PCF5:Meeting the needs of young people through innovative use of technology

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Title of session

'Children and Young People ;Meeting the needs of young people through the innovative use of technology'

Session details

  • Date: 16/07/08

Session papers

  • Presentation 1: Developing Citizens BBC News for children and young people around the world by Helen Shreeve and team.
  • Presentation 2: How sweet ‘IT’ is by Dr. R. Randy Mc Leod
  • Presentation 3: Inter-active Radio: The South African project for the past fifteen years by Gordon Naidoo.

Key Issues that arose in the session

Presentation 1:

  • That there is a need to provide a space/avenues for young people to be heard and that broadcast technology can help to achieve this goal.
  • The BBC as part of its charter is mandated to provide programming which features children and children news.
  • That the BBC is involved in projects which allow children to share their experiences.
  • Using text messaging where children from different schools, both in the UK and other foreign countries are ‘twinned’ to share their experiences with each other.
  • A UK based programme KidsNews where children are encouraged to produce their own news under the guidance of the teachers. The School administration is responsible for the editing and correctness of content.
  • A project involving foreign radio stations broadcasting kidsNews- kids news from around the world to local audiences.
  • Examples of the websites were demonstrated and a call was made by the presenters for collaboration on projects like these from participants in there home countries between schools/educational institutions and the BBC.

Presentation 2:

  • Teachers must be able to use technology as part of their teaching/communicating with children/young people.
  • That in the past four to five years the cell phone has become the major communication tool used by children/young people throughout the world.
  • That within two years the internet will be replaced by the Face-book or some such social network as the major source of social communication.
  • That if we as teachers are to have influence upon our students and to reach them successfully in the classroom transaction, then we must be prepared to demonstrate our knowledge and use of technology by using it is the classroom and in an educational context:
- e-mail, msn, live chat, discussion boards, news groups etc. for communicating
- word-processing, presentations, spreadsheets and data-bases for classroom teaching and management.
- must be willing to communicate with our students 24/7/365.
- must be willing to allow them to help/show us how to use the technologies.
  • That our role as teachers is to first demonstrate our ability to live and function in their world (by empathizing/understanding their world-language, slangs, dress, food etc) and allow them graciously into our world by combining the technologies –(cell phones, PDF etc.) in the formal classroom setting.
  • Be aware that of all the communication technologies available today, the cellphone has become the most ubiquitous tool among the young.
  • We had better learn to use it well for our own survival in the classroom.
  • We have no choice but to use technology as part of our own ‘transformation of practice’ in education.

Presentation 3:

  • That interactive radio is a cost-effective method of reaching students in an environment where there was a history of language barriers and other social issues which prevented students from gaining an education.
  • That interactive radio allow for active participation by learners in acquiring new information and for reinforcing content.
  • That interactive radio provides opportunities for students to improve their listening skills.
  • That in this project lessons are broadcast five (5) times per day and this allows for the widest reach of such broadcast to students.
  • That because its radio, parents and adults by tuning in to such broadcasts can also benefit from such content.
  • That there is a need to recognise that in countries like South Africa the vast size and geographically dispersed populations plus the lack of communication infrastructure make if imperative that radio be use as an educational tool.

Points for future action (Policy, recommendations, commitments etc.)

Presentation 1:

  • That mechanisms be developed which would allow for the participation of young students from the commonwealth in such projects.
  • That such collaboration be undertaken with the BBC and such countries through COL.

Presentation 2:

  • There have to be sustained efforts to ensure that our teachers are trained to use basic technologies.
  • The use of the International Computers Drivers Licences (ICDL) be encouraged as a benchmark for all teachers in the use of critical software/social technologies for education.
  • That there be a recognition of the need for formal and informal training in the use of cellphones by educators.
  • That education administrators be encouraged to provide opportunities for teachers/educators to use the full potential of this tool in education.

Presentation 3:

  • That interactive radio be considered as a potent tool in the fight against illiteracy.
  • That efforts be made to exploit the full use of radio as a cost-effective method of expanding educational opportunities in countries where there exist issues of connectively, harsh terrain, distance etc..