For the past six months, I have been working in collaboration with the Ponheary Ly Foundation in Siem Reap, Cambodia. After repeated successes here with short ‘Tell Your Own Story’ workshops in 2011-12, I returned to develop and deliver digital literacy and media production curriculum to the PLF-sponsored high school students. It’s been an incredible 1/ 2 year of experimenting with teaching visual storytelling and internet skills to these students in a dusty, corrugated tin-roofed classroom. And, it’s lead to my next project: Global Citizen Media.
This past week, temperatures were over 42 degrees celsius (110 degrees fahrenheit), but it didn’t diminish the enthusiasm in the room as we published, student by student, their first WordPress-based websites and blogs. Before pressing ‘Publish’ on each account, I asked the student, “Are you ready to share your ideas with the world?” “Yes,” each one answered. And after pressing, ‘Publish’, the room erupted in cheers. And the look of pride on the students will stay with me for a lifetime.
What I’m doing is not difficult. It only requires meeting the students where they are. The are eager. They are ready. They are capable. They just need a little bit of education around the technology, effective storytelling, and understanding a global audience. No matter where I lead them, they follow, and exceed my expectations every time. More on that later, but for now, I am asking for your support:
I want to commit another year to training Cambodian teachers and developing production skills for these young Cambodians. I want to expand the project to other locations and participants. You can help by making a tax-deductible donation to Global Citizen Media on my IndieGogo campaign page. All donations directly support my work. Please share the video and IndieGoGo campaign with friends.
I’ve always known that teaching digital media production to any student in the world would provide them with an avenue for their voices. But after 5 years of teaching it, both in the United States and in developing countries, I’ve witnessed students gaining so much more. I wanted to somehow quantify what they have been learning. These are the 5 major literacies I seen students in Cambodia gain over the course of 6 months… Continue reading →
GUEST BLOG POST: SOUN SOTHY, Cambodian Teacher of English
In December of 2011, I met 20 year old Cambodian Soun Sothy in a workshop I conducted with the Ponheary Ly Foundation. Sothy has a passion for teaching and technology, and dreams of a future where he can harness technology to teach English to his young Cambodian students. In the new year, we will begin to experiment using iPads in his classroom.
In December 2011, I made my first video called Future Dreams and it showed about what I want for the future which is to become a computer teacher. However, now I teach English to grades five and six because I am studying at the English literature in university. It is my dream that I can teach both English and technology by using many aspects of technology Continue reading →
15 year old Nary Chun, a student in the Ponheary Ly Foundation sponsored ‘Media for All’ Media III class, has written her first blogpost about the students’ visit to the 2012 ASEAN BLogfest held in Siem Reap. I was SO PROUD of the students for mixing with bloggers from all over Asia.
On Sunday 4th November 2012, my media class went to the ASEAN BlogFest2012 conference at Build Bright University in Siem Reap. There are six students in my class and our ages range from 16 to 18. The BlogFest ran from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Teacher Diana Gross had arranged for us to leave from the Seven Candles guesthouse by bus at 8:30am. To get to the guesthouse, I had to get up at six o’clock and ride my bike for 1 hour…
After ten months of traveling, I have returned home to New York City and Baltimore to visit with family and friends, visit with schools with whom I’ve skyped during my travels, and get a slew of medical check-ups before heading back to Cambodia in October. I’m not going back to my Digital Thinking teaching and Technology Curriculum Coordinator position at Garrison Forest School. Instead, I’m going to continue on the road as a Global Educational Correspondent for Garrison Forest School while continuing to teach underserved students and communities in SE Asia and Africa how to harness digital media as a way to join the Global Discussion. I’ve left a steady paycheck, my house, a community of friends I love, and the comfort of the known. Yeah, there are moments I awake in the night and think, what AM I DOING?!… Continue reading →
Any long term traveler will tell you: Skype is a Lifeline to Home. Long gone are the days of expensive, barely audible overseas phone calls. Now, most travelers carry laptops with built-in cameras through which they can see and hear and laugh with their friends and family 1/2 way around the world. But, I was shocked recently by just exactly HOW FAR Skype could reach, and how effortlessly Second Graders born AFTER the invention of Skype could involve themselves in the process…