Category Archives: School

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Voices from the Border: Burmese Students in Thailand Begin a Video Workshop

While in a minivan taxi to the Malaysian border back in January, I met a fellow traveler from Spain. After sharing my experiences of teaching video production to students in Cambodia, Jose told me about a Spanish organization that collaborates with Burmese refugee schools in northern Thailand. Perhaps they might be interested in having some of their students participate in a similar project, he suggested. Several emails and two months later, I arrived in the border town of Mae Sot, home to an estimated 200,000 refugees, to meet with Mery Viladecas Pascua and Javier Garcia from Colabora Birmania about offering a ‘Tell Your Own Story Project” video workshop to students at School 42KM. 

The Students:

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Angklung, Baby! Sharing an Instrument in Malaysia, Thailand and the United States!

Recently, I wrote about the power of music to bring students together around the globe. I had just visited with Marching Band Students at the St. Xavier Institution in Penang, Malaysia. During my visit, the students treated me to a performance of the traditional Malaysian Angklung. It seems to have started an Angklung Playing Craze during the past few months…

It inspired Sparta Alpine School Band teacher Patricia Curtis to introduce her students to the Angklung.

Today, during my visit to the beautiful Settabutr Upathum Primary School in Bangkok, Thailand, I noticed an Angklung set in the music and dance room. Continue reading

Lady Gaga and the Universal Language of Music in Malaysia

Recently, Homa Tavangar of ‘Growing up Global’ asked me via Twitter my thought on how parents can raise “happy, informed global citizens”. I’ve had a myriad of answers to this question during the years, but Homa’s recent question has caused me to think about my experiences as I’ve traveled and interacted with global cultures. During my most recent school visit in Penang, Malaysia, an entirely new, and very exciting answer came to me…
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Digital Voices of the Cambodian Youth

During the past 3 months, I have occasionally pulled out the iPad2 that I had purchased with the hopes that students around the world would be able to produce videos entirely on this device. Although I’ve worked with teachers and students during the past 3 months, we haven’t really used the iPad very much. I’ve mostly pulled it out to use Photobooth or Camera apps to spontaneously record the wonderful people I’ve met. But two weeks ago, Ponheary Ly Foundation President Lori Carlson asked if I would conduct a short workshop with fifteen Chey School students. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to spend a couple of hours a day preparing the students.

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Students using XOcomputers

Bridging the Digital Divide in Cambodia

Months ago, I was telling my friend Charla about my trip and my desire to collaborate with teachers and students worldwide with the goal of bridging the growing Digital Divide. She gave me the contact info for Lori Carlson in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Last week, I arrived in Cambodia and fished Lori’s email address out of my backpack. After a brief email exchange, I tracked her down at the Ponheary Ly Foundation house to learn about her work with the local schools… Continue reading

TT in Mongolia

The “Metropolitan” Mongolia

Click on the Image to see Sükhbaatar Square in 360 degrees. How many construction cranes can you see?

I stood in front of Tsentuya’s English class at School 23 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia as she explained that I was a teacher visiting from the United States. After the quick introduction, I asked the students if they had any questions. A boy seated at the back of the room raised his hand, tilted his head, and inquired: “Before you came to Mongolia, what did you know about Mongolia?”

I laughed. He knew my story… Continue reading

School 1329, Moscow, Russia

More from Moscow!

Доброе утро!  (dohb-ruh-ee oo-truh)!

Good Morning!

Red Square (click on the photo to view 360 degrees!)

I have arrived in a new country, so am now able to begin posting some of my Russian Experiences. I am currently work on a video postcard, but in the meantime, who knows the answers to these Trivia Questions?:

1.  It is 8:00 is New York City. What time is it here in Moscow?

2. What is the currency in Moscow? How many ______ do you receive for 1 US dollar?

3. Russia is known for which type of dance? (HINT to the G-Girls of 2009-10: Ms. Gross took ONE class in this type of dance)

4. Shopping in Moscow — What American Fast Food “Restaurant” is popular here in Moscow? HINT: You can see it in this 360 degree photo.

Click on the image to see the Mall

For non-GFS students and teachers, leave your answers in the comments below by Monday, October 10th and be entered to win a Skyping session. Hope to see you soon on Skype!

Ms. Gross, The Traveling Teacher

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Hello from Moscow!

I have spent an excellent four days in Moscow. I was introduced by officials at UNESCO to School 1329. Everyone was so welcoming. I received a tour of the incredible building (including TWO swimming pools and a boxing arena) and met with an English class. I will post more when I arrive in my next country (I will be without internet until then). In the meantime, a message from the bright students at School 1329

See you next week!