I wrote most of these articles and conference reports while I was doing my M.Ed.(CI). Originally put up on the website TeachAsiaOnline.com (defunct since 2009), I have decided to archive them here as I think most of the information is still relevant and useful for others. (2012) I'm now picking up where I left off to write about more recent seminars I attended.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Peer to Peer Networking

Speaker: David Mathias
Organised by: British Council, Bangkok (Thai-UK Education Festival 2006)
Date: 4 February 2006
Location: Novotel Hotel Siam Square, Monet Pissarro Room, Bangkok

Peer to Peer Networking was the theme of the next speaker, David Mathias. The Global Gateway is a “free-at-the-point of use international website” developed by the British Council and was launched in February 2004. The site is free to use and is designed for all stakeholders in education; it has separate zones for teachers, young people, school leaders, parents, school governors and local authorities. Teachers have been involved in the development of the Global Gateway right from the very start with the aim to provide a “comprehensive one-stop shop for international education resources and services”. The site is available on
the world wide web at http://www.globalgateway.org.uk/

The Global Gateway is designed to promote internationalism in education. It aims to be a portal for education internationally; the main aim being that the Global Gateway will become a single point of access for all aspects of international education acting as a vehicle to facilitate “International partnerships at all levels” from schools, teachers, school leaders, and even local authorities. These partnerships can link any countries in the world and an easy to use partner-finding tool allows schools and other educational institutions to identify and contact suitable partners from around the world.

Internationalism and globalization are relevant today and must be relevant to every country regardless of economic strength. Teachers don’t need a lab full of computers to be able to enrich their lessons with resources and information. Even using the Global Gateway in an internet cafĂ© can provide a wealth of material that can then bring an international dimension to lessons. There are many collaborative projects accessible through the Gateway and are designed to be done offline.

A partner-finding tool is central to the Global Gateway, it is a means of bringing together teachers around the world to work together so that everyone can benefit. It is possible to register a school on the database and Schools can register their details on the partner-finding tool, give their web address and contact details and give full details about the kind of project they are interested in. So far many hundreds of schools from all over the world have registered on the database, and more are signing up all the time. There is a wide range of project types that includes: whole school, class, postal pen friends, email pen friends, video-conferencing, multimedia, pupil exchange, teacher exchange, head teacher exchange, and eLanguages.

A major part of the Gateway is the library of links it has. The Gateway points to hundreds of websites covering all aspects of international education with every website on the Gateway having been assessed by an expert in the subject. A large proportion of potential links are rejected because they do not meet the Global Gateway standards. All of the websites linked to are indexed according to internationally-recognised standards. Users can search using a wide range of criteria. They can also do simple searches using key words just like they could using a search engine like http://www.google.com.

More about Information Technology in Education at Effective Management of the School Responsible for ICT Development http://education-articles-and-conferences.blogspot.com/2011/11/effective-management-of-school.html.

(c) cafavier, 2006-2011

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