Roundtable on Youth and Social Media
On July 7th, 2011 iEARN-Belarus joined the UN ECOSOC Ministerial Roundtable on Young People and Social Media: Shaping the Future of Education. The round table took place in Geneva, where Alena Karpitskaya, an educator from Braslav Gymnasium in Belarus, participated in the meeting via video conference.
The Roundtable was an informal discussion with Ministers from various countries, private sector, NGOs and other active youth, on how information, communication and technology impact education. A Facebook e-discussion had been held prior to the Roundtable in order to get input and recommendations from young people on that topic. Responses from the e-discussion were the basis for dialogue during the Roundtable.
There were 5 tables at each of which youth representatives from different counties were given a chance to express their concerns, conclusions and recommendations on the issue. During the discussion, iEARN-Belarus emphasized the effectiveness of integration of nonformal education initiatives led by youth into the formal educational system. Alena introduced intiiatives and projects from iEARN that give an example of successful implementation of ESD practices. The co-chairs of the conference supported the idea that schools should prepare students to become the agents of change but not consumers for future. This, as concluded, can be facilitated only by inquiry-based learning and research by means of participation of youngsters and educators in global learning communities, such as iEARN as well as youth media making empowered by such projects as Adobe Youth Voices.
Also, an important role is played by the NGO sector. In this regard, Alena presented the experience of the educational projects of NEWLINE Club in Belarus and supporting activities of the Academy of Postgraduate Education in Minsk.
For more about the UN ECOSOC Ministerial Roundtable on Young People and Social Media: Shaping the Future of Education: www.un.org/en/ecosoc/substantive2011/index.shtml