia, Israel, India, etc. They used Skype to have the opportunity to exchange personal ideas and knowledge that they are interested in from other countries. This has become a wonderful experience that they have not had before.

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After the first great experience with Skype, both my students and I did not want to stop. I started looking for more ways to apply Skype to my classroom. I realized that you just need having creative and passionate, Skype will help open more doors to your classroom. With me, Skype is now one free and infinitely useful tool that educators should know.  It brings joy, wonder, and intrigue to my students.

#1: To collaborate with other classrooms:: When conducting a lesson, I don’t want to limit my students’ knowledge in four the walls. So, I widen beyond classroom when doing some more project such as I am future Environmental Science, Capturing Christmas across the Globe,…

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When conducting a lesson, I dont want to limit my students’ knowledge in four the

#2: To interview expert (guest speaker): As you know, we can not be good at any fields. So, I invite experts into the classroom, no matter where they are in the world. They will share their knowledge with my class. My students also love this way to learn new things from strange people. I am so happy to see them ask lots of question with the experts.

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#3: To exchange culture: To help students to learn a new culture, I use Skype to connect my class with other classes around the world to share our own culture and learn new one from other classes. It’s amazing way to learn a new thing!

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To help students to learn a new culture, I use Skype to connect my class with other

classes around the world to share our own culture and learn new one from other

#4: To conduct a Mystery Skype: My students really love this game. This kind of using Skype helps to change type of learning which connects my class with a class from another city, state or country and give my students with the task of guessing where the Skype class is located.


My students really love this game. This kind of using Skype helps to change type of

learning which connects my class  with a class from another city, state or country

#5: Combining Skype with Kahoot to take classroom engagement to a new level

Skype and Kahoot are two of my favorite tools that help me disrupt traditional ways of teaching and make learning fun. I’ve been consistently using them both over the past few years. Both Kahoot! and Skype made my students more engaged and active than any other class format.


#6: Joining Virtual Field Trip

I love having my students participate in learning activities outside the classroom. However, sometimes I can not do this often due to a number of reasons such as bad weather, geographical distances, budget limitations, etc. To overcome these limitations, I’ve organized Skype Virtual Field Trip in my classroom. For example, to commemorate the Earth Day event, I connected my classroom with a staff at the National Park in the United States to learn about the Joshua Tree; or on the occasion of “Oceans Month” I let my students visit the turtle hospital without leaving the classroom,…

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Becoming Guest Speaker is a new challenge: I am fortunate to receive the sharing of many other teachers around the globe for my classroom. One day, I received an invitation to become Guest Speaker for Arti Chopra, India. I’m a bit nervous because I have not done this before but I think sharing will help me grow up.


Getting Skype Master Teacher tittle is a super honor

Being a member of Skype Master Teacher is an honor for me. Having this title has helped me to have opportunity to help other teachers to use Skype to transform education. I also have had opportunities to learn, to share and to collaborate with amazing educators around the world who are passionate about teaching and inspiring students by breaking up “the wall” of classroom. Being Skype Master Teacher has made me better myself before day by day.

To be an inspired teacher

As a Microsoft Teacher Ambassador and Microsoft Learning Consultant, I have the opportunity to meet and share the love of applying information technology in general and Skype in particular in my classroom with many teachers in Vietnam. Currently, our group has nearly 2000 teachers with many meaningful activities for education. I’m really happy that every day I see teachers in my group use Skype as part of daily work in their classroom. This has helped me to feel the meaning of the work I am doing.

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Mr. Nam Thanh (@mrnamvas) is a primary school teacher in Vinschool in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He has authored multiple articles, and he has been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into his teaching. Nam is the founder of the global project Five Safe Finger: In 2015, he was presented with the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Award, and in the same year he represented Vietnam at the Microsoft Global Forum. He is Microsoft Master Trainer, Skype Master Teacher, and Microsoft Learning Consultant. Mr. Nam has authored multiple articles, and been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into his teaching. He is the winner of Educator of the Year Asia 2017 and Top 50 Global Teacher Prize Finalist 2018.



The article about my global project on national magazine

Preventing child abuse – The open roads

Despite many obstacles in propagating the prevention of sexual abuse for children, especially in the school area but not so that the propaganda was pushed back.

Connecting the world to learn skills 

Ngo Thanh Nam, a teacher at Vinschool Elementary School in Ho Chi Minh City, found that students lacked the skills to prevent abuse and sexual harassment. He decided to set up the Five Safe Fingers project and invited the creative teacher community on the IT platform. Teachers in Vietnam and around the world such as Indonesia, Malaysia, India, USA, Australia, Canada … are very excited and respond enthusiastically. For everyone, the problem of “child sexual abuse” is not just a matter for a country but a common problem for all. Teacher Nam built the website to make it easy for schools around the world to share and link lessons with each other.

Ngo Thanh Nam’s project took place in five weeks. The first week, students and teachers introduced each other and learn the overview of knowledge, skills prevention – sexual assault. The second week, they shared the article, knowledge, useful information. In the third week, students made handwriting and hand-drawings about 5 rules of communication with parents, relatives, acquaintances, strangers, ominous people.

By week 4, students from many countries are talking to each other through Skype. Until the last week, they went to the residential areas, crossroads … to distribute leaflets propaganda about the project.

Fita SukiYani, a teacher from Yogyakarta High School (Indonesia), said: “My students are  very interested in receiving information from the project because in Indonesia, they also need skills to prevent harm and protect themselves. From this project, students have been provided with a wealth of knowledge, from which each of student is confident to be a propagator to his/her community, his/her neighbors!”

Bringing Students’ Voices to the World

We live in a global, collaborative world. Students need to be connected for global collaboration and co-creation if we want to prepare them for the future. Learning can’t be limited to the classroom, but extended to the outside world. I hope students can easily talk to their peers all around the world and exchange their ideas. I hope that teachers cooperate internationally so that teaching and learning techniques can be much more exciting. Hopefully, students are provided with the skills to live in the 21st century and become international citizens who are able to adapt themselves in different cultures. Technology plays an active role in implementing the above. It has taken students to new places and allowed them to use the 4C of 21st century learning (collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity). Among the tools that both my students and I love, I can not fail to mention Flipgrid. I’ve known Flipgrid for less than a year but through the quick learning process I asked myself, “Why did I not know about Flipgrid sooner?” Now, as a Flipgrid Ambassador, I am confident in sharing some of the ways I have used this wonderful tool in my classroom:

Project introduction

When I started working on a global project, my first activity was to get my students to introduce themselves. For example, in the Five Safe Fingers project, students from 30 global schools will work together on Flipgrid to introduce themselves. They are excited to see the image, listen to their friends’ voice globally. They can also respond to those introductions. This activity helps to launch the project in a fun way. This method also helps to train students more confidence

Introduction to training

Currently, in addition to being a 5th grade teacher, I am also a Microsoft teacher ambassador. I regularly train information technology teachers in Vietnam. Throughout my many training classes, instead of letting people stand up and introduce themselves, I use Flipgrid to do this. After the training, participants can review the introduction of others at any time.

Collaborative lessons

Flipgrid is a great way to organize a collaborative lesson. With Flipgrid, geographical restrictions, timezones, etc. are no longer an issue. I used Flipgrid to collaborate with a class in the United States to share language, classroom culture, and other interesting information.

Learning campaigns

In some projects, such as “Water is Life” projects, students use Flipgrid to carry out their “I am a drop” campaigns. As a metaphorical drop of water, they call on everyone to save water.

Predicting and Commenting

In my Science and Math classes, I often use Flipgrid to give a video of a lesson related situation. Students respond with their comments and predictions about the results of the video that I gave. Through this activity, students gain more interest in the lesson and remember the knowledge longer.

Getting feedback from students

After each week of study, I would like to listen to students’ feelings about what they have gone through. It could be: 3 things they liked the most (or didn’t like) in the past week; what they want to do in the next class. Students feel listened to, and I also know what I did well and what needs to be changed for students to love learning more.

Happy birthday!

I don’t only use Flipgrid for learning activities, I also use it for informal classroom activities. I often use it as a space to celebrate students’ birthdays. Students are delighted to see video congratulating them on their birthday from the rest of their class. With this simple activity, students experience a novel, memorable birthday experience.


When I asked many teachers in Vietnam as well as around the world about teaching United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the answer I often got was “What is it?” or “Is it important?” I realized that teaching the goals of sustainable development for students was still a new thing to many teachers.

Why did I decide to teach #SDGs to students?
As we all know, the world is facing many problems, such as poverty, pollution, war, climate change, and more. These problems directly affect the survival of mankind. Therefore, if people are not aware of the importance of the remedy and the ways to prevent problems, the quality of life will be increasingly threatened. I think that educating on these issues needs to be started in the younger generation, namely students. That is why teaching sustainable development goals has become an important part of my teaching.

For myself, to have access to the curriculum SDGs, my professional skills have been increasingly enhanced. My teaching is not only directed to knowledge in textbooks, but also social significance and meeting the needs of life.

How did I know about the goal of sustainable development of the United Nations?
Actually, I have only known these goals since 2017. Although before, my students did many projects related to issues in life, such as traffic safety, environment, religion, and food, but I did not know that these projects were related to the goals of sustainable development. It wasn’t until I had a conversation with Fran Siracusa as well as taking the Teaching Sustainable Development Goalscourse on the Microsoft Education site that I realized these goals clearly are already in my projects. Since then, I have started to learn more and have become really fascinated by the human values ​​that these goals bring.

How have I started?
First, I worked to develop a clear understanding about these 17 goals and then started to find out the relationship between them and my textbook lessons. It is interesting to realize that every lesson that my students learn daily is tied to at least one of the 17 goals. After that, I started introducing #SDGs to my students. Fortunately, I found a lot of resources for the introduction, includingThe World’s Largest Lessons. I do not impose #SDGs on students, but let them naturally take to them by letting them draw their own goals after reading a story, watching a movie, etc. For example: Water is Life project: After watching the movie about water shortage in South Africa, students will analyze and find out the sixth goal in the project. I believe that by their own self-discovery, students can understand the meaning of these goals in human life.


Technology – Let’s be Friends
In teaching SDGs, I have seen that technology has impacted students’ lives in such a positive way. It has taken students to new places and allowed them to use the 4Cs of 21st century learning (collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity). If technology is used properly, it will help to bring the voice of students to the world. In my teaching of SDGs, technology plays an indispensable role. Students are encouraged to use technology in learning activities that demand problem-solving, decision-making, teamwork, and innovation. By using technology, students can create products such as digital storybooks, artwork, presentations, and movies. For example, in the Water is Life project, my students use Sway to tell their water using story, Microsoft Forms to conduct a water experiment using survey of people in their community, PowerPoint to create posters to call for a sense of water savings, and Skype to chat with experts on the importance of water. Sustainable development goals are right in your classroom! Let students work with technology as a friend, learning these goals will become more enjoyable and effective.

Do Not Teach #SDGs Alone
My experience suggests that teaching #SDGs is most effective if these goals are repeated over place and time. One way to do this is to connect with your school and the parents to share that comprehensive SDG teaching is an important choice. For example, when learning about the the sixth goal, we did the “I am a drop” campaign by creating slogans calling for water savings in many places in the school. At home, parents also reminded students to save water. From there, students realized that saving water was their responsibility. 



Mr. Nam Thanh (@mrnamvas) is a primary school teacher in Vinschool in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He has authored multiple articles, and he has been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into his teaching. In 2015, he was presented with the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Award, and in the same year he represented Vietnam at the Microsoft Global Forum. He is Microsoft Master Trainer, Skype Master Teacher, Microsoft Teacher Ambassador and #TeachSDGs Global Goals Educator Task Force Member. Mr. Nam works passionately to develop creative approaches to delivering quality education to his students in ways that inspire them to learn. Twitter: @mrnamvas 

Great Way To Celebrate Earth Day With Skype

    I’m really a fan of using Skype in the classroom. Skype brings the outside world into my classroom. With Skype, there seems to be no limit to learning. I usually use Skype as part of my class, especially on special days like International Women’s Day, Earth Day, etc. Skype is an integral part of my students to experience these special events.

    This year, Earth Day is special to my 5th graders. Indeed, Earth Day is quite straight to Vietnamese students because they do not have much experience of the meaning of this day. Although the environment is an important topic is taught in many schools. However, teachers are less interested in getting students involved in day-to-day activities. At the beginning of April, I was wondering, “Why do I myself not use Skype to bring students out into the world today?” Saying is doing, I planned to help my students get a special experience for Earth Day.

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     I have to thank Microsoft Innovative Educator (MEC) community, where millions of teachers are available to connect and share. I started by connecting with Skype Master Teacher Ana from Serbia on the MEC site. After sending a Skype request on the topic about types of snakes, we agreed each other on the connection date and my students started to prepare a presentation about snakes in Vietnam. This is a really interesting topic so they are very excited. My students were heard Ana’s 6th grade students presenting about snakes in Serbia. My students also shared about snakes in Vietnam. The atmosphere was really fun. My students were not only learning but also sharing their knowledge. In addition, they also practice their English speaking skills. The connection with Ana made the day for my students and me.



    After that connection, my students continued with the question, “Mr Nam, when do we connect again on the topic of Earth Day?”. That question made me really excited. I decided to hold a connection by inviting speaker to my classroom.I was really fortunate to receive approval from wonderful Skype Master Teacher, Tammy Dunbar from the USA. In addition, she also invited her husband to participate in the conversation with my students. My students had the opportunity to share their knowledge about the natural world in Vietnam including: river, forest, animals … They were really excited when Tammy and her husband marvel at themselves. After that, my students asked many questions about Earth Day such as: “How does your school celebrate Earth Day?”… The questions and answers were given repeatedly until the ringing bell  for lunch started. We really had “aha” moments in that exciting connection. For myself, I am proud to have developed a passion for learning and confidence for students through using of Skype in the classroom.



If you also want to give your students a fun experience, visit this website right now. I’m sure you will have wonderful moments as well.

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