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I have installed an interesting application – BlogJet. It’s a cool Windows client for my blog tool (as well as for other tools). Get your copy here: http://blogjet.com

“Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.” — Albert Einstein

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Building bridges across borders, demolishing mental walls

“Since wars begin in the mind of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be established.” — UNESCO epigraph

I have recently been asked by two Asia-Europe Classroom Network (AEC-NET) project members, namely Philippine high-school students, to reply to their questions related to the concept of the global teacher. Here goes my response.

1. What are the factors that makes a global teacher?

I think a global teacher is someone who incorporates the global dimension into his/her school-based activities as an integral part of his/her teaching practice. Furthermore, in my view, a global teacher is aware of the fact that we live in an increasingly globalized and interconnected, interdependent world and thus he/she  makes a great effort to get his/her students come to this realization. A global teacher strives to create such a learning environment where students can get first-hand experience in collaborating with their international peers, and where they can express their perspective and views on different issues. In such a multicultural context students can learn not only to tolerate but to appreciate cultural differences and by getting a wider perspective on things they can develop an attitude which can lead them to recognize that they themselves can become the ambassadors of peace, tolerance, human values and human dignity, they themselves can become the agents of change.

A global teacher also knows that global education, intercultural education, human rights education and global citizenship education are all intertwined terms, and none of which can/should be dealt with in isolation.


2. What are the knowledge ,skills and values that a global teacher should posses?

A global teacher should be sensitive to and knowledgeable in the  fields of sustainable development, the topic of interdependence, cultural identity and diversity, human rights, discrimination, racism, prejudice, equality and social justice, peace, conflict resolution. It goes without saying that he/she should possess information about the current state of the world. This means adequate geographic, economic, political, social, and environmental knowledge.  A global teacher should also know how to get his/her students involved in international telecollaborative projects. In order to meet that end, one must have proper IT skills, foreign language skills and of course proper attitude, an open mindset and adequate sensitivity. Also, a global teacher is value-oriented; he /she should exercises self-mastery and the cultivation of virtues.  Knowledge about the project-based method is also a must for someone who takes his/her classes on an intercultural adventure.

3. What are your experiences that contribute a lot in your way of teaching?

First of all, I come from a multicultural background. My mother is from Panama, actually she has just recently got the Hungarian citizenship. My sister was born in America so she has a dual citizenship. She is American and Hungarian. My father and I were born in Hungary. My parents lived in the States for almost a decade before I was born so at home I often heard of many stories that shaped the way of my thinking and perception of the world. Besides these factors, I can also mention that since my dad was a internationally acknowledged medical ethics lecturer at the University of Pecs, we often had foreign guests at our place. I think all these things led me to become interested in intercultural issues.  As an English teacher I soon realized the potential of the Internet in language education and I knew that I had to harness it for the benefit of my students. So I got my classes and school involved in different international projects. Many of them were EU-related ones, such as the Comenius school-partnership project, or the projects which I ran under the auspices of the European Schoolnet, e.g. Spring Day for Europe, FuturEnergia, MyEurope. I have also taken part in a UNESCO project, such as the Mura-Drava cross-border network for intercultural learning project in 2005-2006. In 2009 I established a YouthNet Foundation, which since its foundation has given many students opportunities to participate in international projects (see www.diakhalo.org).  At last but not least, I must add that since 2005 I have been actively involved with my students in AEC-NET projects. My personal experiences, that is, my trips to foreign countries, the friendships I have built with foreign colleagues throughout the years of collaborating together, my working experiences e.g. my one-year work at the European Schoolnet office in Brussels, and my involvement in the work of such organizations like the British Council in Hungary and the Regional Language Office, AEC-NET, European Schoolnet, all these things have contributed to my present cosmopolitan outlook on the world.  

 

Junior Internet – Opportunity for young Internet enthusiasts!

Logoji

Are you 18 years old or younger, are you creative, full of ideas and interested in the Internet? Do you want to compare your abilities with other people of the same age, get to know a lot of new information about the Internet, gain useful contacts? Register on the Junior Internet project with your web sites, Internet projects, webdesigns or texts about the Internet! Junior Internet can be a springboard, which will introduce you to the world of successful young webdesigners, programmers, Internet journalists, project managers, & even teenage business persons!

Junior Internet was launched in 2000 in the Czech Republic, and has expanded to Hungary, Poland and Slovakia as well. It is open for all young people up to 18 years old, who use the Internet not only for fun, but for creating. Young people can enter the Internet competitions with their web pages, texts about the Internet & webdesigns. Participants of the competitions are then invited to a conference, where programmes are packed with lectures, presentations, discussions and competitions about the Internet. Winners of the competitions get valuable prizes and also the opportunity to present their projects at the conference not only in front of their peers, but also to journalists and IT specialists.

Competitions are organised in all four countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. In 2012, conferences will take place during March in Prague, Wroclaw, Bratislava and Nagykanizsa. The final international symposium will be held in Bratislava, Slovakia from 23 to 25 March, 2010.

Project website (Hungarian): http://www.juniorinternet.hu/ 

Project website (in English): http://www.juniorinternet.cz/english.aspx

Pat Cox, the President of the European Movement International took part in a conference organised by the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, entitled “Restart the next 50 years in the EU” and addressed the audience with a speech on the importance of  European values for further European integration. The event took place in the parliament and was opened by Ms Katalin Szili, the Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament.
Key Hungarian Civil Society leaders, journalists, communication specialists and politicians attended the event and discussed three main issues related to the future of the EU: education, media and NGOs. 

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 Pat Cox

On this occasion, Mr Cox met the members of the European Movement Hungary and the Hungarian European Society for an informal debate on EU issues.

 

The conference was available for viewing online on www.euvonal.hu.

A poster exhibition entitled ‘Fifty years of Europe’ could be also visited on the venue of the conference.

 

It was a great honour to have been invited by the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to be one of the presenters and members on the educational panel. Our section focused on issues such as: What topics are the young interested in, concerning the EU? EU in the Hungarian National Curriculum. Best practices in teaching EU and active citizenship.

As the Hungarian pedagogigal adviser for Spring Day for Europe I seized the opportunity to talk about the Spring Day project and the way it can help bring the European dimension into schools.

educational sector

Seven students of mine also had the opportunity to participate in this great whole day event.

with my students

In the morning the plenary talks discussed the values of the last and the next 50 years in Europe and besides Pat Cox,  the plenary presenters who shared their views on the topic were the following: Mr Péter Balázs, university professor at Central European University and Ms Eszter Babarczy, writer-publicist, Ms Kinga Gal, member of the European Parliament and Xaver Varnus, organist. The moderator was Mr Tamás Halm, Chair of the Economic and Social Council.

Following the afternoon session we gathered once again in the magnificient chamber and listened to the summaries of the parallel section presentations and discussions as well as the recommendations of the education, the media and the NGOs section.

 

Then the conference came to a closure – Szilveszter Vizi E., president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences delivered the closing speech.

But the day did not ended because then came the real celebration!!!

We ate from the special birthday cake and drank champagne and by clinking glasses we wished each other a happy and prosperous EU for the next 50 years.

birthday cake

 

Dear Bee,

Thank you for your invitation to take part in this meme game that is running all around the blogosphere. I highly appreciate that you involved me into this exciting activity. So basically, the idea is for each blogger who accepts the invitation to reveal five things most people don’t know about them and then to pass the baton to five other bloggers by tagging them.

Well, I had to rack my brains hard to come up with some possible pieces of information that may reveal more about me than just some pure facts stated here and there in my online bios and in my CV. Well, in my utmost effort to keep the ball rolling I’ve come up with the following things:

Two outstanding events (professional ones):

I have been lucky enough to give a short talk at the European Commission’s Press Room as a pedagogical advisor for the Spring Day in Europe project.

During the press conference Christiane Haamann from Denmark and I from Hungary, explained why we were interested in participating in the project.

I felt really proud of representing not only the international Teacher’s team (the advisory board) but my native country as well. You can read the official press release here (http://tinyurl.com/ypgbrw).

The other outstanding professional event for me was when I delivered a plenary talk on Information Literacy: Bridging the Digital Divide at the AEC-NET (Asia-Europe Classroom Network) conference in Beijing on 26 September, 2005.

http://www.aec.asef.org/aecnet/aecnet2005_program.html

 

The most memorable course I have attended:

This occured before the birth of my son on 11 April, 1995. I wanted to be present at my son’s birth so I had to attend a course with my wife where we learnt different respiratory and relaxation techniques. I still make good use of them as a teacher.

Unfortunately, I could not be there next to my wife when my daughter was born since everything came so fast. We live very close to the hospital but still no sooner had we arrived to the hospital than my wife started delivering the baby so I unfortunately was destined to wait outside the corridor with my one-year son in my arms.

How I saved some money once 🙂

Sports used to play an important role in my life. I used to be a middle-distance runner and a footballer when I was a high school student. In the early 80’s I ran a so-called mini-marathon (26 km) from Pecs to Harkany. After the run the contesters had a free entrance to the famous spa bath. I really do not know why I did not make it a habit to save the entrance fee this way every year. I think it really pays off in the long run. 🙂


Food:

I love all kinds of food. Mainly typical Hungarian dishes like fish soup, goulash, chicken paprikas, porkolt (stew) etc. (see some info on these dishes here, you can even get the recipes http://www.budapest.com/recipes/foods-dishes.htm)

Well, I like indulging in culinary delights but to tell the truth I am all thumbs when it comes to cooking. I usually help my wife in the kitchen but the other day when I came up with the idea of preparing something special by trying to follow a cookbook recipe my family fiercely protested the idea and they did their best to talk me out of doing so for fearing that they would starve that evening. Actually, they based their prediction on past events when I even failed to make decent pancakes. 😉 In the end I gave in and thought better of my original plan.


My most interesting video presentation

Guess on what?! Yes, on a drink. 🙂 And on the famous Tokaji Aszu. 🙂

Let me give you a brief backround to this event. We Spring Day teachers who belonged to the international advisory team were asked to greet visitors to the project website in our native language and in English, French or German. We had to introduce an object that symbolises our respective countries.

The first thing that sprang to my mind when focusing on the task was wine. Hey, but please do not jump on a false conclusion. 😉 The habit of drinking wine is after all a national costum in my country and we have some really famous wine-producing areas like Tokaj which badly needs widespread publication. So this is how I ended up grabbing a bottle of Tokaji Aszu and the opportunity to publicize the “king of wines” in front of the camcorder. 🙂 (about the wine http://www.funkcity.demon.co.uk/tokaj2.htm#5) (the presentations are at http://futurum2004.eun.org/ww/en/pub/futurum2004/contact/video_greetings.htm it seems the video files are temporarily not accessible)

 

Here are the bloggers who I’ve invited:

Elderbob Brannan (a webhead and a coursemate at the openwebpublishing course and Coordinator, Open Weekends @ knowplace where I was lucky enough to attend some great open weekends) http://eldertown.wordpress.com/

Illya Arnet-Clark (a webhead and a coursemate at the openwebpublishing course) http://illyasoet.wordpress.com/

 

Berta Leiva (a webhead and a coursemate at the openwebpublishing course) http://bleiva2003.wordpress.com/

Jennifer Verschoor (a webhead and a coursemate at the openwebpublishing course)
http://jenverschoor.wordpress.com

Valentina Dodge (a webhead and a coursemate at the openwebpublishing course) http://vale24.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

So I’ve just made it! Finally, I’ve set up my wordpress blog site. I think this calls for a drink. So I go and fetch one. ;) I’ll get back soon.