GLOBAL CONNECTIONS & EXCHANGE: KYRGYZSTAN · PHILIPPINES · VIETNAMDIGITAL YOUTH DIALOGUE: KYRGYZSTAN Winter 2012 NewsletterIN THIS ISSUE:Students from Southeast Asia and the US Explore Daily Lifethrough PhotographyTeacher Brings her Class Online for Virtual Exchange, Thanksto GCERural US Students Meet Peers in Kyrgyzstan OnlineICT Training Helps Enhance Learning in Diverse SubjectsTeachers Take Part in US Embassy’s Professional DevelopmentWebinar SeriesTech Age Girls Alumni Launch Community Projects with SmallGrant FundingVideoconference Bridges Schools in Kyrgyzstan to DiscussUndergraduate Study Global Connections and Exchange is a program of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is administered by IREX in Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Digital Youth Dialogue is funded by the United States Embassy in Kyrgyzstan.
GCE & DYD Winter 2012 NewsletterKYRGYZSTAN · PHILIPPINES · VIETNAMStudents from Southeast Asia and the Alan Weintraut connected his journalism classUS Explore Daily Life through in Annandale, Virginia with groups in bothPhotography countries, in similar projects with 90 youth. “We do live similar lives; we both strive forIn February, the GCE program in Southeast Asia similar dreams, we set our academic life andlaunched its first round of online projects be- extracurricular activities as priorities, buttween the United States, Vietnam and the Philip- hanging out with friends is important aspines, connecting 650 students in 30 classes. well,” reported one of US students, who shared cultural photos in over 250 posts. Meanwhile, about 40 students between Yar- mouth, Maine and Cebu, Philippines made 150 posts on the same topic. Teacher Amy Sanders says that her students learned a lot during the “win-win” experience: “[They had] a range of observations - including their in- terest in how school days are different and their feeling that Filipino students really are a lot like them in terms of attitudes about school, hanging out with friends, etc.” During the third week of the project, students in Kan- Sanders plans to continue in another project sas and Chu Van An shared pictures of after school with a GCE Asia partner group in coming activities, like choir (above), and eating typical Viet- months, as IREX begins project setup for the namese dishes at a restaurant (below) second round of connections between the United States and Southeast Asia. In this first round of online projects, Twenty- eight students from Sabetha, Kansas and Chu Teacher Brings her Class Online for Van An, Vietnam shared photography of life in Virtual Exchange, Thanks to GCE their communities in 137 posts. The lead teacher in the US, Carol Spangler, integrated the activities into her French lessons, drawing The GCE program helps bridge the gap between connections between France and Vietnam’s students and teachers in the United States and history in the past as colonial Indochina. the Philippines, enabling students from across the globe connect, collaborate, and learn togeth- Spangler’s students also made presentations er online. For one teacher in the Philippines, on Vietnam using material from the discussion however, this program has also helped her better in class, and took part in a Skype conversa- connect with her own class. tion with their partners on March 8. “[My] kids are seeing Sabetha High School and the Senior science teacher Aileen Luab, of Zamboan- town of Sabetha with new eyes, thanks to ga del Sur National High School, is a first-time this opportunity,” shared Spangler. participant of online projects.
GCE & DYD Winter 2012 NewsletterKYRGYZSTAN · PHILIPPINES · VIETNAMLuab joined the GCE program after GCE Coordi- sion,” with Renee Day’s ten students from River-nator Maria Luisa Clapano visited her school on side, California, which began on February 8.Dec 5, and held a training for students and tenteachers on basic computer skills, online eti-quette and blogging. Rural US Students Meet Peers in Kyrgyzstan Online In the small rural town of Cambridge, Idaho (population 330), teacher James Moran has con- nected his four-student class with 14 peers in Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan in a project based on a discussion of current events. Though initially fo- cused on current events, it evolved into a natural discussion of each other’s cultures and lives across the 68 posts, culminating in a Skype con- versation on March 13. Topics during the classes’ forum-based discussions over the Educational Network and Skype centered on religion, food, and technology. Aileen Luab trains her students in posting during online projects at Zamboanga del Sur National High SchoolFor Luab, it has helped her better integrate tech-nology to promote learning at her school. In thepast, she only saw students using the computerlab at the school for Facebook with their friends.“But now, they have learned to blog and postpictures of their school events and other thingsthat they are involved in,” she shared. James Moran’s students connect with Aisulu Nurueva’s class in Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan at the Jalal-Abad PublicFor her, the learning to use the computer lab Library in Cambridge, Idaho’s first Skype converenceproductively during lessons has helped the teach- with Kyrgyzstaner better engage her students in 21st-centurylearning. “To be able to observe their improve- The students in Cambridge were pleased to learnments, seeing how this program is developing how many similarities they share with their peerstheir ability to interact with others, it’s very in Central Asia, despite their expectations; oneinspiring for a teacher.” of Moran’s tenth graders commented, “I couldn’t believe they had cell phones and iPods,” agree-Currently, Luab and her eight students are doing ing with a friend who noted that “The Kyrgyzstantheir first online project, “Current Events Discus- students spoke English extremely well.”
GCE & DYD Winter 2012 NewsletterKYRGYZSTAN · PHILIPPINES · VIETNAMMoran plans to continue his relationship with his to be ready for natural disasters and other emer-partners in Kyrgyzstan in new online project op- gencies, he is thankful for tools that make hisportunities and Skype conversations as the school teaching more effective. Since his training, Is-year continues. mailov shares that “The computer lab has be- come a place I frequent after lessons; now I can find materials for my class online, and search forICT Training Helps Enhance Learning images for visual aids.”in Diverse SubjectsIn addition to improving English language educa-tion throughout Kyrgyzstan, DYD is also assistingteachers in diverse subjects to modernize theirlessons, make teacher preparation more effi-cient, and better engage students in the class-room. Russian teacher Marina Sarkarova recently learned how to use PowerPoint and projectors in her classroom, saving her time, and improving student learning. Meanwhile, In Kyzyl-Kiya’s School No. 1, Russian teacher Marina Sarkarova began using new re- Military and Survival Skills educator Bahtiyar Is- mailov researches materials for his lessons at the sources from the internet following her participa- School No. 14 computer lab tion in GCE IT training.At DYD School No. 14 in Jalal-Abad, Bahtiyar Is- Sarkarova learned how to find Russian poetry,mailov, a Military and Survival class teacher, has author biographies, and electronic lesson materi-begun applying IT skills in delivering his curricu- als for her classes, and now knows how to assem-lum, after attending trainings in December 2011. ble them into reusable lessons with PowerPoint.The course lacks textbooks at his school, which “Since I started using these tools, the use of mymakes finding resources for preparation and in- time has become much more efficient,” sharedstruction difficult. Since learning how to use Sarkarova. Sarkarova’s training means that 80search engines from DYD, Ismailov now uses more students are being exposed to modern les-Google, Wikipedia and Kyrgyzstan’s Educational son approaches at School No. 1.Portal to collect materials and prepare assign-ments, and uses PowerPoint to deliver his les-sons. As the material is important for students toknow, giving them life-saving knowledge on how
GCE & DYD Winter 2012 NewsletterKYRGYZSTAN · PHILIPPINES · VIETNAMTeachers Take Part in US Embassy’s Tech Age Girls Alumni LaunchProfessional Development Community Projects with Small GrantWebinar Series FundingOn January 18, two GCE/DYD schools in the Jalal- In Kyrgyzstan, Alumni from the Tech Age GirlsAbad region gathered 24 English language teach- project’s 2010 and 2011 rounds applied for anders to take part in a US Embassy webinar, part of won funding from international organizations toa series teaching modern methodologies to Eng- implement community projects where they live.lish teachers throughout the country. This year, Basira Mir Mahabat of Kant, and Bu- rulsun Mademilova and Nazik Asranbekova, bothThe first lesson, “The Musical Classroom: Teach- from Naryn, won a total of $900 to help 30 indi-ing English with Tunes,” connected teachers with viduals with their work.US-based teacher trainers Jennifer Hodgson andKelli Odhuu, as the trainees learned how to ef-fectively use music and songs to teach languagein the classroom. Burulsun Mademilova leads a February training promoting democratic values in Kyrgyzstan’s youth In January, 24 teachers in Jalal-Abad took part in a In February, Mir Mahabat, a 2011 TAG alumna, webinar hosted by the US Embassy won her grant from the Soros Foundation in Kyr- gyzstan’s Youth Action Fund, which aims to in- spire and support dedicated youth who can mobi-“The session was of great importance to me. I lize and influence large numbers of their peers infound out how to use music properly so that kids promoting the ideals of open society.will not just relax during the lesson, but alsolearn with greater desire.” commented Nargiza Mir Mahabat’s project, “Lend a Helping Hand,” isMamasydykova, English language teacher at going to work towards this goal at an orphanageSchool No. 1 in Jalal-Abad. in Kant: her project plans to provide training in leadership and teambuilding for the children, as well as knowledge of platforms for communica- tion, networking and expression such as email,
GCE & DYD Winter 2012 NewsletterKYRGYZSTAN · PHILIPPINES · VIETNAMsocial media, and publishing through blogs. Mir another region,”Mahabat expects to reach about 15 or more youth shared Nazgul Abdyk-at the facility, when she implements it this sum- erimova from schoolmer. Reflecting on her achievement, she shared, No. 7 in Naryn.“Thanks to [TAG] I have applied and successfullywon the grant. I can share my knowledge and Thanks to the train-skills with the students from the orphanage, be- ing and internet con-cause the kids there are very talented.” nection provided by Students in Naryn and Karakol take part in a Skype GCE, teachers areMeanwhile in Naryn, TAG alumni Burulsun discussion on upcoming now able to giveMademilova and Nazik Asranbekova, won a small undergraduate opportunities their students moregrant from the International Foundation for Elec- access to informationtoral Systems (IFES), totaling $200, available to and contact with peers setting out on similarformer participants in IFES’ Democracy Camps, of journeys as themselves.which Mademilova was one. At the camp,Mademilova and her peers studied democraticgovernments and values, and learned the crucialleadership, teamwork, citizenship, advocacyskills and knowledge necessary to promotehealthy democracies. Her participation in the Contact us!camp gave her skills which helped her in design-ing a clear and successful project.In February, Mademilova and Asranbekova imple- On Social Media:mented their project for 15 participants, repli-cating the training they received during the IFESDemocracy Camp to these additional youth. @GCEKyrgyzstanVideoconference Bridges Schools inKyrgyzstan to Discuss Undergraduate fb.me/GCEKyrgyzstanStudyOn December 2, GCE organized a Skype call fortwenty-five 11th grade students from School No.7 in Naryn and Satylganov School in Karakol, todiscuss university choices they have in the up- Program Pages:coming year. During the call, they covered differ-ences between institutions, application dead-lines, and scholarship opportunities. bit.ly/GCEAsia“This call was a great activity for exchanging in- IREX.ORG bit.ly/GCEKyrgyzstanformation on undergraduate school with peers in