Giving Students a Voice at the 6th APAC Regional Innovative Education Forum and Students' Forum
by: Michael Furdyk, Co-Founder and Director of Technology
As students are the ultimate beneficiaries and most important stakeholders in education, including their experiences, opinions and ideas in the development of educational systems is key. In recognition of the unique and essential perspective that students have on their own education, Microsoft Partners in Learning (Asia Pacific) is partnering with TakingITGlobal (TIG) - the world's most popular online social network for young leaders - in order to bring student voices to the 6th Regional Innovative Education Forum (IEF), the theme of which is:
Situating Schools in the Real World –
From Learning to Know to Learning to Be a Global Citizen
Schools in the Asia Pacific region have been under increasing pressure to prepare students who are adaptable to change and empowered to change their environments, who are creative and innovative, and who are able to apply knowledge and solve problems with confidence.
Regardless of their location, these students face a common destiny where the unfolding of an event in one part of the world affects lives in other parts. In such a new world order, schools have to prepare their students to be agents of change rather than just passive observers of world events and at the same time, to live together in an increasingly diverse and complex society and to reflect on and interpret fast-changing information.
The key challenge for schools then is to prepare students to become global citizens who understand the nature of global issues and take an active role in addressing them.
To meet this challenge, school and classroom activities have to be informed by real world issues, events and trends where students are first expected to be active seekers and constructors of knowledge, and their learning involves the discovery and transformation of complex information. Students are then expected to act upon these issues, events and trends locally, and share with their peers at the national and international levels.
As students assume increasing responsibilities for their own learning and actions, the learning paradigm in schools has to shift from learning to know to learning to be a global citizen.
TIG is committed to helping youth become agents of change. An international charitable organization led by youth and empowered by technology, it has been encouraging students and youth around the world to use their voices to create change since 1999 by offering a platform through which they can share their ideas, experiences, and aspirations. TIG was founded in order to increase the capacity of young people as leaders and stakeholders in their local and global communities, foster cross-cultural dialogue and understanding, and increase local and global youth activism. TIG will help bring student voices to the forefront of the IEF by engaging approximately 200 youth from the Asia Pacific region in the online dialogue about the role of technological innovation in education. Online dialogue commences on 25 Jan and ends on 17 Feb 2010.
Students between the ages of 15 and 19 from the Asia Pacific region are warmly invited to join the dialogue by completing a brief online application form. The selection of participants will be based on application quality, as well as the need to bring together a geographically and experientially diverse group of participants. Every effort will be made to include students from each APAC country. Online application commences on 25 Jan and ends on 3 Feb 2010.
Following the conclusion of the online dialogue, up to 15 of the most active, engaged and creative participants will be invited to:
Up to 3 teams of students will be eligible to receive USD 1,000 and/or software support from Microsoft in order to turn their project ideas into reality! They will also receive project-related support from TIG until the end of 2010 when they work to document their project experiences so that they can be showcased at the 7th Regional IEF in 2011.
On behalf of TakingITGlobal, we encourage you to participate in exploring how technology can benefit students in the Asia Pacific region.