My word is very poor so I make pictures Xu (Bob from Beijing)
As we become more globally connected, the importance of images to tell stories for learning ir to share conversations, takes on an increasingly important role (together with media other than text).
Our school teaches Mandarin Chinese as a second language. Our sister school is Beijing no.27 in China. Over many years we have exchanged visits with small groups of students and teachers from this school but then there is little connection or communication until the next visit.
Over the last 3 years we have had a visiting Chinese language assistant live and teach with us for 12 months at a time. From them, we learnt about qq and wechat which are both popular networking tools with the Chinese. As one of our school groups is over there now, teachers, parents and students downloaded the app wechat on their phones, formed a group and added key staff from Beijing no. 27. The chat has been updated constantly and pictures shared immediately. Bob, one of their senior teachers speaks some English and visited our school last year. As he joined our “china group” on wechat, he made that profound quote shared at the beginning of this post.
What can we take way from this?
- images are of increasing importance in global communication especially when a common language may be a problem.
- students need to be taught how to take them for best effect especially to reflect local culture
- how can we thread them into a story comprising only images
- the significance of copyright/creative commons
- how to resize and digitally enhance
- be aware of the range of apps, networking sites that are best to share these images, remembering that countries like China block google, facebook, many blogging platforms etc
- the nature of the cloud for storage