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Education for all

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Final reflections

Out for a ride with time to think

The morning sun shines into my room, and birds are chirping. The two-month holiday at the language school where I’m working has just started. It’s a bit difficult to believe that the time for the last entry for this blog has already come. I still have lots of thoughts to share with our readers!

Lately I’ve been riding my bike in the countryside in the evenings – it’s a good chance to relax after a very full year and to improve my skills in photography. Along the way, I think a lot about the enormous difference between rural and urban areas in my country, and between their inhabitants’ mentalities. What’s difficult to explain is that many Russians would like to move outside the city and buy nice houses there, but most villagers prefer the idea of finding a job in the city (or at least sending their children to get educated there). Of course that’s due to the financial divide between these areas, but we need to make this division less extreme.

Date

July 12, 2012 | 10:00 am

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Last but not least…

Much still to learn...

It may be a wrap for this blog, but it is definitely not a wrap for the issues we have talked about. The convergence of more than 2,000 participants from over 100 nations who attended the three-day DW Global Media Forum to discuss “Culture. Education. Media – Shaping a Sustainable Future” was testimony for me that this discussion just got started at another level.

For me as a media professional with a background in education, it was interesting to see around 500 colleagues in media, including bloggers, meeting with policymakers, businesspeople, academics and representatives of civil society organizations to share their experiences and ideas.

Date

July 11, 2012 | 10:00 am

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In favor of a critical approach to the digital world

The anticipation builds ahead of a panel at the GMF

Wow! I’ve found the Global Media Forum really interesting so far. The first thing that stood out to me was the diversity on display – people from lots of different countries mix at the conference, some in suits, some more casual or in business wear. There are lots of colorful dresses, men from Africa in robes and women in headscarves. The clothing is just an outer signal of how many cultures are represented here. And in the middle of it all are my fellow bloggers and me.

Date

June 26, 2012 | 6:00 pm

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The digital divide in education

The Internet makes learning easier - for those with access

Before I talk about paths other family members in my generation took in the German educational system, I want to come back to what my cousin Thorsten said in his interview: “The future of education is in Web.2.0.”

Many of the other bloggers and I have already written about this: No matter whether in Kenya or in Germany, technology opens new doors to education everywhere. But these don’t overcome old problems.

Date

June 22, 2012 | 8:00 am

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Transfixed by the TV screen – to whose benefit?

Picture: Pavel Mylnikov

Let's look for ways to entertain ourselves beyond the TV set

A friend will ask me occasionally, “Have you seen the latest episode of…” – and then name some program. I usually answer, “You know, I haven’t watched TV for about 2 years.”

Strange, isn’t it? But actually it’s all quite simple: I find nothing interesting or noteworthy in the most well-known channels. When there’s anything educational, I can also easily find it in the Internet. And many in my generation do the same. It’s not that the Internet penetrates more and more into our lives – it’s that it substitutes many spheres of our lives that intelligent young people are not satisfied with. So what’s the connection with education here?

Date

June 13, 2012 | 12:53 pm

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Learning online doesn’t always cut it

Picture: Kathrin Biegner

E-learning: great for some things, but it has its limits

Recently, Emmy wrote about the effects of and potential for e-learning in Kenya. In Germany, the Internet has changed the way educational content can be accessed and how it is taught at schools.

For instance, I use a lot of websites to look up words or study vocabulary. Each week in Spanish class at my university, another person uploaded the most recent vocabulary to the website Vokker. All of my classmates could then access them and study at home.

Date

May 31, 2012 | 6:00 pm

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Smartphones, smarter learning

Picture: Emmy Chirchir

Kenya has embraced mobile tech

“Hey, do you have that new mobile phone application for transferring money from your bank account to your phone?”

“You mean I can now pay my electricity bill with my phone?”

“Is your phone twin-sim?”

…these were the kind of discussions I came home to after two years of being away. So much had changed.

Date

May 26, 2012 | 11:00 am

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On the importance of teaching oneself

The Internet offers a wealth of ways to continue your education

Many people in Russia used to believe that it’s enough to get your university degree – then you can start working and forget about education (until your children go to kindergarten, at least). They’d say you’ve developed your skills, so you ought to find a job and get on with your life. Many still think this way. Sometimes I discuss this topic with friends, and it’s great that our generation seems to have a more modern way of thinking: We believe that it’s natural to have a “second” higher education, to attend courses even as a grown-up or to change jobs several times before retiring.

Date

May 21, 2012 | 2:23 pm

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