We Created #bitesizeSDGs. Join Us to Help Solve the World’s Biggest Challenges!

Tim Black and Nichola de Montaigne wrote this post.

Are the SDGs being used in your learning community? If not, we hope you’ll consider that a not – YET. Curious? Read on to learn more about our new project – #BiteSizeSDGs. We’d love for you to get involved! 

WHO WE ARE: We are both international educators who share a passion for making learning meaningful and relevant. Like many of you, we are on a learning journey with National Geographic education, inspired to apply our passion to the planet. To enable this, we both use the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – 17 goals and 169 targets – to shift our thinking beyond our classroom walls and collaborate with people of all ages in an attempt to make our collective learning more authentic and action-focused. We collectively agree that the SDGs serve as a powerful, adaptable framework for teaching and learning.

WHAT OUR PROJECT IS ABOUT: @bitesizeSDGs provocations are a springboard for curious minds and developing agents of positive change for our planet through collaborative inquiry! Our overall aim is to support the development of globally-minded citizens who are taking action to build a better and more sustainable world. 

Using relevant and real-time information, our provocations come in the form of daily tweets via the handle @bitesizeSDGs. We value up-to-date and trusted information to support learner-centered inquiry, and collaborate with a variety of people to bring this work to life; students, educators, and those beyond the field of education. We co-construct our tweets, valuing these multiple perspectives in order to push our thinking and deepen our understanding of the world and how it works. This process leads to continuous collaboration between our growing community of like-minded learners and keeps our project fluid. We aim for this work to reflect the fast pace of change in the real world. The simplicity of its design supports endless opportunities for authentic and meaningful learning, and we strive each day to stretch learning beyond facts and towards a rich and real-time 3D curriculum.

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE: @BitesizeSDGs is a platform to collaborate and leverage agency for action and drive positive change. Each tweet provides the opportunity to develop a learner-centered inquiry that addresses the biggest challenges the world faces. The provocations can be used across age groups and transcend isolated subject areas; instead, we are designing this work to be useful in any learning area: math, art, language arts, etc. In fact, we believe that the transdisciplinary nature of this work is key to unlocking a deeper understanding of the present world. 

Our project’s tweets spark curiosity via a variety of formats: they prompt readers to consider facts, offer questions for reflection, share resources, and illustrate thought-provoking quotes. We hope that as you read our tweets you are moved to act in some way or another – that you share your thinking, illustrate an experience, and, of course, keep asking questions! We believe this is an important way to drive agency and action in our community and beyond. And as you engage, we hope you’ll see your participation as an ongoing learning experience contributing to collective action – each tweet building to create a domino effect in support of overcoming our planet’s greatest challenges.

We are always looking to connect with new people whether you have experience using the SDGs or not. Your participation is welcome at any age, and you can dip into the provocations as deeply or shallowly as you’d like.

#BitesizedSDGs artwork created by Tim Black. Photo courtesy Tim Black.

Since getting started, we have enjoyed collaborating with educators in the National Geographic educator community. Here is a tip we shared from educator and National Geographic Educator Explorer Kelly Koller tied to SDG15 – Life on Land, which centers on protecting and restoring life on land.

Tim Black shared a tip from educator and National Geographic Explorer Kelly Koller tied to goal number 15, which centers on protecting and restoring life on land. Photo courtesy Tim Black.

WHEN YOU CAN JUMP IN: We think of learning as an ongoing journey, rather than simply a goal or product. Our project is a reflection of this and it’s designed to meet you where you are and welcome you as you are ready. It’s open enough to host a wide audience and focused on creating learning opportunities for us all. 

We believe that the world will be more successful as more people get involved in learning about and collaborating around the SDGs, and our project seeks to play a part in making that happen. We believe that, together, we can make the world a more sustainable, equitable, and better place and hope that you’ll join us.


WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN US: The SDGs reflect the world’s most urgent issues, and we believe that solving them will require thinking differently from the way we have done so far —  with the right support, and by working together, we believe that solutions are at our fingertips. By engaging with us, you will not only become familiar with the SDGs, you will have the opportunity to actively collaborate and engage in meaningful inquiry that fuels agency for action. 

We are eager to collaborate to enrich the @bitesizeSDGs learning journey and would like to encourage anyone interested to reach out, co-create with us, and join the conversation!

Feature image by Tim Black

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