Exploratory Practice of AYV Project

2013-03-27

 

                                                                                                             ------Huang Hui, Pudong Foreign Languages School, SISU

Brief
  In March, 2010, Project “Adobe Youth Voices” of iEARN was introduced into Pudong Foreign Languages School of Shanghai SISU. As a powerful support to bi-lingual experimental teaching in our school, AYV has accompanied us teachers and students in the past year. In course of trial, we have experienced joy as well as pain. Meanwhile, what has left us most is not only the reexamination and reconsideration of the traditional teaching concepts and methods, but also the rethinking of how to elevate our abilities in self-study and teaching by adapting ourselves to internationalized educational concepts and how to apply these concepts to the daily teaching activities. In this article, I will set out the exploratory practices in the AYV project and our prospectives to the future teaching in the following aspects: application of bi-lingual school-based teaching materials of our school, current teaching situations, the activities of AYV in our school and promotion of our bi-lingual teaching development.

KEY WORDS
  iEARN
  AYV
  Education Internationalization
  International Cooperation

Body
  The constant development of modern information technology and Internet technology has brought modern education and teaching a better opportunity than ever before, which enables educators and learners throughout the nation and even the world to co-operate, co-communicate closely, which applies the theory of internationalized education to practice. AYV is no doubt guiding us to adapt the educational internationalization theory to the real teaching tasks and providing us with the bright education theory and teaching thoughts, sparkle our minds and re-scan our traditional ones.

Bi-lingual teaching materials of our school and applied status
  Pudong Foreign Languages School, SISU,China was founded in 1996, a boarding school featuring foreign languages. Based on the high quality compulsory teaching, in 1999 our school made a trial on bi-lingual courses in the field of Extension-Curriculum as a supplement and extension of English study. In 2002, our school was accepted as one of the 25 bi-lingual experimental schools of Shanghai Pudong New Area. Answering the call for bi-lingual teaching from Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, we carefully analyzed all the teaching work and surveyed the requests from the students and the teaching resources. After full consideration, the leading group of bi-lingual teaching and bi-lingual teaching-research group were formally founded in 2003, supervised by vice-principal Ms. Zhang Yi. In the following 10-year exploration, our school stably pushed the advancement of bi-lingual teaching on the base of respect and responsibility. Currently, we have formed a group of bi-lingual teachers with modern education concept, good command of the English language, professional knowledge and practical enthusiasm, including 10 bi-lingual teachers, 6 subject teachers and 4 English teachers.
  Between 2004 and 2009, bi-lingual teaching of our school focused on the district-level research project “Setup and practical research of bi-lingual extension courses in foreign languages school”. It enhanced the research on contents, methods and evaluation of bi-lingual teaching and developed the series of bi-lingual school-based curriculum courses successively in Junior One, Junior Two and Senior One. The teachers and students benefited a lot from the project. Our students were gradually accustomed to the way of learning subject knowledge after taking part in the courses. The rewards were: enrich the subject knowledge, improve English study ability and practical ability, arouse study interest and broaden internally horizon. And our bi-lingual teachers had great improvement in development of curriculum, English speaking, class teaching design and research ability.
  In 2010, our school actively explored the effectiveness of combination of modern IT and bilingual teaching and internationality of English study. The study groups made up of bilingual teachers and students carried out practical activities based on student-themed bilingual study of iEARN---- Adobe Youth Voices Program, leading teenagers to pay more attention to social life and creating those intended and meaningful media works by using advanced digital video and multimedia technology. The works could express their inner world and proved their potentiality. With Internet, students and teachers have interactive communications with the educators and learners throughout the world, sharing their media works and the meaning behind them. This trial offers both the teachers and students the beneficial experience of study and innovation under the modern educational concept.
  By means of practice in bilingual teaching, our school can broaden the space for English study and learning resources, improve learning environment, arouse study interest, elevate the abilities in English listening, speaking, reading and writing, and cultivate reasoning ability. It can also encourage students to develop all-around to be the high-quality ones that are accustomed to the need of the future society. With the help of bold innovation in bilingual teaching, our school can gradually hammer our own characteristic in bilingual education.

Exploratory practice of AYV Project
Since 2010, based on internationalized education and goals of school running, our school has organized bi-lingual teachers to attend the online training courses provided by iEARN, which has helped them have the chance of sharing experiences and exchanging opinions.
In March 2010, AYV was introduced into PFLS, which was new to everyone. AYV is a charity plan signed by Adobe Foundation, aiming to provide them with the key skills that enable them to be active members in the communities and even the whole world. This project enables the teenagers to communicate and share their thoughts by using the high-tech multi-media and digital techniques in and out of class to prove their potential and take action in the local communities. As a newly emerging thing, we were so curious and interested in it. Curiosity means that it comes from abroad, which might bring us new teaching concepts and methods. To us teachers of the front line, this is also the first time to get into touch with the foreign professional teaching courses.
First, we had an 8-week online course, in which we should study different modules at different phases within the deadline. The resources are rich in content and diverse in patterns. Media includes documents, pictures, videos and animations. Learners from all over the world feedback what they have learned on the Forum. We share our thoughts and experiences with each other, expressing our views, at the same time the instructor posts and comments on the Forum to instruct the learners by e-mail.
  At the earlier stage, we established a bi-lingual project group composed of 5 teams in which 3-4 students have one teacher as an instructor. Teachers study the course and instruct the students at the same time. We have scheduled meetings to share the experiences and get to know the current situation of the researching work. Students feedback what they have got from the teachers and express what they think about the life and society to the whole world by using their good command of English, sharing their works and cooperation internationally.
The first period is to set up the topic, and the teachers fully evoke the students’ inspiration, instruct the students to notice and focus the meaningful topics in the daily life by means of brainstorming. After discussing about the possible topics, the major one is selected finally according to its feasibility.
  In the activity, the biggest problem is how to make a video. Video making requires specific skills in IT, such as collecting, selecting, editting all the materials and in the end the work is completed, especially filming and combination. Filming requires skills. And sometimes one shot needs repetitive trying. And combination is even tougher. Students need to learn two softwares, such as Photoshop and Premiere. We have invited the instructor of our school TV station to consult and train students these basic skills in filming. After numerous discussions, revisions and comments, 5 final pieces of work come into being after conquering so many difficulties.
Made in China? Why not created in China?
The last cucumber
Being a muner
Expo
Friendship
  Among these, Made in China, Why not created in China? and The last cucumber were on display at the conference of AYV Workshop in China, on which our school was awarded the top honor of AYV Mainland Area, the only prize as well. Made in China ? and Why not created in China? were also on display at AYV Film Festival in 2010 iEARN Annual Conference in Canada.
Thanks to the great achievements of the faculty and students, school leaders put more emphasis on AYV projects and arranged the instructor and concerned student to make a speech to the whole school as a promotion. It encouraged the whole school to take an active part in it. With the joint efforts, the number of teachers and students taking part in the AYV project this year is increasing, from 3 instructors with 19 students in the first round to 6 instructors with 57 students. Up to now, we have finished:
The Story of Mi
“Man”? Child?
Correction Tape
The Box
Study like a talent and live like an innocent.
Here are the pics and briefs of these pieces of work:

1 .The Story of Mi

Brief

Mi is the Chinese spelling of rice. In this project,

 we are introducing the misery story of Mi which

 indicates the real situation of wasting food in many

 Chinese schools. This video is not only presented 

to teenagers in China but also people around the 

world. We call on all human beings to save Mi’s life 

and at the meantime, form the habit of thrifty. After 

all, saving food is equivalent to saving our own lives 

and own future. Although this task might be difficult,

 we believe through our efforts can we wake up the 

awareness of the importance of food to people alive.

 

 

 

 

2.Man? Child? 

Brief

How does a child grow up in your country? Usually 

they are born in a warm family where they will receive 

love from their parents. They go to kindergarten to 

make friends and later go to school for education.

However, in our country we sometimes see children 

at the age of seven or eight begging for money by 

doing street performancesome of them are abducted. 

These days some people spontaneously upload the 

photos of these children to their microblogs and ask 

everyone if they can find out their parents and save 

those children.In addition, our government is taking 

measures to save them.So,what about those kind of 

children in other countries, will they be saved by others?

 

3.Correction Tape

Brief

A student is rewriting her composition. Suddenly 

she made a mistake. She thought, I have a correction 

tape. It’s helpful. So she used the correction tape 

several times to correct all her mistakes she had made. 

After she finished her composition, a crying face 

consisted of correction tape appeared on the homework 

paper. Soon she realized she should’ve been more careful! 

                                                                                                     She shouldve thought twice ! She should BE RESPONSIBLE 

                                                                                                      TO HERSELF from now on!

4.The Box

 

Brief

We prepared a fancy box with nothing in it. There was

a math test and some of the students knew their score.

Then we went into the classroom and ask students who

had different levels. Then we realized that people in

different mood would think of different things in the

box. Then we think of it deeply …… To conclude, the

education system in China needs introspectionand reformation.

Our group is just using this story to show the situation and urge its reformation.
  5.Study like a talent and live like an innocent

 

Brief

Our story showed how two guys, James Tang and Andrew

Long, got some food. According to the result, we can easily

find that well-educated guys like Andrew cannot cope with

some trifles in daily life well, while those with basic education

like James can. This phenomenon shows the possible

negative effect of Chinese education. Most students, especially

those “top students”, have got used to taking exams. However,

knowledge used in exams is sometimes useless in daily life.

 

 

 

After two-round practice, AYV is like a research and extended study program in China, but there are some differences between them. In other words, AYV is more open-minded in setting up the topics, expressing methods, commenting methods and releasing methods, not limiting too much. The only target is to help students discover problems around themselves, express them with the help of the multi-media, evoke them to consider and solve the problems as well. As for us Chinese instructors, we always give very specific instructions to lead students into the courses, which limits us students’ creativity and imagination. This is what we need to take care and improve during the teaching practice later. AYV doubtless inspires us a lot.
From the feedback of the students, we have noticed that AYV has influenced the students’ various abilities in creating, sharing and cooperating. Not only have they come to realize that it is so important for them to listen to others’ voices, but they have felt team-work is powerful. Every student’s idea has been given much respect and they learn from each other and step forward as well. They have learned to deal with ADOBE pictures and movie editing, which has assisted them to share their own points of view more swiftly and fluently.
In fact, besides guiding students in making movies, what is more important, it actively instructs them to create and work in team. What students have reflected has fully supported it.
Here are some results from the students’ feedbacks in random:

A

Sheet 1

Not at all ……… Definitely

 1

 2

 3

 4

I learned new ways of working with other people.

0

0

1

4

I can communicate my ideas to others.

0

0

0

5

I can work with others to come up with ideas.

0

0

3

2

I can work with a group to solve a problem.

0

0

1

4

I respect other people’s opinions.

0

0

1

4

I can share responsibility within a group.

0

0

1

4

I ask for help from others when I need it.

0

0

1

4

Sheet 2

What were the 3 best things about this program?  Check 3 boxes. 

Items

Counts

Working with other people my age to create something together

4

Being creative

2

Making a product or something to share

3

Sheet 3

I. Promotion and prospect for the teaching of our school

After two-round practice, we deeply feel there is a great impact on our concept and the train of thought of education. The project change the situation that the teachers used to choose the teaching content, design the teaching process and control students’ study. It builds a platform for both the teachers and the students towards international communication and cooperative study. It also creates a space for open study and stimulates the students’ creation , thoughts, techniques, language and emotion. Teachers and students both grow in equal conversation and discussion.

Feeling from an AYV instructor:

The study method of AYV breaks the limitation of countries and the difference in cultures. It enables educators in various countries to have close communication and cooperative researches. At the same time, it lets us know more about the recent situation in foreign education and the educational cultural background of some countries. It also broaden our mind of international education and I believe it is the most helpful and most meaningful thing that AVY brings us.

As a non-English professional teacher, the greatest difficulty in AYV project is the language problems. It begins quite miserably, but it is full of happiness to me now when I think back. The improvement in English is a great gain. 

As a teacher, I feel we are not alone in teaching. With iEARN, the people we can communicate with are not only the teachers around us anymore and the teaching method is not unitary anymore. It makes us realize what we need are the idea of international education, the practice of internationally-cooperated education program, consistent studying, exploration and practical conclusion.

                                                   From Mr. Miao Zhen

  With the acknowledgement on the culture of our own people, the students taking part in the project know about history, culture and the development and current situation of social custom. While getting along with people from other countries, they learn about common basic value of things among all the human beings, such as peace, respect, love, forgiveness, happiness, responsibility, cooperation, modesty, honesty, simplicity, freedom and unity.
   Feeling from two AYV students:
  This activity made me realize the usage of language. I can see now, that yes language is not only a tool to communicate, but also a carrier, a carrier which broadcasts the information throughout this entire world. And, we also learned about the importance of TEAMWORK. If there were only one man completing this craft, well, he would only has one man’s brain to think,. Without a heated discussion, it would only be one’s own idea, which I believe, is obviously cannot be accepted and understood by most others.
This AVY thing has given us so many things to cherish, to remember. It made us see the wide use of language, the powerful strength of team work, and the deep influence of imagination. And more importantly, during our busy school life, it did make us gain more knowledge, experience, and pleasure as well.
From Deng Xuan

  It guides us away from the dull textbooks, leads us out of the Ivory tower, lets us seize every spark of collision of thought and shows our vitality of youth. It is true that in the age of exploding information and quickly-developing technologies, our eyes are filled with all kinds of problems. As a growing modern citizen, we must have international perspective and the ability to analyze problems.
   I believe the knowledge from the textbooks only serve for the growing of capability and a real competent person needs accumulation of both knowledge and practice. The student bilingual program provides us with a stage and an opportunity. We use English not only based on the grammar points in textbooks but also as a bridge to communicate with the world. It exposes us to the problems in reality, and develops our ability to discuss the problems deeper and to solve them by ourselves. We express our voice from deep within in the way of China.
From Fang Zhongyi


End
  The education internationalization is becoming more and more obvious, so is the pace of development. We have realized that cultivating a group of teachers with international horizon, good IT skills and creativity is the top task to promote the understanding of the project. iEARN has offered us an excellent platform, and AYV brings us a completely new teaching method, which enables us to think more about applying the advanced elements into daily teaching and make further improvement. We will absolutely go on with our research based on AYV project, and gradually make a school-based materials suitable to our local background. We hope more and more teachers and students will join in this project, and benefit a lot from it. It will help to create more opportunities to help us in the activities, such as exchange project, volunteer project and MUNE, and improve international understanding during the exchange activity.
  I hope as global citizens, we human beings can understand each other and forgive each other, promoting cooperation, mutual understanding and negotiation to deal with the common problems in the world. By further knowing each other, we can change mutual dependence to mutual help.i think it is a must for the development of the society, and a most important component of quality education.
  Let’s work hard and move forward!