STUDENT BLOG: Media Class Visits ASEAN BlogFest 2012

Nary Chun reports from Cambodia about a blogfest that students recently attended.

My media class went to the BlogFest because we wanted to know more about Facebook, websites, blogging and how to use them. This is because we really like to study media and want to be able to write a blogpost. In the future, media can help us to have a good job. All the students in the media class want to connect tothe Internet, because we want the people around the world to know us

The students learnt more about a range of web topics including Wikipedia and web design.

 

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Post-Gaddafi Higher Education in Libya

emelieloeb takes a look at Libyan universities, noting changes in freedom of expression for students but is unable to find signs of radical change in sharing of ideas and learning practices. She wonders about the connections between those who opposed to Gaddafi who now expect educational positions as highlighted by a professor in Tripoli.

A year is a relatively short time compared to the extent of Gaddafi’s rule. It is only natural that students would like their educational institution to reflect the political change of their nation, but it will take Libya many years to see all of the changes that students are craving.

It will be interesting to see what students continue to do to encourage change in the educational systems.

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Christchurch youth have a word on education changes

Sam Cruickshank reports on a protest in Christchurch, New Zealand by 2000 students who don’t want their current education to change and want an end to school closures or mergers.

The deputy pro-vice-chancellor at Canterbury University’s College of Education, Lindsey Conner, said the mental health impact of the quakes was already being felt, but the Government’s announcement would exacerbate problems.

“Things will shift from being a physical uncertainty [since the quakes] to more of a psychological uncertainty with the schools announcement, and parents will have to bear in mind that their anxiety is transferred to children,” she said.

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Democracy and Education matter

In a powerful post, Alma de Colibri reflects on how the powerlessness of her students has resulted in apathy towards changing education and having a say in that change. She notes that students have little say say in how their education is structured and points to systematic failings that result n continuous poverty and oppression.

We tell students not to limit their imagination, yet we paint a pretty dim picture for them; we tell students they can be anything they want to be in life, yet we dictate what they have to learn; we tell them they must be problem solvers, yet we give them pretty scripted lessons and provide scaffolding for the scaffolding; and we tell students to take responsibility for their decisions, yet they get very little opportunity to make decisions and use critical judgment

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What the students say 2012

The CantaNet eLearning community CantaNet is a community of twenty one schools in rural Canterbury, Otago and Marlborough who engage in eLearning and continue to explore innovative ways online learning can provide a more personalised approach to learning.

They have published a presentation of students thoughts on their experiences, including

VC classes are a good way of learning how to self-manage and to be self-reliable, I guess being able to self-manage myself gave me a great advantage in this course and that’s why I enjoy it…it’s sometimes more helpful than face-to-face classes

the presentation

Moving toward project based learning—part 1: the frustration

Quantum Progress blog reflects on the problem solving of the students during semester, who became excellent at creating, describing, exploring and solving problems; but wonders about the relevance of the problems.

Here was the culminating moment of my class, the final exam, and the student seemed to equate it with one giant pointless problem sandwich. Sure the problem was fun, but is there any meaning to this work? Does the student even have a basis to judge whether individual parts of the problem make physical sense? Where are the things I thought I cared about, like teaching students to put their physics to use to ask questions about the world around them, and to critically evaluate the answers they find? These failings do not belong to this student—they belong to me

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Oak Hills Works to Incorporate 21st Century Learning

Bryan Bullock describes a pilot across some of Oak Hills schools to incorporate further use of technologies which has excited both the students and teachers. They have created a vision for learning using technologies, across the district

The district has online classes, blended learning, wireless access in every building and a bring-your-own-device-to-school policy. Oak Hills, which recently was featured in EdTech magazine, has established itself as a leader in using education technology and is actively working to help other districts learn from its experience. Superintendent Todd Yohey said the Cincinnati district of 7,700 students gets visitors from other districts each month inquiring about high-tech initiatives.

Another interesting feature of the pilot has been encouraging students who have become eLearning Consultants !

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Learning how to be citizens in a digital world

Rebekah Madrid shares a wonderful video in her post that she created about her students’ responses to what they thought digital citizenship means. She shares how she has learnt about Japan and Japanese culture and finds similarities to learning about digital culture. She notes that her students are learning about the internet by observing and making mistakes.

We want our students to make connections between online space and offline space (be nice to others, we are a community, don’t steal). But the internet has it’s own rules and language. Our kids are starting to understand it, but it is not a smooth path all the time. We teach the digital citizenship because it’s a new space and culture for them to experience. Our students will make mistakes, but as a new citizens of this digital world, they are getting it

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How Should Education be Transformed? (Guest Post at Co-operative Catalyst by Occupy High Students)

Occupy High students share their thoughts on how education should be changed.

There is no explicit curriculum to help a teacher instruct for a year about public education. Perhaps because in doing so, the teacher wants to avoid engaging students in metacognitive strategies every class of every day. Perhaps because we don’t believe that students can engage in the discussion about transforming education. Perhaps because, if we opened this can of worms, we would be admitting defeat every lesson in which we question the direction of what we are doing.

I believe it is time to open this can of worms pedagogically. The only snag is that we have convoluted public education so much so that it is impossible to limit the scope of such a curriculum. Do we create experts with knowledge an inch deep and a mile wide or would we rather have these students have surface knowledge of everything without expertise? What are we doing?

The students present their thoughtful responses highlighting the need for student voices to be heard in any process that looks to transform education.

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