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 →
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.
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… Continue reading →
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 →
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?”
Mongolia is divided into Aimags (Provinces). Early one morning, I went out to the Dragon Bus Depot to catch a bus to Bulgan Aimag, west of the capital Ulaan Baator.
Click on the image to see the Dragon Bus Depot in 360 degrees.
After a six hour bus ride, I arrived at the ger home of Mr. Byambatogtoh. The Byambatogtoh Family is a nomadic herding family that moves four times per year with the weather. The family owns 40 horses, 10 cows, 3 camels and 400 sheep and goats. When I arrived, I was welcomed traditionally with milk tea, sweets, and biscuits. Lunch was a delicious fresh noodle (I watched it being made!) and more tea. After lunch, I accompanied Mr. BYambatogtoh’s son to herd the camels on motorbike! We then rode the camels 14 kilometers to a Buddhist sacred space.
The next day, I traveled to the home of Mr. Otgonbayar. The family was wonderfully welcoming, and I enjoyed getting to know everyone: I spent the most time with the grandparents and children. While attempting to communicate with the sixty-two year old grandmother with a phrasebook, I shared photos on my iPad. I then showed her Photobooth. She LOVED seeing herself and playing with photobooth.
Sadly, after two days in the countryside, I became sick due to a lack of a sanitation system. It was a strong reminder of the importance of continued development work necessary around the globe. Watch the video for the ‘Reinvent the Toilet’ initiative that my good friend Sara is working on with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Currently, universities around the globe are working to develop toilets that can be functional without a water system. That’s Smart People doing Good Work!
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!
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