Digital Youth Dialogue_newsletter_march 2011


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Digital Youth Dialogue_newsletter_march 2011

  1. 1. >> Digital Youth Dialogue March News & Winter Camp Debrief Digital Youth Dialogue (DYD) is a program of the United States Embassy in Kyrgyzstan.
  2. 2.>> In this Issue DYD Helps Bring New Training After Hard Days’ Work, Sessions to Kyrgyzstan’s Campers Meet with Schools Television Leaders in Kyr- gyzstan, See Bishkek’s Media Students Use IT Skills to Outlets with Their Own Eyes Research for Cultural Event Returning to Their Homes, Teachers Learn New Presen- DYD Winter Camp Partici- tation Approaches Using pants Begin Their Next Steps High-Tech Tools to Apply Their Skills in Their Communities DYD Libraries Provide New Knowledge, Opportunities for Community Members DYD Students Discuss Tough Issues During International Jalal-Abad Educator Uses Women’s Day Internet at Local Library to Enrich Lessons Librarians Using New IT Skills to Inform Patrons of Library Services Students from Across Kyrgyzstan Travel to Bishkek to Develop Skills, Start Citizen Journalism Clubs in Their Communities Day Two: From Students to Journalists, Photographers, Leaders, and Peacemakers 2
  3. 3. Since Kasymov began his lessons for faculty and IT Training at Schools students, enthusiasm has only grown for technol- ogy. Aiturgan Kamal kyzy, a student at Abdyshev DYD Helps Bring New Training School, shared that ―I got valuable information Sessions to Kyrgyzstan’s Schools from the internet, thanks to the DYD program.” Abdyshev’s administration is just as enthusiasticFollowing his return from the Digital Youth Dia- about the new technology training program; “Ilogue (DYD) Training of Trainers in Bishkek on was pleasantly surprised by his initiative to con-January 8, 2011, Gulcho village’s Abdyshev school duct this training,” shared Adbyshev School direc-IT teacher Omurzak Kasymov has begun conduct- tor Altyn Moldokulova. ―I would encourage all ouring a series of training sessions for teachers and teachers to [take advantage] of these opportuni-students on basic computing skills and how to in- ties at work.”tegrate technology into the classroom. Meanwhile, in Jalal-Abad, students at School- Lyceum No. 14 are using the internet to research information to complete their school assignments. Students used to have to rely on obsolete text- books for their English lessons, but now that Digi- tal Youth Dialogue has helped connect their schools to the internet, they are able to find con- temporary information online to supplement their schoolbooks. Students are now learning how to properly search and discern useful educational tools and materials from search engine results online. English teacher Aliya Ganzina is very ex- IT trainings for students at Abdyshev School cited about the new developments at her school, sharing that “These new materials are good for developing [my students’] speaking and readingDuring the training, Kasymov is teaching educa- skills.” Ajara, a student in the 11th grade attors at Abdyshev School how to properly use the School-Lyceum No. 14, wholeheartedly agrees: “ItMicrosoft Office Suite, in addition to giving them was very captivating to find these new things ontheir first experience with the internet in a pro- the internet. After [my teacher’s] lessons, wefessional context. Kasymov pointed the teachers managed to find resources online ourselves, andto the Educational Portal, where the we are learning a lot from them.”teachers registered for accounts and began topost on the teachers’ discussion forums. Mean- Students Use IT Skills to Researchwhile, Kasymov taught students how to access in-formation on the internet and use Microsoft’s for Cultural EventWindows Movie Maker program to produce videocontent; the students have begun editing their On February 9, 2011, at Aitmatov School in Kara-own videos to capture life at their school and Suu, seven students used their new knowledge intheir own personal successes. searching for cultural and educational resources 3
  4. 4. www.irex.orgonline to find materials to host an event com-memorating the birthday of Uzbek poet Alisher Teachers Learn New PresentationNavoi, including recitals of his poetry, and a play Approaches Using High-Tech Toolsabout the life of Navoi. In January 2011, DYD IT teacher Odina Kosimova at Aitmatov School in Kara-Suu trained teachers on how to conduct more effective presentations in their careers using visual aids and tools like Micro- soft PowerPoint to capture their audience’s atten- tion. Students at Aitmatov School used internet research to plan an event on poet Alisher NavoiThe students, ranging from the fifth to the elev- Teachers using new resources inenth grades, worked with their teachers to pre- their meetings at schoolpare for the poet’s birthday event. After receivingtraining on how to effectively use search engines,they used the Kyrgyz-language version of Google On January 27th, two of her teacher trainees con-Image Search to download images of Navoi and ducted a training session on curriculum planningdecorate the school with them to promote the and student evaluation for 20 of their colleagues,event. In preparation for the play, the students during which they practiced their new skills inused to research the life of the poet – creating engaging, high-tech presentation materi-tasks which were much more complicated in the als. In the past, teachers attending training ses-past, before DYD helped bring internet to Aitma- sions practically attended their own equivalent oftov School, previously using obscure textbooks a low-tech classroom, and trainers were forced toand old magazines as their only sources. Today, rely on old blackboards as a visual aid and spend-they were able to conduct their research and ing large amounts of time and energy re-creatingpreparation in a fraction of the time. materials for the trainees by hand. Today, pre- senters and trainers are learning how to captivateAitmatov teacher Mahmuda Sheralieva com- their audiences with helpful visualizations andmented on the students’ work in preparing for diagrams, and are helping keep their audiencesAlisher Navoi’s birthday event: “The students did engaged and receptive to new information.a good job. They were even able to find a lot ofnew information from the internet that we It definitely helped Barno Ergashboeva as she heldteachers never even knew. We were amazed by her training: she reflected, “Thanks to the DYDtheir creativity.” program I learned what PowerPoint is; I had no 4
  5. 5. www.irex.orgidea before. I will definitely keep using [and modernized library: “Now that we have internet,making] presentations for my class.” I spend all my free time here,” she said. Jalal-Abad Educator Uses Internet at DYD in Kyrgyzstan’s Libraries Local Library to Enrich Lessons DYD Libraries Provide New The Jalal-Abad Oblast Library is becoming a com- Knowledge, Opportunities for munity gathering center where teachers, stu- dents, and youth looking for employment opportu- nities can assemble and learn how to use IT toSince being equipped with internet by the Digital benefit their lives.Youth Dialogue program, the Kyzyl-Kiya Libraryhas helped over a hundred students and teachersbetter integrate technology into their lives tobenefit learning. Teacher Aigul Djaratova uses the internet to improve her lessons One excellent example of the library’s new bene- ficiaries is Aigul Djaratova, a teacher at the Chil- dren’s Education Center in Jalal-Abad, does not Students practice their IT skills while have internet access where she works, nor does working on school assignments at the Kyzyl-Kiya library she have the personal finances to afford paying for the use of internet-connected computers at local internet cafes. At the library, however, sheMany of the more than 90 students who have be- was able to access the internet for free, and shegun visiting the library regularly are now learning uses this resource to develop better lessons forfor the first time how to use productivity applica- her students. Having recently designed a lessontions for school; rather than writing everything by for her class on the topic of peace and friendship,hand, students are now learning how to create she was able to conduct her own research for theprofessional documents using word processing ap- lesson plan, and enriched its content with power-plications. Perizat Zyadinova, a student at Kyzyl ful imagery found online. In making use of educa-Kiya’s School No. 6, is very enthusiastic about the tional online resources and materials, she would-new opportunities for her at Kyzyl-Kiya’s newly n’t have known where to start, had it not been for 5
  6. 6. www.irex.orginternet training she attended at the library, heldby DYD IT trainers. Djaratova took a moment to ―We often make posters and book exhibitions;express her gratitude for these new resources at using photos makes them look more visual andher disposal: “Thanks to the DYD program, we transfers the mood and content of the material,”have access to the internet and IT training, which explained Svetlana Krasovskaya, a Jalal-Abad li-are really important tools in achieving great re- brarian. “Using photos starts a [more] creativesults in our activities.” dialogue with people, and working with new tech- nologies helps us to develop professionally.” Librarians Using New IT Skills to Inform Patrons of Library Services DYD Winter Journalism CampIn December 2010, librarians at the Jalal-AbadOblast Library received two weeks of IT training, Students from Across Kyrgyzstanthanks to the DYD program, including intensive Travel to Bishkek to Develop Skills,lessons on document creation using the Microsoft Start Citizen Journalism Clubs inOffice Suite. Now, four of them are putting their Their Communitiesnew skills to good use, creating posters for thelibrary, explaining the library’s new services for From January 24 to 30, 2011, the 22 most tal-patrons and librarians’ new training experience ented and promising students were chosen from asince joining the DYD program. pool of 153 applicants from southern Kyrgyzstan to participate in the Journalism, Technology andThe library has always sought to inform visitors of Leadership Winter Camp. Young motivated andwhat they can do, and what new events are taking enthusiastic students from Osh, Batken and Jalal-place using posters and visual materials – but now, Abad oblasts developed their technical and pro-they are able to produce more professional items fessional skills through IT training, journalismin a fraction of the time using their new skills in seminars, conflict mitigation classes, and leader-PowerPoint. ship workshops in a week-long camp in Bishkek. Each training participant of the camp developed their own ―IT toolkit,‖ in order to better facilitate the implementation of their journalism clubs at schools. One of the participants, Minura Be- gishbekova from Osh oblast commented: “Before I never thought that IT knowledge might bring so many different opportunities. I knew how to send emails and search for information, however what we learned during the IT day was truly amazing.” Jalal-Abad librarians used PowerPoint and Publisher Using the knowledge she gained during the camp’s to create posters informing patrons of new DYD IT toolkit training, one participant created a video activities in their library about her experience in Bishkek: http:// 6
  7. 7. www.irex.orgIn the evenings, Winter Camp participants had news reports using the skills they developed dur-informal sessions on teambuilding and networking. ing prior sessions. A recording of the televisionIREX involved ECA alumni to mentor evening ac- journalism group’s reports is available for viewing at, while podcasts of the radio journalism group’s reports are available at Participant Jamilya Tashtanova shared that “This camp has been great! Thanks to all its organizers, I gained knowledge which will help me to achieve my goals.” Tech Age Girl Janara Asizova added, “The topics of the sessions were really interest- ing, not only for DYD winter camp participants, TAG alumni helped Winter Camp partici- but for us TAG alumni too.” pants open their own email accountstivities. UGRAD alumni Bermet Mambetshaeva andDastan Kasmamytov led ice-breaking games,teambuilding activities, and showed journalismmovies. Day Two: From Students to new Journalists, Photographers, Leaders, and Peacemakers Trainer Mamasadyk Bagyshev explains journalistic principles and practices toStarting from the second day of the camp, stu- participantsdents took part in an intensive course on journal-ism and had sessions on leadership, conflict miti-gation, and photography. The journalism seminars Every day, after their intensive training sessions,were conducted by Mamasadyk Bagyshev, FLEX the camp participants had opportunities to be ex-alum and a Director of Smart Media Group. Win- posed to the ―real world‖ of journalism, meetingter camp participants learned about news and its with important personalities from Kyrgyzstan’sstructure, types of reports, journalism club or- various news and entertainment media, and tour-ganization, how to set a news agenda, how to cre- ing several of Bishkek’s media outlets.ate a layout for a school newspaper, basics of in-terviewing, and types of numbers that add to Guest speakers throughout the week included rep-good reporting. resentatives from the radio, television, and online journalism and media sectors in Kyrgyzstan. ByThe students broke out into four groups, repre- many accounts, however, the most exciting guestsenting television, radio, print, and online jour- event during the week included a mock press con-nalism. Each group worked to develop its own ference with Kyrgyzstan’s famous musician, 7
  8. 8. www.irex.orgKanykey, during which camp participants served Otunchiev School came to hear them speak onas the journalists. their experience. The two participants enthusias- tically explained to their peers about the value of citizen journalism for a community, and rallied the group to work with them to form their school’s first ever journalism club. Salamat, a student in attendance, shared her thoughts on the talk: “I learned a lot of things that I never knew before. This program really gives great opportunities to both teachers and students and I will definitely join the journalism Enthusiastic students at the DYD Winter Journalism Camp serve as journalists at a club.” The camp alumni are working to form the press conference with famous Kyrgyzstan club now, which will set out to create a school musician Kanykey newspaper and publish it on their school website. Meanwhile, Upon returning to Jalal-Abad, twoThe speakers took time to answer questions fromthe Winter Camp group, and many shared a com-mon belief that in pursuing their futures as jour-nalists or leaders in their communities, persever-ance will be key.“I really liked how open [the media representa-tives] were; After talking to them I really wantto become a good journalist,” reflected partici-pant Aisulu Abdubalit kyzy. DYD winter camp participants train a peer in video editing skills back home, Campers Take Action at Home DYD Winter Camp participants have begun putting Returning to Their Homes, DYD their new IT skills to practice. Adilet Azimkanov Winter Camp Participants Begin and Jamila Tashtanova of School No. 14 created a Their Next Steps to Apply Their short video about their school using Windows Skills in Their Communities Movie Maker, a skill they learned for the first time at the camp in Bishkek. The video has beenAfter returning from the DYD Winter Camp for posted to Kyrgyzstan’s Educational Portal (link:journalism, Minura Begishbek kyzy and Aisulu Ab- and also on the school’sdubaly kyzy shared their impressions on their website. The students are now working to trainweek in Bishkek with fellow students at the Alay their peers in the same skills that they learned, toLibrary. In all, approximately 20 students from share the knowledge with the entire youth com-the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades of the nearby munity. 8
  9. 9. context of Kyrgyzstan, a sensitive issue for youth International Women’s Day 2011 and adults in the country. All agreed, however, that taking a girl away to be married against her DYD Students Discuss Tough Issues will—tradition or not—is a violent act against her rights. Aitmatova concurred, adding that “ManyDuring the week of International Women’s Day people consider that bride kidnapping is bad only(March 8, 2011), more than 150 students and their for the girl, but a man who kidnaps a girl toteachers from 22 schools in Kyrgyzstan took part marry her is forcing himself as well to live in anin discussions on women’s rights and gender issues unhappy marriage.”with Rozetta Aitmatova, president of theWomen’s Help Center, and a published author onthe topic of bride kidnapping, a common problemin some areas of Kyrgyzstan.Before meeting with her online, the participatingstudents read a number of articles written by Ait-matova for the national periodical We, on thetopic of bride kidnapping. The students thenlogged on to Kyrgyzstan’s Educational Portal andposted their opinions on what they read. The dis-cussion was a unique opportunity for youth acrossthe country to sound off on a controversial issuethat directly impacts many families’ lives. Tok-togul student Asel Biyalieva shared her view onthe topic, stating that “bride kidnapping is acrime. In most cases, the girl will be unhappythroughout her life, with her rights being ig-nored. Boys should not commit a crime – rather,they should try to find mutual love.”Joining the discussion, Aitmatova explained ingreater detail the legality and cultural position ofbride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan; while officiallyillegal, Aitmatova suggested that the solution tothe matter lies not in prosecution of the crimes In preparing for a discussion with Rozetta Aitmatova,alone, but also in shedding light on how boys are DYD students read articles about bride kidnappingencouraged to commit these acts, often being de-picted as ―heroes.‖The discussion with Aitmatova also served as anopportunity to debate whether bride kidnappingshould be considered a tradition in the cultural 9