Featuring Don Belt, Professor of Journalism at the University of Richmond and former Senior Editor of National Geographic magazine, this year's 9th Annual International Education Conference (IEC) which took place on Friday, April 8th, focused on providing K-16 educators innovative ways to engage students in storytelling, critical thinking, cultural literacy, and digital media learning.  Through dynamic presentations, dialogues, and classroom activities, teachers gained practical and innovative curriculum ideas that will guide students to make connections to the larger stories of the world. 

Having traveled over 80 countries over the course of three decades, Don Belt has reported on the defining issues of our time such as Islam and the West, the effects of global climate change, and the geopolitical trends that shape our world during his time with National Geographic.  As a Professor of Journalism, Professor Belt showcased his semester-long course which was designed as an intensive, senior or graduate-level Journalism seminar in which students develop their multimedia narrative skills by studying, and applying, the lessons in "slow journalism" offered by Paul Salopek's Out of Eden Walk Project and explores the movement away from the super-fast, superficial coverage that dominates modern news media and towards a more in-depth, deliberate, mindful approach to narrative journalism using the latest tools of digital technology to help build global cultural literacy.

Presenters during the afternoon sessions included Anne Flannery who is the ACLS Public Fellow in Digital Inititiaves at the Newberry Library in Chicago; Emily Forrest-Mattfield, an art teacher of Bret Harte Elementary School in Hyde Park; and Wendy Kotrba of Lincoln Hall Middle School who also serves on the Teachers Advisory Council at the Oriental Institute and is a Field Ambassador at the Field Museum.

This event was sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies, the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, the Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the International House Global Voices Program, the Neighborhood Schools Program, the Oriental Institute, and UChicago Engages, and was made possible through generous support from the Title VI National Resource Center grants from the U.S. Department of Education.