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 →
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 →
At the inception of my Traveling Teacher project, a core motivation was to see just how far mobile technologies could reach. If an iPad2 can hold a battery charge for 10 hours, is it possible to conduct iPad video workshops in remote villages where there was no electricity? Could the iPad and a little technology education be all that was needed to provide people living in remote regions of the world an opportunity to tell their own stories to the world, to add their voices to the Global Discussion? In late March, I was given the opportunity to find out: I was invited to travel to the far north of Thailand to the Mae La Oon Burmese refugee camp. After a week of preparations, I had secured a camp pass, hired a driver, and found myself staring out the dusty window of a Toyota 4WD, looking out at the scrub covered dry earth, pondering, once again, how many different experiences people in this world have. And how many different stories they have to tell…. 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…
Rodrigo Solórzano, international writer and music composer, joined the Traveling Teacher for a 5-day Tell Your Own Story Project at Burmese Refugee Primary School 42 near Mae Sot, Thailand. He led 8 students in a unique musical and digital photography project. He shares his experience with us…
It appears as a natural pact, an unbreakable edict: the bigger the pain, the bigger the appreciation for the simplest experience. 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 →
I am teaching myself how to build this site using WordPress. Right now, I’m testing out how Categories will manifest itself throughout the website by embedding a video from my Vimeo site. This video was created by Hallie A., one of my former 7th grade Digital Thinking II students for the end of the year project “Voices From Young Women“. This video makes me smile so much because Hallie successfully executed such an incredibly simple, yet poignant concept. I admire and will really miss my students as I travel! But,I hope to help students around the world create similar videos for the project.
So, back to scrapping and clawing my way through this WordPress site…
Although I teach technology, my strength is NOT in programming or building websites. I am very much a self-taught filmmaker and technologist. I also learn A LOT from friends, colleagues and, yes, strangers.
One of the most exciting things about the internet for me is the possibility of meeting, collaborating with, and learning from other people around the world. YES, there are dangers, and I am very much aware of how much information I share. But, the amount of How To video tutorials that exist amazes me. I was also fortunate to find the Baltimore WordPress Meetup where I met my friend Jim who got my learning off the ground. So, as I claw my way through building this site, I am still learning. There will be mistakes. What I’m saying is that if I can figure this website building stuff out, ANYONE can do it. Just start…
I leave for my travels in less than three weeks. Creating this site and just writing this blogpost is getting me so excited to start the trip. I’m really looking forward to the people I’ll meet and schools I will visit. I believe the traveling is going to show me a whole lot of beauty in this world.