I’m here with twenty-five teachers from across the country for a three-day workshop, March 13th-16th, part of the Global Connections and Exchange (GCE) program, and because of this grant, iEARN-Thailand’s first national meeting of teachers. Thailand is one of five countries participating in the program, along with Ecuador, Pakistan, Tajikistan and the U.S.
Sonthida Keyuravong, iEARN-Thailand country coordinator, and I began the workshop by introducing teachers to iEARN with the fun World Leaders activity to experience the power of collaboration and sharing with them the plan for the next few months as they prepare to participate in the World Youth News project.
By joining this program I have already got to know more experienced friends from different schools. I’ve learned techniques in reporting news and had a great opportunity to support print and online news media in my school. [My students] are familiar with social media, but when there is a meaningful purpose and a real audience, their learning is purposeful and they are willing to learn. This is the real learning in real life.” Sungkhaya Boonma, Nawamindarajudis Phayap School, Chiang Mai
Today, Jeerawat Na Thalong, Editorial Writer at the Nation newspaper here in Bangkok, had the group discuss the advantages and disadvantages of social media (a hot topic was the recent Kony 2012 campaign), ways to motivate students to write using different writing styles that call on their creativity, and how to collect information to cover a story. She told me, “I am excited to join this programme because I am passionate about education. I am honoured to meet with these respectable teachers.”
The noise level went up significantly this afternoon as the teachers excitedly got to practice their reporting skills, recording video interviews in teams using flip cameras. Our workshop concludes tomorrow with growing excitement to get started in the program.
A special thank you to Damon Anderson, Director of the Regional English Language Office at the US Embassy in Bangkok, for his continued support.
Next week, 22 – 25th March, educators in the US will have their GCE workshop in New York City. As with this workshop, I’m sure it will be an valued opportunity for educators to transform their classrooms and make new and lasting friendships. Following these face-to-face workshops, teachers from all GCE countries will continue to plan their high school journalism program by taking iEARN’s World Youth News online course this summer.
Kob Khun Ka and Congratulations iEARN-Thailand