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Appears in:
Pages: 2081-2087
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

DIGITAL MEDIA AS A TEACHING TOOL FOR SOCIAL ACTIVISM IN INTERNATIONAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

N. Burton

Goucher College (UNITED STATES)
As part of the requirements for graduation for Goucher College, all students must participate in a study-abroad program. Goucher's commitment to global learning and transcending boundaries extends to professors, who lead these intercultural experiences which range in length from two-weeks to an entire year. I was chosen to co-lead a group to Grahamstown, South Africa, a program that had been spearheaded by the Education department. The Education department established the course as an extension of classroom teaching and learning for education majors.

As a member of the Communication and Media Studies faculty, I thought it imperative to include an intercultural communication component to the program and to document the experiential learning that was occurring during the initiative. The means of documentation included the written word and the use of digital media to capture the experiential learning in an intercultural environment. American students would share classrooms with South African teachers (Xhosa) with whom they did not share a language or culture and teach Xhosa students, many of whom are from the poorest rural areas in SA, which presented another type of challenge, since most Goucher students come from privileged backgrounds,

In May of 2007, a group of 12 students left Goucher College for Grahamstown, South Africa. Within two days of teaching in the classroom, a public servants strike broke out. Teachers and nurses refused to work until they had been granted a raise. In support of the teachers, my co-leader and I along with the students stayed out of the classrooms. The students who initially were put off because they were not able to teach in South Africa, eventually chose to become involved in the strike. After talking with people, conducting primary and secondary research, the students realized that they could create social change in a different way. They chose to participate in the strike.

Armed with a Canon XL-1, the students and I documented the strike, which was the first time that public servants, most of whom were Black, had rebelled against a Black government. Our students who went there to "teach" ended up learning about issues in South Africa, social activism, and most importantly themselves. It was through documentation via digital media along with intercultural communication that the students were able to affect change on a global level.

This presentation will discuss the importance of using digital technology to teach social activism in international learning environments.
@InProceedings{BURTON2009DIG,
author = {Burton, N.},
title = {DIGITAL MEDIA AS A TEACHING TOOL FOR SOCIAL ACTIVISM IN INTERNATIONAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {2081-2087}}
TY - CONF
AU - N. Burton
TI - DIGITAL MEDIA AS A TEACHING TOOL FOR SOCIAL ACTIVISM IN INTERNATIONAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 2081
EP - 2087
ER -
N. Burton (2009) DIGITAL MEDIA AS A TEACHING TOOL FOR SOCIAL ACTIVISM IN INTERNATIONAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 2081-2087.
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