What if students and teachers from around the world could work on projects together in real-time without ever leaving their classrooms? Pope Francis recently joined students in Australia, Cameron, Israel, Turkey and South Africa for a Hangout on Air to celebrate the launch of Scholasa new education initiative sponsored by the Vatican that aims to connect 500,000 schools across the world to enable e-learning and remote teaching using Google tools.


A social component of the platform uses Google Hangouts to connect students and teachers globally, so if students at a middle school in Ghana want to learn what it’s like to be a student their age in Peru, they can teach each other through an open and collaborative environment. Schools can also post shared projects on the platform, like the “40 Days of Hope” project by Seton Catholic High School, which aims to raise $3,000 to provide parasite medication and feed 40 people for a year in Nicaragua.

Later this year, Scholas will integrate more tools through Google Apps for Education and Classroom to create an even more personalized learning experience for each student. The Scholas platform aims to foster education through dialogue because when students can share and communicate openly, there’s no limit to what they can learn.