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A University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education course is using social media to promote global issues. Students enrolled in the Department of Learning Design and Technology’s (LTEC) 448 are engaged in a service project about sustainable development goals in partnership with the United Nations (UN).

“The students are using social media to advance their cause and create awareness,” said Professor Margit Watts. “They are doing an amazing job in making their reach global, and Hana Omar at the UN is very excited by our project.”

Omar, who earned a doctorate degree in educational technology as well as a certificate in disability and diversity studies from the College of Education, began working as a diplomat for Saudi Arabian women in the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2012. She is serving as a liaison between the UN and the College of Education.

Using several social media platforms, 20 groups of LTEC students are working on global awareness campaigns. Topics are based on the UN’s “17 Goals to Transform Our World,” a sustainable development agenda to improve the lives of people everywhere by 2030. These include no poverty or hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable clean energy, responsible consumption and production, sustainable use of oceans and terrestrial ecosystems among others.

Current LTEC master’s student, Natalie Perez, is working on equal access to education for her service project. “Partnering with the UN has been surreal,” she said. “My group is working diligently to develop both a website and Facebook page to gain more attention on the lack of accessible education across the globe. Expanding outside the confines of the classroom and sharing our project on such a large scale has been an incredible experience.”

Another student group project, focused on ending hunger, incorporates multiple social media platforms.

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