Monthly Archives: February 2015

Brief History of Western Influence in the Middle East

The 16 countries of the Middle East were part of the huge Ottoman Empire that ruled for 400 years. The Oghuz Turks founded their empire in 1453 with the conquest of Constantinople—the capital, later called Istanbul. The Turkish-speaking Sultan was the head of Muslims, called a Caliphate, and head of the imperial harem. Christians were second-class citizens. During its peak in the 16th and 17th centuries, the empire controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North African and the Horn of Africa. It dissolved after World War 1 when it sided with the Germans. The British (Iraq and Palestine), and French (Syria and Lebanon) moved in to fill the vacuum, partitioning parts of the Middle East between them. The boundaries weren’t based on logical geographical but rather arbitrary lines, not a good foundation for stability. Ibn Saud created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. In 1948 Israel was established, resulting in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, followed by many others.

The US attempted to control the region for the oil, opposed by anti-western regimes in the 1950s and 60s with ideologies of secular Arab socialism. The US competed with the Soviet Union for influence until its dissolution in 1991. With the loss of the Six-Day War with Israel in 1967, militant Muslims tried to assert Arab power and Arab nationalism replaced state socialism in Egypt, Algeria, Syria and Iraq. Shia clerics took control of Iran while the Wahhabi sect of Islam controls Saudi Arabia. Post-Islamism developed as an alternative to undemocratic Islamist movements, such as the Ennhada Party in Tunisia. Since the Persian Gulf War in 1990, the US maintains a permanent military establishment in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. Its influence is not progressive, supporting dictators like Hosni Mubarak–few Middle Eastern countries are democracies. Turkey and Israel are the most prominent exceptions, recently joined by Tunisia.

A major influence on the Middle East was the discovery of world’s largest oil reserves in Persia in 1908, in Arabia in 1938, and then other Persian Gulf states, plus Libya and Algeria. Oil revenue is controlled by kings and emirs who use it to consolidate their power and inhibit any expansion of the secular democratic model created by Kemal Atatürk in Turkey. Colonial rule discouraged autonomous development and literacy rates in the Middle East remained lower than other developing countries—half the women were illiterate in 1995.[i] A Tunisian activist put the cause of the Arab Spring under one umbrella, “the struggle of the whole south under colonialism.” Another Tunisian mentioned their goal to end “savage capitalism.” Minor protests occurred in Lebanon, Mauitania, Saudi Arabia and the Sudan with little impact except the tens of thousands political prisoners held in deplorably crowded conditions.[ii] The government was also able to keep the lid on lively protests in Iran.

[i] Henry, 2006.

[ii] Alastair Sloan, “Who are the ‘Political Prisoners’ in Saudi and Iran?”, Middle East Monitor, Aril 30, 2014.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/middle-east/11203-who-are-the-political-prisoners-in-saudi-and-iran

Russian Feminists vs. Putin and the Church

 

Why is Putin so Macho? Valerie Sperling Explains

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/valerie-sperling/putin-female-fans-shirtless_b_6664240.html?utm_hp_ref=twPutin subdues a Siberian tiger! Putin flies a jet fighter! Putin defeats opponents in martial arts! Putin fishes and rides horseback — shirtless!

As Russian President Vladimir Putin consolidated power during his first three terms in office, the media regularly painted him as a macho superhero. The purpose of these displays is to represent Putin as a strong, decisive leader who can be counted upon to solve challenging problems with a convincing mixture of cool levelheadedness and the credible threat to use force as needed. He is portrayed as a masculine leader who is re-masculinizing Russia, after the humiliating collapse of the Soviet Union.

But “masculinity” is not only about what men do. A male politician’s “manly” image can also be enhanced by portrayals of attractive young women’s support for him. And Putin’s image makers have embraced this tactic.

In 2010, as a gift for Putin’s birthday, twelve female students and alumni of Moscow State University’s prestigious journalism department published a calendar featuring photos of themselves in lingerie, each woman suggesting herself as a potential lover for Putin. “You put the forest fires out, but I’m still burning,” smiled a student illustrating the month of March. In a similar vein, in 2011, an all-female group called “Putin’s Army” announced an “I’ll Rip [it] for Putin” contest via an Internet video clip that ended with a cleavage-boasting young woman ripping open her tank top to demonstrate her dedication to Putin.

That same month, a bikini car wash took place in Moscow in Putin’s honor, where scantily-clad young women from the “I really do like Putin” group volunteered to wash Russian-made cars for free. It appears that Putin’s Army and the “I really do like Putin” group may not have been spontaneous manifestations of support for Putin. Kremlin-sponsored youth group, Nashi, reportedly funded Putin’s Army along with a range of other pro-Putin web projects, according to emails allegedly hacked by a group calling itself the Russian arm of Anonymous. Unsurprisingly, this has not been confirmed by the Kremlin.

In 2011, Putin’s Army continued its activity by filming a video for Putin’s birthday. Promising that their birthday gift would be “the sweetest,” a handful of women wearing only underpants and white button-down shirts were shown baking their idol a chocolate birthday cake (decorated with a heart) while squirting whipped cream into their mouths.

In early October 2012, the United Russia party’s youth wing, Young Guard, produced a video featuring attractive young women mimicking a variety of Putin’s “manly” exploits. The video upheld Putin’s image as a highly desirable man from the standpoint of the women, who grew giddy at the prospect of seeing him in person.

“A male politician’s ‘manly’ image can also be enhanced by portrayals of attractive young women’s support for him.”

 

The latest “spontaneous” outpouring of love for Putin from a female fan appeared on YouTube in late January 2015 in the form of a new song by Mashani, a Russian female singer from Novosibirsk. The catchy pop tune, “My Putin” (Moi Putin), lauds Putin for his fearless ability to face the “war that threatens on all fronts” and for his willingness to “challenge” those who stand in the way of his goals. In the music video, a tall slender woman with ribbons in her long hair wears a tricolor dress patterned after the Russian flag and proclaims her delight that Putin has taken Crimea, and — more surprisingly — that he’s going to “revive the Union.”

She is also shown in a blue-and-yellow dress — the colors of the Ukrainian flag — looking alarmed and sad, trapped inside a bombed-out brick building, seeking help from Putin. The chorus, which she sings in the guise of both “Ukraine” and “Russia,” in her different outfits, brings together Putin’s machismo in foreign policy and his appeal as a man. Her lyrics:

You’re Putin.
I want to be with you.
I’m calling after you.
My Putin, my dear Putin,
Take me with you.

Such examples show how female sexuality has been used in the service of male political authority in Putin’s Russia. Pro-Kremlin activists have mobilized female sexuality in various ways to show Putin’s desirability both as a man and as a state leader.

Another means of mobilizing gender stereotypes in politics is to undermine opponents by questioning their manliness. In one such instance, in 2011, a pro-Putin youth group named “Stal'” (Steel) went out in Moscow with a petition asking people to have the prosecutor’s office investigate charges that the liberal politician Boris Nemtsov had been raped while serving a 15-day jail sentence for participating in an opposition rally. The group had no evidence that such abuse occurred. With this rather unsubtle example of political sleight-of-hand, Stal’ in effect “accused” Nemtsov of being the victim of sexual abuse and thus of being insufficiently “masculine” to fend off attackers (or perhaps, even being a willing participant in gay male sex).

“Putin is portrayed as a masculine leader who is re-masculinizing Russia, after the humiliating collapse of the Soviet Union.”

 

Putin also used homophobia to confront the masses of protestors who flooded Moscow’s streets objecting to widespread fraud in Russia’s parliamentary elections in 2011. During Putin’s annual call-in TV show in 2011, Putin jested that he thought the protestors’ white ribbons (which stood for clean elections) looked like condoms and that perhaps the vast crowd of protestors were actually AIDS activists. His remarks were intended to paint the protestors as gay, thereby rendering them objects of ridicule in the context of Russian state-sponsored homophobia.

Similar tactics appear in foreign policy when gender-related imprecations are lobbed against world leaders. Putin, for example, used homophobic terms to dismiss Georgia’s Rose Revolution (a democratizing effort in 2003), when he responded to a reporter’s question about Georgia by saying, “A rose revolution — next they’ll come up with a light blue one!” In Russian, “light blue” is slang for “gay male.” Putin’s ally in that conflict, the president of South Ossetia, likewise remarked about Georgia’s president, “Saakashvili is far from having democratic values — not to speak of male ones — he doesn’t have any of those at all.”

An emblematic example of this approach of putting down the “masculinity” of your foreign opponents appeared in the Twittersphere in 2014. Just after the U.S. imposed a new round of sanctions on Russia, and in the wake of the shooting down of Flight MH-17 in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, tweeted out a pair of photos side by side. One showed Putin holding and petting a leopard, while the other depicted Barack Obama holding and cuddling a white poodle. The caption read, “We have different values and different allies.”

“When ‘masculinity’ is at stake at home or abroad, especially in armed conflicts, we had all best be aware of it before urging our politicians on to victory over the other team.”

 

Such tactics are by no means unique to Russia. Interviewed on Fox News in March 2014, Sarah Palin compared Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin in gendered terms. “People are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil,” she said. “They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.” Palin went on to condemn Obama for his “weak leadership” and inability to understand “peace through strength.” In so doing, Palin was criticizing the President by questioning his manliness in conjunction with his policy choices.

When political actors wield gender norms this way, they are wrangling over the ownership and attribution of masculinity and femininity, and over the masculine strength and power of leaders. Painting a male leader as being “feminine” — that is, as being insufficiently strong and insufficiently “masculine” — undermines his authority in a way that’s easy for people raised on sexist and homophobic stereotypes, as most of us are, to grasp.

Tough, “manly” leaders are typically perceived as being best able to handle a crisis. And this paves the way for the escalation of conflicts, like the one in Ukraine. It enables the macho dictum that “You don’t back down” to prevail. When ‘masculinity’ is at stake at home or abroad, especially in armed conflicts, we had all best be aware of it before urging our politicians on to victory over the other team.

Sexism Increasing in China

Leta Hong Fincher maintains that sexism in China has gotten worse in a retreat from gender equality espoused by the Communist Party when Chairman Mao said “Women hold up half the sky.” She observes that most Chinese believe that men belong outside and women inside the home.[1] However, a woman’s movement exists in the form of feminists who organize unregistered grassroots women’s rights groups.[2] Registered groups such as the Anti-Domestic Violence Network in Beijing can’t work on their own but must work in alignment with the All-China’s Women’s Federation (established in 1949).

Some of the underground leaderless groups use performance art to make their statements to cloak the political content, such as “Li Maizi” and other radical lesbian feminist university students and friends who organized a performance in Beijing in 2012. They wore white wedding gowns splattered with red paint to protest domestic violence and carried posters saying “Violence is right beside you. Why are you silent?” They posted photos on their Weibo pages where Li Maizi has thousands of followers, although she said the people who comment on Weibo are mostly men. Like FEMEN and SlutWalk demonstrators, they used their bare torsos, in this case, splashed with red paint to collect 10,000 signatures to lobby for legislation to penalize domestic violence. In the “Bald Sisters” campaign they shaved their heads in a variety of cities to protest quotas giving men an advantage in university admission ”to protect the national interest,” now that women score higher on entrance exams.

Hong Fincher noted that many of the most committed feminists are lesbians, which used to be considered a mental illness and a “hooligan crime.” Some feminists occupied men’s toilets to advocate more public toilets for women. “Occupy men’s toilets” was blocked on the main social media site Sina Weibo and bloggers sites frequently get hacked. Police pressure university administrators, employers, landlords and family members to pressure activists to be silent and often invite them to drink tea, meaning be interrogated by police. Although women villagers also organize against corrupt officials, activists complained that western media ignores them.

Another step backward is the campaign to get women to value getting married and having a child above career advancement, to avoid being the dreaded “leftover women” who are still single in their late 20s. Employers are allowed to openly discriminate, as in their ads stating that only men or attractive young women should apply. Women are encouraged by government agencies such as the Women’s Federation to not be too picky in their choice of a husband, although there’s a shortage of marriage-age women. Single men are called “bare branches” and are often poor and uneducated. The government believes “harmonious society” depends on harmonious family as the state is obsessed with maintaining stability when hundreds of thousands of protests occur each year. The Party is also worried about the surplus of men caused by the one-child policy. A Xinha News editorial reposted on the Women’s Federation website encouraged women whose husbands were having an affair, a common issue, to “Try changing your hairstyle or your fashion.”[3] They also said there are three genders in China: men, women, and women with Ph.D.” In 2013, the Party’s newspaper, the People’s Daily disparaged “leftover women” because “single, highly educated and well-paid as they may be, they are the ones who are left behind.”[4] Local branches of the Women’s Federation arrange matchmaking events for “high-quality” women who will produce quality children. Hong Fincher doesn’t paint a hopeful picture for Chinese women.

[1] Leta Hong Fincher. Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China. Zed Books, 2014, p. 38.

[2] Leta Hong Fincher. Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China. Zed Books, 2014, Chapter 6.

[3] Ibid, p. 20.

[4] Ibid., p. 41.

Cubans Aim to Create A New Consciousness

Cuba’s socialism is a sharp contrast to US capitalism. When I traveled there on an educational tour with my son, the only ads we saw were political ones, like posters of Che Guevara. Blogger Yoani Sanchez relates how the Castro government aimed to create a new person, non-competitve, thinking about the good of the proletariat, as in Russia and China during their earlier periods of efforts to apply Marxist-Leninist ideals, and Scandinavia today. She blogged,

 

For Cubans of my generation, longing for success was a terrible ideological deviation—not only longing to stand out personally, but professionally and economically. We were raised to be humble, and if we received any kind of recognition, we were taught to emphasize that we could not have achieved it without the help of our comrades. . . . Competitiveness was punished with accusations very difficult to expunge from our dossiers, accusations such as “self-sufficient” or “immodest.” Success must be—or seen to be—shared, the fruit of everyone’s labors under the wise direction of the Party. . . . We hid material possessions to show that we were all children of a self-sacrificing proletariat, and that we detested the bourgeoisie.[i]

 

Without the ads’ emphasis on model’s touched up bodies, women were comfortable with their bodies, ample women showing off their curves in spandex pants. We rented a very simple apartment from a family in Havana. They told us that Americans have a lot more possessions than they do (my son traded T-shirts with a Cuban boy and saw that he only owned a couple of shirts), but they take time to enjoy family, dancing, music, and the beach. Every town we went to had a Music House supported by the government with wonderful salsa dancers—my dance lessons paid off. The negative side is the lack of freedom of speech with political prisoners in jail and limits on entrepreneurship. We saw our unlicensed taxi driver get questioned by the police for his illegal business. The police also asked for the residency papers of a young man with dreadlocks who came up to talk to my son to try to sell him marijuana.

Few Cubans have access to the Internet. Yoani Sanchez is the best known opposition blogger. In May 2014 she launched an independent news outlet with other journalists, which was quickly hacked by authorities directing Cubans to a page criticizing her. She blogged, “How can a citizen protect himself from a State that has the police, the courts, the Rapid Response Brigades, the mass media. . . .?” She compiled her blogs in Havana Real: One Woman Fights to Tell the Truth about Cuba Today (2011).[ii] Most Cubans can’t afford the $4.50 an hour charge to use Internet at a café. Viewers outside of Cuba can read the blogs: Sanchez has more than 600,000 Twitter followers. Journalist and blogger Sandra Abd’Allah-Alvarez Ramirez is a black feminist who reported, “There are voices of feminist women, but not a feminist movement.” As elsewhere, “There is a lot of ignorance around the word ‘feminism’… Even women who defend women’s rights… tend to say “I am not a feminist’ nor would they talk about a movement.”[iii] She attended a concert where a young rapper criticized female subordination but later said, “It’s not like I’m a feminist.”

[i] Yoani Sanchez. Havana Real: One Woman Fights to Tell the Truth About Cuba Today. Melville House, 2009

[ii] English language blog: http://generacionyen.wordpress.com/

The news page with other journalists: http://www.14ymedio.com/

[iii] Carolina Drake, “On Social Media, Cubans Speak Up for Feminism and Racial Justice,” Bitch Media, April 8, 2014.

http://bitchmagazine.org/post/on-social-media-cubans-speak-up-for-feminism-and-racial-justice

Charges of US Government Involvement in Recent Uprisings

Some accuse the CIA of being behind many of the recent uprisings by training and funding young leaders. It’s well known that the CIA manipulated regime change around the world; perhaps the best known is the Pinochet coup in Chile[i] and recent USAID efforts to destabilize Cuba with a Twitter-like program. The most recent accusation is that the CIA was involved in an attempted coup against Venezuelan socialist President Madero in 2015. Author Frances Stonor Saunders charged in Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Lectures that the CIA funded the non-communist left since the late 60 through pass-through organizations: the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, the US Institute of Peace, the Ford Foundation, The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, CANVAS (Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). WikkiLeaks showed that CANVAS was working for Stratfor to destabilize Venezuela.

Charges were made that anti-communist Gene Sharp’s widely used materials on non-violent overthrow are partly funded by the US government, a charge he denies. His Albert Einstein Institute states on the website, “From Dictatorship to Democracy was first published in Burma in 1993. It has since been translated into at least 34 other languages and was used by the campaigns of Serbia’s Otpor, Georgia’s Kmara, Ukraine’s Pora, Kyrgyzstan’s KelKel and Belarus’ Zubr.” Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian governments also used his writings during the breakup of the USSR. Lithuanian Defense Minister Audrius Butkevicius was quoted on the website; “I would rather have this book [Civilian Based Defense] than the nuclear bomb. The Albert Einstein Institution is housed in Sharp’s Boston home, with a small annual budget, and only one assistant– evidence given by those who dismiss changes of working for the CIA.[ii] However, his board of directors has links to the US military or pass-through foundations and he has received funding from CIA-linked foundations and the Defense Department, according to Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, author of a free ebook 21st Century Revolution.[iii] She next traced CIA involvement in the Arab Spring, pointing to evidence in L’Arabesque Americaine by Ahmed Bensaada, 2011.[iv]

[i] Peeter Kornbluh, “CIA Acknowleddges Ties to Pinochet’s Repression,” The National Security Archive, September 19, 2000.

http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20000919/index.html

[ii] Stephen Zunes, “Attacks on Gene Sharp and Albert Einstein Institute Unwarranted,” Huff Post Politics, February 21, 2015.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-zunes/attacks-on-gene-sharp-and_b_109526.html

[iii] Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, “Why the CIA Funds Nonviolence Training,” Dissent Voice, March 13, 2012.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/03/why-the-cia-funds-nonviolence-training/

http://stuartjeannebramhall.com/21st-century-revolution-free-ebook/

[iv] Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, “The CIA Role in the Arab Spring,” blog, January 18, 2014.

http://stuartjeannebramhall.com/2014/01/18/the-cia-role-in-the-arab-spring/

Pussy Riot Sings Against Global Police Violence

Russian punk band Pussy Riot’s first first song and video in English was called “I Can’t Breathe” in reference to the choking death of Eric Garner by a New York City policeman.[i] They wore Russian police uniforms as they gradually were buried to show that police violence is a global problem and that police themselves can be oppressed, as when Russian police are pressured to give false evidence in court. They said the lack of freedom in Russia is a “terrible situation” but they have no plans to leave Moscow.

[i] Jethro Mullen, “Pussy Riot Dedicated New Song ‘I Can’t Breathe’ to Eric Garner,” CNN, February 19, 2015.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/19/us/pussy-riot-garner-video/index.html

Tech Use in Secondary Education by Max, Ukranian teacher

 

Technology in Education

Maksym Tkachuk

Rivne Regional In-Service Teacher Training Institute

 

Abstract

Technology in education gives a great opportunity for the current generation to get more information while using electronic devices. However, such opportunity brings to the modern generation of students disadvantages as well as some advantages. The research paper analyzes the use of contemporary technology achievements in educational institutions. It shows DELETE how technology can help teachers to save their time and effectively prepare for their lectures. Moreover, it highlights the advantages of using computers and software in classrooms. It provides the information about online resources for both teachers and students and illuminates the practical approach teachers can apply in their work. The paper also describes the high cost of using technology equipment in schools, colleges and universities. Finally, it explains how the use of technology in education can distract students from the studying process.

Keywords: technology, education process, classrooms, teacher, computers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

The development of technology in the 21st century made a profound impact on the educational approach and the way of teaching. The vast majority of people who are not related to the process of education probably think that a teacher is a person who puts all his or her efforts into the process of teaching. However, it is not a completely true statement. A teacher is a figure in education that SPENDS A decent amount of time on the process of searching and preparing information for students. The teacher also serves as a counselor, psychologist, manager and activist of the community life. In order to accomplish all these duties and responsibilities, it is necessary for the teacher to shorten his or her time for such processes as collecting data, preparing information and educating students in classrooms. For this purpose, computers and other technological equipment WERE introduced in schools in order to help teachers to GATHER and present information. However, the introduction of technology in educational institutions has NEGATIVE AS WELL AS positive as well as negative effects on the educational process. On the one hand, this process has facilitated the conditions of teacher’s work. On the other hand, it poses some threats for students.

The introduction of technologies into the educational process is a great advantage for teachers to accelerate their efforts in order to provide more information for students in a short period of time. With the help of technology COMMA professional teachers can also increase THE efficiency of their work. One of the most efficient technologies that can deeply change the process of education is the employment of DELETE computers in schools.

 

 

Technologies in schools CAP S

Nowadays, all educational institutions IN UKRAINE? use computers, which triggered rearrangement of the education system. Teachers employ them in order to utilize visual models that help students to increase their learning experience and understand new concepts. The use of computer programs is an effective tool that helps students better retain information. It definitely makes a teacher’s life more efficient and easier. “Teachers can find suggestions, lesson plans, practical support, information, and materials through the Internet” (Simons, 2012). The Internet community can help regular teachers to NO TO upgrade their knowledge as well as apply new and more effective concepts and approaches in schools for students of different ages. The cyber space gives an opportunity for teachers to share information WITH each other. It is also a great tool for students to upgrade and expand their knowledge of any subject they want. Computer technology, while being introduced into schools, can provide students with the opportunity to learn information that was not introduced by the teacher during the course.

The e-reader is the next effective technological tool in education that might bring some benefits to the educational process. The electronic device allows students to download and display different texts and books instead of searching for them in libraries. The e-readers or Tablet PCs are A **great time-saver for all students. The introduction of these devices in schools will save not only time but also the considerable number of trees and paper (Walsh, 2011). It is a significant reason to incorporate technological appliances into the education process, especially when the world faces the environmental problems DELETE related to the process of deforestation. Talking about other technologies like visual tools, they can help students better understand the RELEVANT topics. The ability of students to watch videos, images, graphics and animations will help to compare the studied material with real-life situations and examples (Exposito, Trujillo, & Gamess, 2010). It could possibly help students to escape some mistakes and understand how they can apply their knowledge to future job positions.

Despite the fact that technology in education can accelerate the studying process, it has some disadvantages. From the financial point of view, it is impossible for each school to buy A multimedia classroom and provide access to it for each student. Even if some schools can afford technological devices, it is vital for those schools to collect extra money in order to maintain the work of the appliances. Additionally, extra expenses should be provided for the studying process of teachers WHO HAVE to have certain skills in order to operate technological devices and software programs. In the future, educational institutions WILL NEED TO pay money in order to repair broken equipment or for the service of the IT worker in case of problems with hardware and software programs. It also should be highlighted that some technical problems with technological equipment can significantly interrupt the process of education during laboratories or lectures.

Free access DEL to the Internet can also distract STUDENTattention from the issues discussed during classes and waste their time during lectures. Many students who have laptops or tablets not only waste their time in the Internet but also distract their peers (Tausend, 2013). Thus, technology could serve as an opportunity for students to hide behind computer screens in order to escape the discussion in the class. It is also a problem for teachers that should put extra efforts in order to turn students’ attention and distract them from computers. The computer technology could also be dangerous REALLY? from the point of view that students can search for information that does not concern the current lecture or education at all. As a consequence, in classrooms they can use the Internet for their entertainment rather than for educational purposes. Children in pre-school educational institutions can accept technology as entertainment rather than educational tool (Plowman & Stephen, 2005).

Technology in education can significantly contribute to the studying process and help students effectively use their time in terms of the immediate access to various pieces of information. Technology can also be a powerful tool for teachers who can use it in order to save time as well as effectively search and prepare information for their lectures. However, the lack of financial sources, unexpected problems with expensive equipment and distractive features of the Internet can undermine the DELETE process of education.

Practical approach

The next SECTION will provide A practical approach for teachers to overcome some problems mentioned above DEL and will REDUCE the negative effect of DEL technology in school.

To apply DEL technology efficiently in the classroom COMMA teachers should learn this tool at least to be the LEVEL OF intermediate users. They should know practical ways to solve any REALLY? possible type of problem with technology during the class.

The problem with AN expensive Internet CONNECTION can be solved by A collaborative approach when all teachers in a specific school pay for the Internet from their own pocketS. The more teachers are in school the less money to pay. It is the way we OPERATIE in our own school. Every teacher in our school regularly pays a certain amount of money per year to cover the Internet expenses.

The best way to make students learn through technology during classes is to give them short-time passwords which will allow them to use Internet only for a short period of time. Teachers can also use software to see the screen of each student in class.

All REALLY? broken hardware can be replaced by not very expensive but used hardware; this will save some money for repair.

So, what is the best way to apply technology while teaching English in school? Where do I find the information?

Answering these questions I have to admit that there is no one main approach or pattern teachers can follow while introducing technology into their classes. The advantage of such situation is that it gives you an opportunity to create your own approach to English teaching through technology. It allows you to choose the resources from the variety of sources available online on the Internet.

There will ARE A couple OF resources I find really useful for teaching English. THE First one is Storybird. This tool allows students TO make visual stories in seconds. It can be used by the teacher at the beginning of the topic to introduce it to students and it can be used by students during a certain number of classes to make their own stories on a specific topic. Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read and print. You can also get a class account here. I use this tool with my students duringDEL project work. Colorful templates AND A simple interface WITH their resource easily teachES students to use it. Here is the link to this resource www.storybird.com It is free and I recommend it for ESL teachers to improve writing and reading skills.

THE Second resource is Tagxedo. This resource is about making a word cloud. ESL teachers can use it to introduce new words into the students’ active vocabulary. You can create word clouds in real time by choosing different shapes and forms. Your students can use it to make a word cloud of the words which relate to a certain topic during the project or home task. The following is the link to the resource www.tagxedo.com It is also free and I recommend it as a tool for vocabulary building.

The third resource is probably my favorite. It is called Kubbu. It is an online e-learning tool designed to facilitate teachers’ work and enhance the learning process. Teachers can register here and they can also create accounts for their students they work with. Tests, quizzes, activities for listening, writing and reading comprehensions can be designed within this tool. THE Teacher creates the activity at home and gives a student a password to access it online, after that the result will be displayed for both student and DEL teacher. It means that all tests and exams can be done in class or out of class and evaluated right away. The link will take you to this resource www.kubbu.com You can you use it for free for a limited number of students (30) and limited number of activities (15). As I have already mentioned COMMA it can be used to evaluate students’ skills as in the end of the topic so in the end of the semester WHAT?. IT SAVES saves not only the time for evaluation but also the paper and thus trees.

Voki is the next service should be mentioned. It is a service that lets you create customized speaking characters. You can create speaking avatars with voice from the service or your own voice. You can also teach students to use it and later employ it as an effective learning tool to engage students with Interactive lessons; introduce technology in a fun way; enhance language skills, which is an essential factor for ESL teachers. This service can be used with students of different age. It is a great tool for homework and projects. It shapes active vocabulary, writing skills and speaking skills. Find it by the following link www.voki.com

A lot of my colleagues very often use songs in English to teach students. So, I found one really nice tool that can be introduced into the classroom for English teaching through songs. It is called LyricsTraining. It is an easy and fun way to learn and improve foreign language skills, through the music videos and the lyrics of favorite songs. The service also has a Karaoke mode that lets you sing and enjoy the full lyrics. Students will learn new vocabulary and expressions with it; they will reinforce grammar concepts through continuous exercise of writing the missing words; it will train their capacity to recognize the sounds and words of the language in a short time. Recent studies have shown that simple exposure to the sounds of another language sets up in our brain the structures and connections necessary for learning it. What’s more it is fun way to learn and listen to different accents and types of pronunciations. THE Link is available here lyricstraining.com

These five resources mentioned above I use for my classes. You can sticks SSTICK with them or you can find otherS for yourself and your classes. Here are some tips how to do it:

  • Find 7 to 10 different resources for different comprehensive and productive activities and learn how to use them;
  • Try them in class with your students;
  • Select 3 to 5 resources you will be able to use in class for further English teaching;
  • Teach your students how to use them;
  • Use them regularly for at least 1 school year;

Such method will give you an opportunity to try and filter the resources available on the

Internet. You cannot use new resource every single class as it won’t allow students even to get the basic skills, so DEL you must filter and choose A couple to work with during a certain period of time.

Technology should be incorporated into the classroom activities. It should replace chalk

and blackboard as it more effective and advanced teaching tool. You can also create your own resources if you are advanced in programming, but still it is easier to search for already designed tools.

 

Online teaching and learning

Another vital issue in education of today is how to shape and improve our own foreign

language skills as an ESL teacher.

The answer to this question is simple – online education, known as lifetime education.

This part of my work will give a short glimpse on the methods ESL teachers can use to keep their foreign language in shape.

Online/distant learning education is a fast growing trend in the global education through

its use technology. Distant education is a broader category compared to online learning, but the two overlap each other since their use the latest technology in learning. In the distance learning process, lessons are designed to assist students to undertake different tasks and get important information. Students who engage in distance training are usually conversant with the new technologies that they use in their studies (Berg, 2002). I consider online/distant learning as a great tool for training teachers from different regions in more simple way.

Learning/Distance Education

Distance learning meets THE diverse needs of the user and is used in many places that include home and work place. The content provided in distance education is readily available to users and learners; therefore, maximum information is kept???? by the participants. Learners who study in their natural environments reduce the costs of travelling and any other expenses associated with training from the classrooms. Distance learning has developed to a greater extent and is mostly used by those students who are working as they study (Finkelstein, 2006).

Distance learning refers to education that is enhanced by use of computers and recently, it is extending to rising technologies, for example, Personal Digital Assistants and mobile computing. Distance education also use technologies that are web-based, they include: blogs, simulation games, polls and wikis (Anderson, 2008). Distance learning is very useful in tertiary education, for example in the universities. Distance electronic training serves different groups of learners; they range from novice learners, middle learners, advanced learners and learners with experience. Both dependent and independent learners attend the distance electronic learning that consists of either partHYPEN time or fullHYPHEN time classes. The prerequisites of distance electronic learning are culture, IT and management (Anderson, 2008).

There are various multimedia contents that are fit for different distance electronic learning students; they include: e-libraries, where students FIND books online; e-books, and streaming audio files. There are various methods of distance electronic learning; they include: Computer Based Training WHERE students’ study by performing special training courses on a computer. Web Based Training – in this form of distance learning, students study by conducting special training through theCAP internet using a computer (Miller et al, 2002). Virtual Classroom, Lab – in this form, students study while at home, and they use webcams and voice over IP during their virtual classes. Finally, there is DEL Digital Learning GameS, EDUCATIONAL computer games DEL(Miller et al, 2002).

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web.(Wikipedia, 2014). DEL it is one of the best tools for ESL teachers to use in order to improve their language skills. For this reason I would like to give the list of seven best MOOC platforms for online education from across the world. These platforms are used by the famous universities around the globe to provide access to free knowledge for people both with limited and unlimited financial resources. As an ESL teacher I am registered at one DEL such platform and take regularly classes there.

Number one is www.coursera.org , second is www.khanacademy.org SPACE, third one is www.udacity.com , next is www.edx.org , PERIOD CAPthis is the one I am registered at, so I will speak a little bit about the ways they work AS AN example of this platformPERIOD fifth is i-tunes U for IOS users, sixth is www.udemy.com , where you can design and teach your own courses, and final one is our native one, designed in Ukraine by the leading Ukrainian universities http://prometheus.org.ua/ , DEL very similar to EDX.

So, how do they operate? Are they free or not? What will be the proof of the completion of the course? They all are online educational platforms which allow taking courses online for a wide range of participants around the world. I am registered at EDX. So, first thing you have to do is to register at one of these platforms. Then you enrol in the course or course you choose at the web-site,PERIOD CAP they all are categorized, so it is rather easy to pick the most suitable for you. Course lengthS range from 4 to 9 weeks,SEMI-COLON each weeksNO S involves some theoretical and practical activities and homework with due dates. You can take the course as a verified student, MEANING you pay for participation and receive a certificate upon a course completion with a certain pass grade,PERIOD CAP you can also take a course with honor code, it means you will get the certificate in the end of the course if you score with some certain grade to pass it and it is free, PEROD CAPthe third way to take a course is to become an audit student, it means you won’t get a certificate and you can do any assignments of the course you want without a due time. If you want to learn more you should enrol yourself in any of the available courses and try.

In my opinion, such educational tools create a great opportunity for people from distant regions TO take high quality education by using A computer and Internet.

 

Conclusion

Distance learning is essential for those individuals who are employed and need to further their education. The instructors use various ways to assess the understanding of their distant students. They use tests and homework that assist them in assessing the knowledge. The success of distant education is determined by the availability of the new technology and the students’ knowledge on the IT so that they are able to use the computers in their research and to access the data sent to them by their instructors in the form of soft copies (Miller et al, 2002). RUN-ON SENTENCEThe different forms of training help the students to undertake all the activities associated with distance education, such as performing experiments and communicating with the instructor. The methods of communication used in distant learning enable the students and the instructor to convey their messages. The learners are capable of presenting their queries and comments on the training while the instructor guides them in their education.

Unfortunately THE Ukrainian system of education is not quite ready for such challenges due to such factors as:

  • Low access to Internet connection in the vast majority of regions;
  • RoughINADEUATE knowledge of technologies by teachers and students;
  • High level of bureaucratic procedures connected with incorporation technology to schools;
  • Insufficient financing, etc;

However, there is a hope that our online education will change in the future and teachers will be able not only use the technology effectively but shape and improve their teaching and learning skills via web-based platforms for online learning.

 

 

References

Anderson, T. (Ed.). (2008). Theory and practice of online learning (2nd ed.). Edmonton: AU Press.

Athabasca University. (2000). International review of research in open and distance learning. Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University.

Berg, G. A. (2002). Why distance learning?: Higher education administrative practices. Westport, Conn: Oryx Press.

Exposito, J., Trujillo, V., & Gamess, E. (2010). Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering and Computer Science 2010: Using Visual Educational Tools for the Teaching and Learning of EIGRP. (Vol. 1, pp. 169-174). San Francisco, USA: Newswood Limited.

Finkelstein, J. (2006). Learning in real time: Synchronous teaching and learning online. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, A John Wiley & Sons Imprint.

Lau, L. K. (Ed.). (2000). Distance learning technologies: Issues, trends, and opportunities. Hershey, Pa: Idea Group Pub.

Miller, I., Schlosberg, J., & Kaplan Educational Centers (Firm : New York, N.Y.) (2002). Distance learning. New York: Kaplan Educational Centers.

OLPC/MOOC. Retrieved December 02, 2014 from the OLPC Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course

Plowman, L., & Stephen, C. (2005). Children play and computers in pre-school education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 36(2), 145-157.

Simons, K. (2012). How can computers and the Internet help me as a classroom literacy teacher? University of Pittsburgh School of Education. Retrieved from http://www.education.pitt.edu/EducationalResources/Teachers/LEADERS/FrequentlyAskedQuestionsFAQ/UsingComputersandtheInternetforTeaching.aspx

Stephenson, J. (2001). Teaching & learning online: New pedagogies for new technologies. London: Kogan Page.

Tausend, J. (2013, July 25). Distraction or opportunity? A guide to embracing technology in the classroom. EDTECH. Retrieved from http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/ 2013/07/distraction-or-opportunity-guide-embracing-technology-classroom

Walsh, K. (2011, June 22). Educational technology – weighing the pros and cons. EmergingEdTech. Retrieved from http://www.emergingedtech.com/2011/06/education-technology-weighing-the-pros-and-cons/

Regional Women’s Development Organizations

The Global Fund for women invests in “women-led organizations and women’s collective leadership for change.”[i] It was founded in 1986 by three California women.

In the US, Sisterhood is Global Institute in Canada calls itself the “Think Tank of International Feminism,” interacting with many other similar groups.

WIDE (Women in Development in Europe) is composed of European feminists who lobby their governments’ development polices to include women’s well-being, similar to WEDO.[ii]

Gender and Development Network in the UK lobbies for women in development programs.[iii]

The Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women focuses on women in their region.[iv]

In Latin America, FCAM, The Central American Fund for Women, targets grants to young women’s rights organizations in rural areas, specifically “indigenous, Afro-Caribbean, with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, sexual workers, HIV-positive, migrant, domestic, and maquila workers [factory workers].”[v]

Some organizations promote Muslim women’s rights like Women Living Under Muslim Laws founded in 1984.[vi]

[i] http://www.globalfundforwomen.org/impact/top-10-wins-for-womens-movements

[ii] http://www.wide-network.org/s

[iii] http://www.gadnetwork.org

[iv] http://www.arrow.org.my/

[v] http://fcmujeres.org/programas/convocatorias/?lang=en

[vi] http://www.wluml.org/node/5408s