Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bringing Blogging to Bangladesh

Weblogs and Blogging at ISD
For the past two years students and staff at ISD have been blogging and using weblogs for process journaling, creating digital portfolios, class portal websites, discussion forums and interaction within the curriculum. Last week a small group of ISD teachers and students had the opportunity to bring blogging to Bangladesh at the BELTA 2005 International Conference. Julie Lindsay, Paul Horkan and Sohel Rahman attended with students from the Diploma Programme's ITGS (Information Technology in a Global Society) class.
Here is a description of the event in the words of a participating grade 11 student.

On Thursday, 15 September a group of students accompanied by three
teachers from International School Dhaka (ISD) attended a daylong conference in the British Council. Bangladesh English Language Teacher's Association (BELTA) hosted the conference. The conference was attended by English teachers from all over Bangladesh. ISD had a stall, along with universities and book stores in the conference. In their stall ISD displayed how the adaptation of the Internet has evolved education through the usage of blog's, online journals, discussions and digital portfolio's. Mrs. Julie Lindsay the Head of ISD's Technology department addressed the conference by explaining how E-learning works and how it is used by the students in the school. The students Wasi, Saif, Nader and Mehran stated their personal experience on the aspects of E-learning, to the teachers at the conference who came to the ISD stall. This interactive method between was greatly appreciated by teachers attending the conference. For the students it was an overwhelming experience and they got to explain and reflect on a new form of learning, to English teachers from all over Bangladesh.
Written by Wasi Khan, Grade 11, ISD.

Our guest columnist this week is English teacher, Paul Horkan with a word about our BELTA experience.
'According to Paul'
It was fantastic to see four young men represent ISD and the IBO curriculum, at the Bangladesh English Language Teachers Association (BELTA) International Conference 2005, with such vim and vigour. There is no doubt that this is due to their involvement in the Technology Initative for Education Program. They were able to reflect on their use of telecommunications tools such as email, weblogs, discussion groups, and online collaborative projects. This experiential learning process was a highly valuable one. There was great interest from the delegates and obviously great scope to further develop the experience.

Conference News
A not to be missed experience is the up and coming conference in Bangkok called TechEx. This bi-annual event will be held from 10-12 November at the Bangkok Patana School. The conference aims to share best practice with the use of technology in education and offers a variety of one-hour sessions and a 1.5 day workshop option. I recommend you spend a few minutes scrolling through their program information found at

Handheld Update
The software 'Inspiration for Palm vs 1.0' has arrived in the school. All Palm using teachers and students can hotsync this onto their handhelds from the SS Lab or from a secondary school computer. Instruction posters are in every room. The interface between the Palm version and the desktop version of Inspiration (we have vs.7.6 on the desktops) is great. It is very easy to move a file from the handheld to the desktop and vice versa. I look forward to seeing more mind-mapping and organisational work using this software.

Podcast Update
Well, after spending an hour multitracking our introductory message for the Podcast Bangladesh weekly segment (yet to be realised in digital format) the program Audacity crashed in the final saving and we not only lost all work but it destroyed my USB. Despite this technical setback we are determined to continue. If you are still not sure what podcasting is all about take a look at the work of technology coordinator Tony Vincent in Nebraska with his Podcasting in Education website and WillowWeb, the student podcast radio group at his school.

Next week on the eLearning Blog we will feature the Diploma subject, Theory of Knowledge, and how weblogs and eLearning are enhancing student discussion and interaction.

More contributions wanted! We welcome your comments and look forward to your contributions to this eLearning blog.

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