The purpose of the Schools area is to increase school students understanding of the Silk Road and the educational problems that communities suffer from along it, by involving them in the journey and contributing limited content to classroom curriculums where possible.
The following resources are aimed to purely complement existing class content and offer students an exciting opportunity to connect with myself whilst on the Silk Road. This doesn’t pretend to be a full course, nor is it curriculum approved. However, it does aim to stimulate interest in geography, history and education and provide a resource that you are free to use at will.
Silk Road Wiki - The Wiki aims to complement existing classroom curriculums by providing additional information as well as the means for students to freely contribute to and change a living history of the Silk Road. This Wiki is run through the excellent Wikispaces initiative which offers students the chance to collaborate on projects, begin discussions and add comments. Access is open to all classes that register.
You might know that once there were many Silk Roads that led from Europe to Asia. Each one served its own purpose, took its own path or was influenced by the geography and geo-politics of the time. Riding for Education follows a lesser known trade route from India through Pakistan and onto the more well-known trade-routes across Northern China to Beijing. These routes form some of the poorest areas on Earth today and were chosen in part to grant intimate access to local communities in order to visit local schools and assess local education up close. More information on routes can be found here.
School Encounters - A large part of the appeal of this journey to me was always the ability to visit the schools of some of the poorest communities in Asia and be then able to talk about their plight. For all its past success and wealth, populations living along the Silk Road today are among the poorest on Earth due in large part to a lack of reliable education systems. The plight of the peoples along today’s Silk Road is slowly improving but many obstacles remain. The lack of an education system is an issue this section will help students understand more and hopefully provoke further interest.
Ask a Question - All questions submitted to the caravan through this page, will reach the caravan by satellite phone. As soon as a question is submitted, the system will alert the ride automatically and students should receive a reply within 5 days. When a reply has been posted, you’ll receive an email notification to that effect.
The Caravan - a constantly updated part of the ride’s website which contains information on the journey’s horses, camels and crew. Given the stresses of the geography, climate and distance involved, this section asks questions about each member of the caravan, challenges general perceptions and offers an interesting insight into the personalities of our caravan across China.
Route Map - a Google map dynamically tied into the ride’s journal through GPS. Every time an entry is made, a new point appears on the map, enabling students to see up-close the last known whereabouts of the caravan in specific detail. Entries are uploaded week-by-week by satellite phone from the road, usually every Monday.
Google Earth - By encompassing Google Earth within the scope of the ride, classes have the opportunity to bring the Silk road to life in 3D as well as have access to a tool with an unlimited number of educational possibilities.
Every week a new entry will be uploaded by satellite phone to the ride's servers which automatically update the Google Earth KML file on the page above. Not only can the ride's route be seen in full detail, but a number of Silk road sites including historic ruins and former/current settlements. This resource is especially intended to encourage student's interest in geography and history and to enliven lessens wherever possible.
R4E Diary - the R4E journal contains entries dating back to the very beginnings of R4E in November 2004. Linked to each article are photos, pod-casts and videos of the journey so far. This is included here mostly for reference to use as you see fit.
Share R4E - Help support this ride and its mission by placing the new R4E widget or banners on your class's website or blog. The widget is automatically updated every week whenever a new entry is uploaded to the R4E website, thus adding fresh content to your site and showing your support for the ride. If you'd like to help support R4E, three 'cut&paste animated banners are included on this page to place on your webpage and encourage others to subscribe or donate to the ride