I have done a report about intercultural understanding over the past few weeks. I undertook two interviews/Skype with Norwegian teacher and students as part of the research. Both interviews were very successful and helpful to my written report (see my previous post). Here is a video about my experience of using technology in the research about Norway. It explains how I prepared for the interviews and what I have obtained from it.
Norwegians take pride in the environmental protection of Norway and are committed to taking action. Their government has shown ambitious participation in tackling and preventing climate issues throughout the 21st century by implementing related legislation. This is considered to be a ‘Green policy’. There are two major strategies that Norway has undertaken to accomplish the goal of becoming CO2 neutral by 2050 : transportation and renewable energy. (Nordic Council of Minister, 2014). These efficient contributions are having a positive impact on the environmental sustainability of Norway. Consequently, Norway sets an example of being a green country to Europe and the rest of the world.
Ecological practice in transportation has constructed a sustainable Norway. In Norway, people cycle or walk from home to work. Cycling is very common as it reduces the use of oil and gas emission. Statistic shown, 70% of adults in Norway own a bicycle (European Commission, 2015). The government provides low polluting public transportation and bicycle to hire around the city (Tanguy, M. 2010), and it also promises to build more bicycle lanes across the state (The Guardian, 2015). Also, the government subsidises the purchase of electric bicycle to reduce traffic (The Guardian, 2015). Furthermore, there is toll ring in the city to discourage car use as much as possible (Tanguy, M. 2010). Away from the city, electric cars are promoted (Amalie Kvame Holm, 2014). Recently, Oslo city government pledged to ban private vehicles from the city centre by 2019 to cut down greenhouse gas emissions (The Guardian, 2015). In other words, Oslo would be the first major European car-free city (LaFrance, A. 2015).
Norway also makes good use of renewable energy to fight against climate change. Norway is ranked highest in the world for the use of renewable energy because 95% the domestic electricity is generated by hydropower (Hanna, A. 2012). In terms of renewable energy, Norway has transformed household waste from Norway and Britain to fuel heating and electricity for the city of Oslo (Price, M. 2013). Recycling items are sorted out, and the remaining is fired in an incinerator to generate electricity. Generated electricity is then transported to houses and public schools in Oslo. This practice is both financial and environmental friendly. For this reason, Oslo is labelled one of the greenest cities in the world.
Apart from transportation and renewable energy, there are also other determining environmental programs in Norway.The education system promotesrecycling toyoung children and climate issue lectures are given to secondary school students (Sustainable event alliance, 2014). In addition, the government acquires appropriate urban design, and the council organises public awareness activities for its citizens. Finally, Norway promotes eco-tourism to ensure sustainable development.
In conclusion, environmental policies especially, in the aspects of transportation and renewable energy, have significant impacts on the sustainable development of Norway. The ecological lifestyle is definitely something unique about Norway. The mindset of environmental preservation becomes a practice of every green citizen and a culture that can only be found in a green country, Norway.
Sustainable-event-alliance.org, (2015).Sustainable Development in Norway | Sustainable Event Alliance. [online] Available at: http://sustainable-event-alliance.org/norway/about/sustainable-development-in-norway/ [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
Tanguy, M. (2010). Norway has set Europe an eco example | Marion Tanguy. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/aug/11/europe-must-follow-norways-eco-example [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
BBC News, (2015). Norway uses waste as eco-friendly fuel – BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-24209185 [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
Ec.europa.eu, (2015). Walking and cycling as transport modes – European Commission. [online] Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/specialist/knowledge/pedestrians/pedestrians_and_cyclists_unprotected_road_users/walking_and_cycling_as_transport_modes_en.htm [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
the Guardian, (2015). Oslo moves to ban cars from city centre within four years. [online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/19/oslo-moves-to-ban-cars-from-city-centre-within-four-years [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
Uioenergi.uio.no, (2015). Hydropower completes greening of Norway – UiO Energy. [online] Available at: http://www.uioenergi.uio.no/english/research/news-and-events/news/2014/hydropower-completes-greening-of-norway.html [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
Norden.diva-portal.org, (2015). [online] Available at: http://norden.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:768493/FULLTEXT01.pdf [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
Sustainability, (2012). When it comes to energy, is Norway just lucky? – Sustainability. [online] Available at: http://sustainability.thomsonreuters.com/2012/12/11/when-it-comes-to-energy-is-norway-just-lucky/ [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
LaFrance, A. (2015). The Car-Free City. [online] The Atlantic. Available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/10/the-car-free-city/411781/ [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
I started off my research on Norway by looking at websites that provide basic information about Norway, then focused more on the cultural aspects. I have done a mind map which captures the key facts of what I have found about Norway. They are under categories, including population, language, natural phenomenon, food, economy, climate, geography, fun facts, basic information and others.
I have decided my research on Norway in two major parts:
an area of research on Norway as a country and,
another area of research on Norwegian about humanity.
The basic information of Norway like its official name, the capital city and time zone according to GMT was the first thing I looked at. I then looked at the geography of Norway, and I sketch the map of Norway and point out Oslo, the capital city. I was surprised when I found out that the surface area of Norway is 10 times of Holland. Next, I searched for the climate in Norway and got a big picture of what the four seasons are like in Norway. After that, I moved on to the famous natural scenery of Norway, the Northern Lights. I looked at some beautiful photographs of the Northern Lights. The last thing I looked at was the economy of Norway. I found out that Norway has unique currency and dollar sign and listed the 5 major industries/economies Norway.
The first thing I researched on was the population and language of Norwegian. Norway is an ethnically homogenous country with a number of ethnic minorities. They have two languages across Norway: Dano-Norwegian and New Norwegian. Next, I looked at Norwegian food, which was an exciting discovery. I have listed a few of the common foods in Norway and what they are called locally. Then, I looked at some facts about Norway and listed only two on my mind map because of the limiting room. I found Midnight Sun and Polar Night most astonishing. Last but not the least, I created a category of ‘other cultural strengths‘ to mention the areas that I did not expand on my mind map. These aspects are religion, literature, music, politics, cinema, sports and architecture. They are all worthwhile to explore.
In ESL (English as a Second Language) class, we are finding out about another culture. To do this, we are blogging and Skyping with students in Norway. This project is about intercultural understanding. Let me tell you about my first experience of Australian culture.
I first arrived in Adelaide, Australia in July 2014. When I stepped out the airport, I looked up to the sky and it was much wider than I thought it would be because there were no high-rise buildings. After settling down in the hotel, I had my first visit to the city. The pace of Adelaide is slow and relaxing, therefore I felt like time goes slower here. I found people in Adelaide friendly and polite, they will say ‘it is alright!’ and ‘cheers!’ with a smile on their faces. Also, Australians are more talkative in addition to their good manners. A salesperson could chat with you about random topics when you visit their stores. Since then, I have the courage to talk to strangers.
I came to my school and became a boarder. The culture of my school gave me a shock. We depend completely on a laptop to carry out our studies, where as in Hong Kong students use a paper book and pen in school. The culture of digital learning in Australia has taught me skills for future study.
After 15 months in Adelaide, Australia, I slow down myself and enjoy every bit of life in this country-like state.
Now, I want to find out about Norway. I look forward to collaborating with Norwegian students and enrich my knowledge.
Digital altruism creates the opportunity for digital students to benefit the real world. People who benefit from goodness are not only of those we know but also those we do not know. These people are those who share the world with us and it is a global digital citizen’s responsibility to support and care for each other.
Every Global Digital Citizen should appreciate the beauty of the Earth by advocate and carry out environmental friendly actions in different scales.
Here is a video showing a real-life example of putting altruistic digital citizenship into actions and benefit the Digital World.
Trisha Prabhu is a 14-year-old student at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Illinois. Her research led her to create the product Rethink, which won her a spot as a Google Science Fair 2014 Global Finalist. Rethink gives adolescents who are trying to post an offensive message on social media a second chance to reconsider their decision. (TED, 2014)
This week, we had a Skype meet-up with students in Victoria during Wednesday’s lunch. The meet-up gave us the opportunity to connect with another school and get to know students there. During the Skype, we introduced ourselves and listened to their stories. They told us that they live on a farm and some hobbies of theirs. Unfortunately, the meetup session was not very long, and we expected few more students to talk with us. We have prepared questions regarding the issue of ‘global digital citizenship’ for them and hope to know theirs. My global classmates, till next time!
Digital tattoo lesson
We spent a double lesson learning the underlying dangers of the digital world. By watching teaching videos generated by The Digital Tattoo Projects, we became more aware of our digital behavior. My teammates and I were responsible for presenting the idea of ‘geotagging’ and ‘clickjacking’.
Geotagging means geographically tagging. When you tagged yourself somewhere in the world by using the function of GPS, or what Facebook called, check-in, you can be tracked. Social media like Facebook and Instagram can explicitly include your location. However, you may not know that every photos taken by a smartphone has detailed time and place when it is taken. If not being cautious of this, your home address or schedule will be exposed.
The second thing is Clickjacking. It is an attack through click buttons. Click buttons and text boxes can be a trap to get your information stolen. If you click on a deceiving advertisement on the side-bar, your email or banking details could be stolen. If you share posts or links with potential clickjacking on Social media, certain content may be shared and spread by you without your authorization which may ruin your digital profile as a result.
Solutions to avoid or minimize dangers:
Be aware of the risks and issues that may occur
Consider what you share and who you share with
Install internal applications to prohibit deceiving advertisement
Check the URL of your browser for the green HTTP
If the above steps are carried out, you can be guaranteed that while browsing the Internet, you will be protected and safe.
A good digital citizen owns web literacy and self-awareness when using the Internet.
Web literacy is the ability to read and write on the web similar to we do everyday in class, and self-awareness is the consciousness when oneself being aware of their behaviour. A good digital citizen has the ability to distinguish reliable information from unreliable. Web literacy and reliable information are concurrent. The empowering web literacy opens new perspectives and learning opportunities for students. Chris Lawrence, Mozilla’s VP of Learning, considers that collaboration on the web also fosters digital learning.
In the 21st century, web literacy unlocks the same opportunities as reading and writing. The student who is able to create online has a limitless array of tools. The student who is able to collaborate with peers on the Web can bring fresh, new perspectives to their work.
– Chris Lawrence
Technology is almost available to every student for his or her education nowadays. As computers become cheaper, the Internet becomes more widely available for everyone to use and this is why digital awareness is so important. Being web literate is a sign of being well educated. A good digital citizen should be confident with the hardware and software of a gadget, as well as the functions and features of technology.
The Internet is a place to explore. Being self-aware when accessing technology is the core condition of any good digital citizen being.
My digital identity is entitled to Google+, WordPress, Instagram, Pinterest, Edublogs, Tumblr, YouTube, Facebook and Weibo. (As illustrated)
Why is it important to have self-awareness when you create your online identity?
It is a fact that your online identity is permanent even when you ‘deleted’ it. Good digital citizens involve themselves in positive content, these posts are beneficial to them in various aspects: education, careers and social. The positive post is influential, it connects like-minded people on the internet and build a harmonious world. However, sensitive content may provoke quarrels. Social media dominants the world, our daily life is casually exposed to the outside world, which contribute to our digital identity. An online identity is a digital portfolio of yourself, people determine who you are by looking at your profile. If you demand a positive image of yourself without people actually knowing you, be aware of what you put on the internet.
How do you choose your image?
I choose image that does not contain sensitive issue or harmful to certain people. I create my own images most of the time to avoid ‘stealing’ somebody’s work.
Self-awareness in the digital world is very much emphasised because it builds your digital image. The influence of people connecting on the web overweighs the rapid emergence of advanced technology. In the world where anybody can access the world wide web through personal devices, privacy is never guaranteed. We, as a global digital citizen, should be aware of the content of our profile, it represents us. Social practices are important in building respectful relationships, this includes being polite, respectful and positive. When you behave appropriately and protect your self-image, sufficient freedom is granted. It is your decision to access the digital world with the demonstration of your self-awareness.
Digital citizenship is an idea that recognises our participation in a virtual world and this is entitled to everyone living in 21st century. Digital citizenship also grants us rights and responsibilities on world wide web.
Why is it important for all people to understand?
It is very important for all people to know that the influence of social media is far larger than we could imagine. Therefore, any harmful behaviours that destroy your own image and others (e.g. personal attack, self-harm photos etc.) should never be seen on the internet.
What do you think is the most important point?
The most important point for me is to acknowledge the flaws of the internet that it may not be the same as what it is shown, it is hazardous sometimes. There are traps that can have followed on consequences, it is crucial to protecting yourself on the internet, for example, personal information is confidential and not to be shared.
What do you recommend?
I recommend every internet user to recognise the dark side of world wide web, how serious it can harm people. Thus, people need to be beware of their actions to use the internet as a good digital citizen.