GCE DYD April newsletter
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  • 1. >> Global Connections & Exchange Digital Youth Dialogue << APRIL 2011DYD is a program of the United States Embassy in Kyrgyzstan. GCE is a program of the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
  • 2. IN THIS ISSUE: www.irex.org>> Global Connections & Exchange: >> Digital Youth Dialogue: Deputy Minister of Education The Internet Connects Now Online, Using Skype to Librarians from Ukraine and Keep in Contact with School Kyrgyzstan Directors Jalal-Abad Library Hosts GCE Teacher Plays Important Presentation to Celebrate Role in Organizing 8th Annual Website Launch FORUM Conference Students of Gagarin School Schools in Kyrgyzstan Con- Launch their First School nect withTesting Expert on Newspaper Skype, Get Advice on University Entrance Exams Unemployed Individuals Im- prove Their IT Skills at Jalal- Talas Students Make Virtual Abad Library Training Connections, Face to Face Teachers are Learning New ICT Skills Thanks to DYD Stu- Karakol School Conducts dents Seminar for Rural Teachers on Using ICT in the Classroom Thanks to GCE-provided In- ternet Connection, Sixteen Satylganov Students Win at Regional Olympiad
  • 3. www.irex.org sues taking place in Kyrgyzstan’s schools; [usingDeputy Minister of Education Now Skype] saved time, as many issues can be dis-Online, Using Skype to Keep in Contact cussed and solved over video conferencewith School Directors [technology].”On April 5, Deputy Minister of Education Gulzhigit Talas School No. 2 director Uvarkin agreed, notingSoronkulov took part in his first IT training session that “[Using] Skype calls can help us get directwith IREX staff members Akjol Joroev and and accurate information from the Deputy Minis-Tynchtyk Zhanadylov. Soronkulov learned how to ter; Skype is a very effective tool to help us solveuse Gmail and Skype to stay in touch with school problems at our schools.”directors around the country. GCE Teacher Plays Important Role in Organizing 8th Annual FORUM Conference This March, GCE participants and staff attended FORUM’s 8th Annual Conference held in Talas that hosted 140 participants from across Kyrgyzstan. This year’s conference theme was “Using Technol- ogy to Enhance Education,” proposed by GCE teacher and FORUM Branch Coordinator Rakiya Deputy Minister of Education Soronkulov uses Skype to discuss school issues with Kamchibekova, to highlight how information tech- directors nology can improve teachers’ effectiveness and give students greater opportunities to learn.Following his lesson, the Deputy Minister put hisnew skills into practice, and placed a video call toschool directors Evgeniy Uvarkin, of School No. 2in Talas, and Yury Vasiliev, of School No. 2 in Ky-zyl-Kiya. During the call, the three discussedschool Olympiads, teachers’ salaries, and theFORUM conference which was recently hosted inTalas.Deputy Minister Soronkulov was pleased with thetechnology helping him to more effectively carry GCE Training Officer Tynchtykout his duties: “Skype allowed me to hold discus- Zhanadylov presents about GCE at the 8thsions with school directors about educational is- Annual FORUM Conference 1
  • 4. www.irex.orgKamchibekova played an important role in the formation on the examination, including resultsevent’s organization: she helped coordinate the from previous years and practice materials. Fol-hosting of participants in Talas, and took part in lowing the call, students were able to ask furtherthe planning and logistics for the Conference. questions via hotline numbers provided on the site. Aizada Tynchybek kyzy, a student in attendance,GCE Training Officer Tynchtyk Zhanadylov demon- found the call informative: ...We got lots of newstrated GCE’s online projects and videoconfer- information on how to take the test successfully,ences with U.S. schools during his presentation. and learned where to find all the necessary infor-He also introduced participants to Kyrgyzstan’s mation. Before [this call], I did not know the dif-Educational Network (link) and gave a tutorial on ference between the national examination andhow to launch a school website using the free the test prepared by this center…”Google Sites platform.Kamchibekova took a moment to express herthoughts on the work that went into the event’ssuccess: “It was a great challenge to organize thisconference in Talas, but I am glad that the par-ticipants were able to make it happen.”Schools in Kyrgyzstan Connect withTesting Expert on Skype, Get Adviceon University Entrance Exams School No. 14 Students in Jalal-Abad during Skype call with the Center for Edu- cational Assessment and Teaching MethodsOn four dates in April, 16 teachers and 170 stu-dents from Digital Youth Dialogue (DYD) and Glob- Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Education and Scienceal Connections & Exchange (GCE) program schools recently decreed that students must pass this testparticipated in a Skype call with Chinara Batra- to attend university in the country; as a result ofkeeva, Media Specialist of the Center for Educa- this call, these students will be more informed,tional Assessment and Teaching Methods (CEATM). and more prepared.The call was organized so students could ask ques-tions about the National Scholarship Test, de-signed to gauge students’ preparedness for uni- Talas Students Make Virtualversity study and make access to higher educa- Connections, Face to Facetion more equal, basing admissions off concreteassessment results. In April, 60 students at GCE partner School No. 2 in Talas took part in a video conference call withWhile giving advice on how best to prepare for the students at Del Valle High School in Deltest, Batrakeeva directed students to Valle, Texas. The call was organized through thewww.testing.kg, an online source of detailed in- United States Peace Corps’ World Wise Schools 2
  • 5. www.irex.orgCorrespondence Match Program (link) and was Karakol School Conducts Seminar formade possible through the internet connectivityprovided by GCE. Students in Talas have sent Rural Teachers on Using ICT in theabout 30 email messages to their counterparts in ClassroomTexas, and have received back more than 50 sincetheir correspondence began, all of which were On April 12, Satylganov School English teacherswritten in English, providing students with crucial Akylbek Kojobekov, Samara Janybekova, GCEpractice of their language skills. Additionally, Teacher Exchange Alumna Aizat Omurbaeva, andtheir call gave the students in Talas the chance to Peace Corps Volunteer Jennifer Isely conductedpractice understanding and conversing with native demonstration lessons and a seminar for 23 Eng-speakers – something they can’t do at home. lish teachers from rural communities in the Issyk- Kul oblast. The teachers showcased the different ways that ICT can be integrated into a language lesson to benefit students’ learning. The trainers showed how to integrate research via Google into language lessons, and how to use PowerPoint as a flash card and vocabulary presentation tool. The trainers held a seminar for the attending edu- cators on integrating ICT and communicative methodology into their lessons, showing how these practices can save time, increase engage- ment, and improve their lessons overall. Students at Talas School No. 2 greet a peer at a Tex- as school for the first timeJibek Tursunkulova, a tenth grade student, sharedher appreciation for exchanges like this in helpingto improve her educational opportunities:“[During online exchanges], I have had the chanceto practice my English and it helped me preparefor the TOEFL test…. I got fourth place and anaward from the Republican Olympiad! I also wasaccepted to an exchange program in the UnitedStates, and I am writing to my penpals in Texas – On April 12, a GCE Teacher trains hermaybe I can meet them when I go to the USA!” colleagues on ICT integration in the classroom at Satylganov School 3
  • 6. www.irex.orgAinura Sarybay kyzy, a teacher in attendance, Azim Kadyraliev, the winner during the chemistryshared that “I liked this seminar very much; I competition, shared that “I am very glad that Ilearned a lot of new and useful things, like how could use the internet to prepare for the Olympi-to use PowerPoint – I see how using technology ad. Reviewing chemical experiments online was acan save time and make lessons more interesting great way to learn. I will continue to work; victo-for learners.” ry comes to those who work hard.”Thanks to GCE-provided InternetConnection, Sixteen Satylganov StudentsWin at Regional OlympiadThanks to the internet connection available intheir computer lab, sixteen students from Satyl-ganov School, Karakol became winners of the re-gional Olympiad. In the past, students preparedfor the Olympiads every year using only old text-books. Today, the skills the students developedduring training and lessons given by GCE teachershelped them to effectively use web resources to Begimai Tilekmat kyzy of Satylganov School, takes ado research and be better prepared. break from studying — she is one of sixteen winners at the recent Regional OlympiadThe students were proud of their achievements;several spoke about what helped them get thisfar, and what will help them as they move for-ward to the next round of competition:Begimai Tilekmat kyzy winner in the ComputerSkills Olympiad shared, “I used the internet a lotto prepare! My achievement was thanks to theGCE program.”Nursultan Shakitov, a winner at the Algebra com-petition said, “Next month I will go to the Repub-lican Olympiad and I am sure I will continue pre-paring with online materials. The sites I found on[Kyrgyzstan’s] international mathematics Olympi-ads and the National Olympiads on mathematicswere very helpful to win in a strong contest.” 4
  • 7. www.irex.org work,” remarked Konashko after the call. “WeThe Internet Connects Librarians from look forward to further cooperation.”Ukraine and KyrgyzstanOn April 21, 11 participants from Kyrgyzstan par-ticipated in their first international video-conference with their colleagues from MolodayaGvardia Library (Young Guard), in Kiev, Ukraine.The video conference brought together librariansand directors of Jalal-Abad Oblast library, CentralKyzyl-Kiya Library, and Alay Central Library, as Molodaya Gvardia Library directorwell as Rosa Sultangazieva, Director of Republican Galina Konashko greets her peers in KyrgyzstanChildren’s and Youth Library and Head of Library& Informational Consortium of Kyrgyzstan. Prior The Librarians from Kyrgyzstan greatly enjoyedto video-conference, participants from Kyrgyzstan their first international video conference: "Wevisited the library’s website and compiled ques- have received useful information on using tech-tions they were interested in to. Galina Konash- nology and how the library staff develops theirko, Director of Molodaya Gvardiya Library, then computer and Internet skills by reporting andaddressed those questions during the conference working with projects. We will definitely usecall. Questions that interested librarians from Kyr- their experience in improving [our] library ser-gyzstan ranged from the type of methods their vice” said Seyilkan Atalieva, director of the Jalal-counterparts use when working with youth to Abad Library.their experience working with people with disabil-ities as well as what methodological assistance Thanks to the internet connection provided by theMolodaya Gvardia provides to other libraries. US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan through Digital Youth Dialogue program, librarians in Kyrgyzstan canKonashko spoke about how her library works, what now communicate with their colleagues abroadtype of outreach activities they conduct in order and exchange information that will help make li-to attract Kiev youth to the library, which types brary services better and relevant to their pa-of events that they offer, and which methods and trons. Participants both from Kyrgyzstan andactivities they use to partner with different or- Ukraine seeing benefit of such an exchangeganizations in the area of education and youth. agreed to continue their virtual meetings andShe mentioned that constant intensive training for sharing information and next conference call islibrary staff is needed and has increased her em- planned to take place in May.ployees’ skills. All Molodaya Gvardia library staff "We are glad to have this online dialogue; I likeduse the computer and other technology in their their work with mass media and how effectively theywork. "Our first video conference experience was involve [it] in their librarys work… We will also try to get some experience from their work and will im-effective and I can see that library employees in prove the work of our library too."Kyrgyzstan know their job and understand theimportance of technology in advancing libraries’ — Shakarkan Maksutova, Director of Kyzyl-Kya Library 5
  • 8. www.irex.orgJalal-Abad Library Hosts Presentation to Students of Gagarin School Launch theirCelebrate Website Launch First School NewspaperOn April 4, the Jalal-Abad Oblast Library held an Following training by DYD on how to get a journal-event for all branches of their library and employ- ism club started, students at Gagarin school inees announcing the library’s website launch. The Isfana just launched their school’s first newspa-presentation, held by DYD librarians Ulan Jaichiev per. Elnur Mavliankul uulu, who currently servesand Sveta Krasovskaya and their director Seyil as the leader of the journalism club, worked withAtalieva, aimed to introduce the new website and his peers to make the paper a reality.explain to users how it will benefit them in theirsearch for information about the library’s ser-vices, operations, and history. The site is record-ing more hits every day since its launch in April,and is now working with branch librarians to teachthem how to develop their own web presences.DYD librarian Krasovskaya shared her thoughts onthe website: “Our website is the face of our insti-tution, where visitors can view all of the achieve- Gagarin School recently published their school’s first newspaperments that have contributed to our image. Theexchange of information through this new method For the first issue of Interkosmo, named in honorincreases our reach to attract new patrons. In of the Cosmonauts, the first of whom is theirworking on this website, our staff improved their school’s namesake, the students did their ownskills, gained new knowledge, and developed fur- research to create an article on the historic figurether as a team.” Link: Jalal-Abad Oblast Library Alay Queen Kurmanjan Datka as a larger piece. The students also made sure to include all the sections to be expected of a newspaper, even a sports section. They created the newspaper using Microsoft Publisher after receiving training on the software through DYD. Teachers have caught on to their work, as well: Jarkinay Alykulova, a Kyrgyz language teacher at Gagarin, expressed her impressions from the stu- dents’ hard work: “I was excited to help them work on their ideas, and provided some consulta- tion on good writing in Kyrgyz. I think their paper will be an excellent platform for sharing stu- Patrons from three generations take a look at dents’ ideas, and to promote our school’s web the Jalal-Abad Oblast Library’s new website presence as well.” 6
  • 9. www.irex.orgUnemployed Individuals Improve Their engines like Google, and learned how to create presentations using Microsoft’s PowerPoint soft-IT Skills at Jalal-Abad Library Training ware. The participants also learned how to print, communicate over Skype and instant messagingOn April 10, nine unemployed community mem- programs, and how to compose and send email.bers attended a training session on computer ba-sics and the internet at the Jalal-Abad Oblast Li- Nazgul Osmonova, a participant in the trainingbrary. All the attendees hold degrees from higher sessions, holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics.education institutions, but due to economic and After taking the course for two weeks at the Jalal-skill set circumstances, have yet to find perma- Abad Library, she found a vacancy in Kyrgyzstannent work. They attended these training sessions with the French NGO ACTED, and submitted anto improve their chances and their abilities for electronic copy of her CV, which she learned howthe future job hunt, as at present many careers to make at the training. She says, “Today, myare linked to computer skills. dream is to become a good business manager to work on projects. To meet that goal, I learned toAs many of these youth lack sufficient computer create a resume and will improve my computerskills and the opportunity to practice, turning to skills and knowledge; I hope to get a better jobthe library was a natural option when they discov- with my new skills!”ered that it started offering these services sincepartnering with DYD.During the training, they developed new compe- Teachers are Learning New ICT Skillstency and confidence in using Microsoft Word, Thanks to DYD Studentsperforming basic research on the web with search Tech Age Girl (TAG) Shahnoza Zokirova and DYD student Muhiddin Yuldashev conducted a training for their teachers in the American Resource Cen- ter at Chingiz Aitmatov School in Osh. Zokirova and Yuldashev trained their teachers on internet and computing basics, including productivity with the Microsoft Office Suite, using email, conduct- ing web research, and finding news online from local and national websites like 24.kg and Ferga- na.ru. During the training, teachers were also directed to bilimkeni.kg, Kyrgyzstan’s Educational Portal, where they were able to read about new lesson Jalal-Abad Public Library is offering IT training to the unemployed, above, who are learning skills in comput- plans, educational news in Kyrgyzstan, and partic- er basics and the internet ipate in discussions on the teaching profession. As 7
  • 10. www.irex.orga practical and creative outlet, the teachers weregiven an assignment to compose their own Power-Point presentations on a subject of their choosing.Before long, they were successfully working withthe programs across the whole Office suite, im-pressing their students at what adept learnersthey were.For the teachers, however, developing these skillsis not a hobby, but a crucial element in their on-going professional development. Zamira Djuraeva,a Russian language teacher in attendance, noted“We [teachers] need to study the computer evenmore than students; we must learn how to mod-ernize our lessons and make them more relevantwith new technology.” Students teaching teachers at a computer and internet basics training at the American Re- source Center 8