10 August 2010

TEDx and other good news

I don't know why, but the most fantastic things are happening right now! I got in touch with Norbu Jinpa, the admin for the TCV facebook group, and his response made my day. He is interested in my research and forwarded my message to his colleague, Phuntsok Dorjee, the TCV Head Office Computer Coordinator. According to Norbu, Phuntsok Dorjee is "the right person for [me] to do this research . . . he'll be pleased to accept [me] as research student and [t]o give [me] all necessary guidance and help." So what can I say? I'm looking forward to hearing from Mr. Dorjee!

In that facebook discussion I made several days ago, mentioned in my last post, the first person to respond brought to my attention the issue of the cost and maintenance of technology in TCV classrooms. I haven't spent much time thinking about this problem. According to Passang, most TCV schools do have an interactive media laboratory and internet-cafe. That combined with the fact that over 1000 people have joined this facebook group (most of them, I assume, are or have been students in a TCV school) makes me think that TCV students do have regular internet access, perhaps unlike the others of the community.

Here's a very interesting video featuring Brian Crosby, an elementary school teacher for 29 years, and his fourth grade class. Each student has a laptop and a blog, and the richness of their classroom experience (as demonstrated by one class project in the video) astounds me.

Mr. Crosby, reflecting on the class project, notes all that it accomplished: the students read and wrote to learn, to clarify and share, and to tell a story creatively. His students received feedback from all over the world, thus connecting globally and becoming globally aware. Their audience was authentic--some student blogs had over 100 comments which weren't simulated but from a genuine online community. They will likely remember this project because it was both exciting and fun, and they will thereby remember that which they learned and studied in the process.

I've learned from this video the enormous potential of technology in the classroom. Only three of these 24 students could name the country they live in when they came into the class yet as a class they learned remarkably well and even helped a classmate with leukemia.

With such splendid potential for the tech-savvy classroom, I wonder what can technology do for Tibetans?

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