Closing the gap on aboriginal education

Brian Tompson writes about the exclusion of indigenous students and communities in education. He explains how teachers have looked at issues such as misbehaviour and absenteeism and attributed a lack of achievement against an indigenous label.

If we are to help our students learn then we need to look at student-centred classrooms and learning techniques that encourage learning. It is recognised that Aboriginal students learn best by doing rather than by theory. Neil Harrison recognises that students learn by imitating others (Harrison 2011). Teachers need to differentiate their teaching methods which include avoiding the overuse of textbooks and provide authentic learning experiences which deal with real life situations or themes that students can relate to.

He stresses the role of collaboration with the local communities and parents in developing a meaningful education and have a more informed cultural awareness, moving away from textbooks and other formal learning materials

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Education cannot be global… at least in the sense of global citizenship education

Nielkat takes a look at the words internationalization, marketisation, globalization and reflects on how these can get used interchangeably, in spite of the differences in learning outcomes. The post reviews the differences in global citizenship education and it relevance to university students and outlines how research has outlined a north / south divide where students are attracted to studying in the north.

education programs are designed to inculcate this mindset and to encourage students (as they become adults) to participate in this global society in proscribed ways. This is frequently manifested in the literature of international student mobility, where it is assumed that students will come to the global North to learn, and then return home to share what they have learned with others because such programs are unavailable in the global South, at least to the same calibre

The post highlights how stakeholders in global citizenship education can be seen to be imposing their own views at the detriment of a wider, more open discussion.

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Two classes meet via Skype

Kerry Muste blogs about the Crazy Crazes project with gives South African students the opportunity to connect with students from around the world sharing their experiences via a wiki.

The project has resulted in a whole lot of learning not only for the students but also for me as I have never used a wiki. I have also learnt to use Youblisher to showcase the students’ work about our town and school and VoiceThread to allow the other classes to hear us singing the National anthem.

She describes the excitement of being able to connect with other students via Skype,

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Digital technologies in the operating theatre

Anna Waring discusses an ongoing study where they are looking at the use and impact of digital technologies for students learning to perform operations and experienced surgeons sharing knowledge about their experiences. She features laparoscopies:

The view that is picked up by the laparoscope is then magnified and projected onto screens around the operating table (see Figure). Surgeons can record the laparoscopic view, allowing them to replay the operation afterwards, for instance to reflect on how the operation went or to demonstrate to trainees and patients how a procedure is done. Edited versions of these recordings are sometimes disseminated through Youtube and other platforms, with running commentaries added to the visuals

She provides examples of how video can be used for investigating surgery, learning how to make decisions, learning gestures for operating safely on patients and the effect on the theatre as a learning space.

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Preparing e-learning online

Anne Fox reflects about the UnderstandIT project which has recently been completed in Europe. The project explored possibilities and spaces for elearning developers and designers to create eLearning by collaborating online – using a method known as ConCurrent Design. She provides a diagrams of the sessions plan.

The UnderstandIT project used the previously developed VITAE vocational training course to test out distributed CCeD with partners from Denmark, Norway Lithuania Italy, Germany and Portugal.

They have delivered a range of outcomes including an online tool for making a business plan and a proof of concept using ELGG

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Samsung Solar Powered Internet Schools Bring Technology-Based Education to Africa

Anna Rudenko reports on an innovative program which allows the provision of educational initiatives in rural areas that have high levels of poverty. They have converted old shipping containers into solar powered areas where children can learn.

Such 12-meter classrooms can “accept” up to 21 learners at one time, who get access to technology behind their new desks—for many of the students, it’s the first time they can use computers and surf the web and get access to the educational content. For the initiative, Samsung has teamed up with local teachers, content developers and school administration to create programmes to deliver maximum effect using a range of technological devices, ranging from 50-inch electronic board (which allows video conferencing, distant learning, etc.) to solar-powered notebooks with an Internet connection, Samsung Galaxy tablets and Wi-Fi cameras.

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Africa – Incubators and Tech Hubs : A Young Professionals Key to ICT Entrepreneurship

Karen Triquet summarizes recent initiatives which have provided platforms for students to connect with other entrepreneurs and share knowledge. An infographic on the blog shows how everything can become connected through the community. She profiles Afrilabs which include iHub – Kenya, Hive Colab – Uganda, ActivSpaces – Cameroon, BantaLabs – Senegal, NaiLab – Kenya, MEST – Ghana, iceAddis – Ethiopia, Co-Creation Hub – Nigeria, iLab – Liberia, RLabs – South Africa, BongoHive – Zambia, Malagasy i-Hub – Madagascar, m:Lab EA – Kenya, Wennovation Hub – Nigeria.

She includes videos of iHub in Kenya.

Education and Employment are ways of fighting poverty, and these internet HUBs are a way of increasing access to it as well as linking individuals potential to wider audience-more global.

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StoryBook Adventure – Connecting Children from Portugal and South Africa Through Global Literacy

Denise Ortiz writes a brief blog post about the opportunity for 7th grade students at the Carlucci American International School of Lisbon to connect with students in Makahlule Village, South Africa.

We collected photos and gathered information on children in the village and then sent that over to Lisbon, where the children were learning how to write fiction

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Re-thinking rural education: Bringing the outside world to a village

Aun posts about the village where they grew up in a rural area of Pakistan where basic infrastructure was not available and only a very basic education is available other than to those who have rich parents and go to school in the city. They point out how difficult it is without lack of resources and the challenges that many of the village families face resulting in high dropouts. Aun has an exciting plan for next month, travelling from Toronto back to the village:

This time, I am not going to be doing much talking. Instead, I will let the projector, hooked up to internet, show these children all they want to know about the world that is still alien to them. The children are going to be shown a few visual documentaries and a couple of movies to get them excited about the prospects of learning they will have available to them.

The internet and projector can not only be used to educate these children but can also help in trainings for women & men in the village. For example, we can have virtual classes where someone sitting in Canada or anywhere else in the world teaches women in the village a skill or an art. I believe all of us have a unique touch, a talent. Some of us are lucky enough to have the conductive environment that allows us to discover, realize and use our talents. Unfortunately, most of the times these talents and special skills go unnoticed.

Aun welcomes suggestions for how to make this happen, so if you can spare a few minutes…

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OLPC Applications in Burkina Faso

ecowle from Tulane University reviews the status of the OLPC program in Burkina Faso. There was a workshop held in 2008 but the outcome of the discussions was that OLPC was not appropriate to be integrated at that time.

The OLPC would not be useful in Burkina Faso for many reasons. Foremost the current infrastructure, i.e. bad connectivity, lack of energy, etc., could not support the OLPC. There are no resources available for technical maintenance of the laptop, and there are other problems within the educational sector that are much more pressing (lack of school rooms and bad working conditions for teachers).

The post also reflects on the importance of learning practices and methods in addition to technological considerations

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