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Thème RIDEF 2018

Theme for RIDEF in Sweden 2018 - Modern Communication Is about the Transportation of Ideas and Substance

On the 18th December 2010 the unemployed Tunisian academic Mohammed Bouazizi burnt himself to death as a protest against the Tunisian regime. That became the start of the so called the Arab Spring. No Arab Spring would have been possible without Facebook! Messages were sent out at a speed which no one could have imagined five years ago! To many children all over the world this is a reality that they find completely normal and indeed natural. They were born into a digital world!

School cannot and will not stop the acceleration of digital development. We have to face the fact that things are different now and we have to decide how to deal with this new reality. Can School turn this technology into something useful for the pupils? Can social media and the digital world strengthen democracy? Is it even possible to discuss the reverse side of the democracy coin?

In Sweden “The digital Spring” has been a reality for many years and the Swedish Freinet Movement has always been a part of it. Children use computers, tablets, mobile phones, every day in the search for information. They use them to send messages, take pictures, make films, share their stories, but also to use the digital world for things which we don´t wish them to do.

It is important for School to both learn and teach in this matter. It is important to understand how young people, in a generation that takes the internet for granted, think and act. What tools do we need? What do we expect in the future? What´s in store for that we can´t even begin to imagine? Should we show the kids the yellow or red post-boxes that we used to put our letters in before E-mail took over?

Of course we should,! Without the knowledge of history it´s impossible to understand the continuum of today and definitely not the future! We still have to live our lives in “real time” but without condemning the choices that the young people make. Is this at all possible? Well it certainly has to be possible?

We have to see the potentiality of being able to handle the tools ourselves and to have the ability to understand that it is human beings who are behind the new technology and that there are human beings who may have very different reasons for using it. We have to help the children by exposing inappropriate irregularity but at the same time teach them how to embrace the new digital world to create a better world for everyone to live in.

It is our contention that people learn when they study together with others. In the new digital world it´s vitally important to talk and to discuss with others. With the speed that the internet is expanding, children and adults have to be aware that at any given moment they have to be able to evaluate the information they´re receiving from the web. So if School can´t guarantee an objective and critical view, then who else can?

School must teach children and young people to continually ask questions and not be fobbed off with superficial information. We have to teach them to be investigative journalists! We must walk in Freinets foot-steps, where curiosity was always the guiding light and where trial and error were the important building blocks in the learning process. Humanity has to accept and be aware of the fact more and more that there are very few right answers!

As a draft for a Swedish RIDEF theme for 2018 we want to call it “Modern Communication Is about the Transportation of Ideas and Substance.”

During the Swedish RIDEF we want the particpants to work hard at being skillfull publishers using digital equipment, so that the RIDEF:s can continue naturally online in the periods between the physical RIDEF events. That means working with the co-operational parts of the official FIMEM-platform www.fimem-freinet.org, and with other internet digital tools.

The following are some useful tools: Webnews, Youtube, Dropbox, Skype, Facebook, Twitter and so on. We also want to show alternativs to the commercial tools that are on offer and those with an open source code like Open office.

In the workshops we want to offer many creative alternatives for artistic expressions. We want to find a balance between the discussions at RIDEF, as well as practical applications.

Freinets Schools in the Stockholm region are influenced by the Paideia-movement who use Socratic discussions as a tool for open minded thinking and communication. The former chairman of KAP, Ann S Pihlgren, has published a thesis on this subject at the University of Stockholm entitled “Socrates in the classroom”.

The present chairman, Inger Nordheden has done extensive research into teaching immigrants. You’ll find a list of her books on the Swedish homepage www.freinet.se

Another subject within the Communication theme is digital publishing. During the last ten years we have developed editorial work with the children. No Limit is one of the platforms which was presented to the RIDEF conference in Metepec 2008 (www.webnews.textalk.com/nolimit). A demo of a FIMEM newspaper online were created this way at the RIDEF in Metepec to show how it works. (http://webnews.textalk.com/espacios)

For the Swedish Freinet Movement/KAP

Inger Nordheden

 

 

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