Can we change the world in 15 years?

Global Goals have been a topic of focus in a class for a very long time now. Whenever we have a possibility, we try to relate to them in our lessons and be reminded of how important it actually is to make changes. Today, we focus specifically on two goals, which in our opinion, should be prioritized and taken into account as first.

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Goal 4-  Quality education 

Achieving inclusive and equitable quality education for all will require increasing efforts, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia and for vulnerable populations, including persons with disabilities, indigenous people, refugee children and poor children in rural areas.  

The global goal number 4 has a lot of goals itself. Some of these goals are “By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes”. Another goal is “By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university”.   

The global challenge number 4, “quality education”, is in our opinion the most important one. We value the ability to solve the problems in your own nation. Therefore, the world needs an educated youth with the capability to resolve the global challenges, better than we have done before. If we take one of the global challenges targets for an example;   

By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries 

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It may seem hard to people such as myself, living Norway, to find an easy way to contribute to their growth. However, Sandvika Videregående is in a partnership with a school in Lesotho. Some students and teachers travel down to Lesotho with a few of our old computers and new clothes. Sandvika has been in contact with this school in Lesotho for some years now. The school has been helped in many different ways, but we see that it clearly impacts the students and teachers in Lesotho.  

So, in a way, a solution could be for more schools in other wealthy nations would follow the same lead, coming in contact with a school from a struggling country, we would increase the well-being of many students across the globe. As I previously stated, if we build a strong core of young students, with good knowledge of society and science, solving the other global challenges would come much easier. 

source: http://www.globalgoals.org/global-goals/quality-education/ 

 

Goal 17 – Partnerships for the goals 

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. 

The problems the world is facing today aren’t tied to individual countries, they’re problems for the entire world. As our modern society becomes more globalized, it is evident that all the countries of the world need to take action together. This is the essence of the seventeenth global goal, partnerships for the goals.  

To achieve the 17th global goal, the UN has come up with several targets we must hit. Among these are: 

  • Strengthen both domestic and international finance 
  • Developed countries should cooperate to assist and help developing countries with their economy 
  • Promote development of technology worldwide, also in the less developed countries 
  • Promote a universal trade, inclusive of all 
  • Increase the export of goods from developing countries, to increase their share of global exports

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What can we do to contribute? 

Goal number 17 is probably the most important goal of all, as it binds all the previous goals together and makes it actually possible to achieve. Luckily, we in the developing world have a great advantage in doing so. With so many well educated and creative people, we are finding ways to make to goal come true.  

Therefore, we must ALL commit and come up with a resolution. Nowadays, information can be passed along incredibly easily. Through social media and other the networks, the word is spread by the speed of lighting. By having a good dialog with other countries, we all can have an impact on what is going to happen and how we will, together, achieve the goal.  

An idea on how we can work together is to promote financial aid for developing countries. If we all come together and share the message, we can have a powerful impact in achieving the SDG nr 17. 

Cicero once said 

We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race.” 

There is no way we can reach the goals as individuals. However, if we unite, we have endless possibilities.  

Sources: http://youth4globalgoals.org/153-2/
http://www.globalgoals.org/global-goals/partnerships-for-the-goals/ 

Written in cooperation with Sondre, Camilla and Nora.

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The importance of knowledge in a changing world 

In the world today, as our society becomes more and more globalized, it is important to have basic knowledge of what is going on around the world. The fact that the President of the most powerful country in the world is ignorant and unwilling to learn about even the simplest of situations, is scary. The US has so much power and responsibility, which is why the President should know about the reasons and contexts of these conflicts. It shows a lack of respect toward the countries of the world and all the important historic events. It is so important to have knowledge of these past events, to gain a full understanding of why the world is like it is, and also to prevent horrible things from happening again.

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An article written by the New Yorker states:

Trump’s latest blunder was made an appearance in the Rose Garden with Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, on July 25th. “Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Hezbollah,” Trump pronounced. He got the basics really wrong. Hezbollah is actually part of the Lebanese government—and has been for a quarter century—with seats in parliament and Cabinet posts. Lebanon’s Christian President, Michel Aoun, has been allied with Hezbollah for a decade.

-New Yorker

Further on, the New Yorker lists some of the other mistakes Trump has made.

“The list of other Trump blunders is long. In March, he charged that Germany owed “vast sums” to the United States for NATO. It doesn’t. No NATO member pays the United States—and never has—so none is in arrears.

Also during his trip to France, in July, the President confused Napoleon Bonaparte, the diminutive emperor who invaded Russia and Egypt, with Napoleon III, who was France’s first popularly elected President, oversaw the design of modern Paris, and is still the longest-serving head of state since the French Revolution (albeit partly as an emperor, too). And that’s before delving into his demeaning tweets about other world leaders and flashpoints.”

It is also important to get the right knowledge and the right facts. Here are some tips for revealing fake news:

  1. Be critical of headlines – Fake news articles often have catchy headlines in only capital letters and with exclamation points. If the headline has shocking claims that seem too incredible to be true, they’re probably fake.
  2. Look closely at the URL-address – A falsified or copied URL-address can be a warning sign for fake news. Many websites that produce fake news imitate authentic news outlets by doing small changes to the URL-address. You can visit the website and compare the URL-address with established sources.
  3. Inspect the source – Make sure that the news is written by a source you trust, and that has a reputation for being correct. If the news comes from an unknown organization, you can check the about-section to find out more.
  4. Be aware of unusual editing – You should be skeptical if the text you are reading has a lot of spelling mistakes and an unusual layout.
  5. Look at the pictures – fake news often uses pictures which are photoshopped or manipulated in some other way.
  6. Check the dates – fake news can use dates and timetables that are incorrect.
  7. Check the evidence.– Check the writer’s sources to confirm that they are correct. If the news lacks evidence or puts their trust in unknown experts, it could testify fake news.
  8. Check other articles.– If there are no other news sources reporting something about the news, it could indicate that its fake. If the news is reported by several sources you trust, there’s a bigger possibility that it’s true.
  9. Is the news just a joke?– Sometimes it might be difficult to tell apart the fake news and humor or satire. Check if the source is known for making parodies and if the details and style indicate that is is just supposed to be a joke.
  10. Some news is fail on purpose- Be critical with the news you read, and only share the news you know are trustworthy.

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In our opinion, number 2, 7 and 8 are the most important tips to reveal if the news is fake. These tips are the most important because they are the tips that will assure you to figure out if the news is fake or not in the best way.

Written in cooperation with Camilla and Nora.

Third year of English!

Welcome to my third and last year at Sandvika High School, Norway. This year in english class, we will be mainly focusing on the British and American politics, fake news and climate challenge. I’m very excited for what this year will bring, and hope it will have an outcome in many interesting posts!

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Problems due to lack of education in the developing world

What is a developing country?

First of all, to find out more about inequality in underdeveloped countries, we need to define the meaning of the term “developing country”. According to Wikipedia, it is “a nation or a sovereign state with a less developed industrial base and a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries.” These type of countries usually have a much lower life expectancy, while the pregnancy and fertility rate is much higher than in other countries. The peoples’ income is also significantly lower, and there is a line of factors which all have an impact on the lack of education. Poverty, inequality, persisting marginalization and similar issues are just some of them. Further on in this blogpost, I will explain more about this.

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No matter which part of the world one is from, everyone should have an equal opportunity to learn. Education has a big affection on a human life, and it shouldn’t be underestimated. Unfortunately, the world is such an unfair place, that while some countries have too much, others have too little- and both are unhappy. According to new data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS),

“263 million children and youth in the world are out of school. This is equivalent to about a quarter of the population of Europe. The total includes 61 million children of primary school age (6-11 years), 60 million of lower secondary school age (12-14 years), and the first ever estimate of those of upper secondary school age (15-17 years) set at 142 million.”- source: unesco.org

These numbers are extremely drastic and especially hard to believe. We would never be able to imagine a quarter of the population of Europe to be uneducated, but unfortunately, this is how some parts of the world function. However, have we ever tried to find out the reason behind it, and then did something to help?

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After researching on the web, I found some relevant information. First of all, the main places affected are the Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central and Eastern Asia, as well as the Pacific. The reason behind the lack of education in developing countries I have mentioned before are very serious and should not be undervalued. They can lead to many issues associated with little or no education at all. Basic skills like reading and maths are requiered in everyday life. A few lessons on proper hygine and preventing pregnancies would prevent many unpleasant desieses and situations from happening.  Even in underdeveloped countries, the citizens should get the opportunity to gain the essential competences. Otherwise, areas with lack of education are usually stricken with poverty due to the deficit of schooling. Lack of education equals lack of proper job, which results in too much free time that is often poorly utilized. The locals are more exposed to gang violance, theft, drug use and such. Children and adults with a meaningful lack of education are more vunlerable to victimalization. Moreover, they have little possibility to get out of the unfortunate living cycle which also their parents have beared.

 

After reading so much on this topic, I became very frustrated on how unfair and sad the world is. I can’t bear the thought that at exactly the same time, on a different part of this planet, a girl or boy my age or younger are probably being forced to work in horrendous conditions, just to help their family survive. I wish we could do something more about this, and I am very grateful for organisations and actions such as the Lesotho Project at my school, which raises money to support schooling in Africa. Thanks to them, everyone can be a part of making the world a better and more honorable place.

Studying abroad- lost in a sea of possibilities!

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Today in class we got a better insight and were able to explore the different opportunities we have when it comes to higher education. We were introduced to a few websites which let us look through the different education programs, and we were told to choose two of them and later on evaluate on our blogs.

Volunteer Abroad

For my volunteer program, I chose to write about ISA Service-Learning in Cape Town, South Africa. The ISA program provides students and recent graduates the opportunity to learn first-hand about social issues that communities around the world face. By partnering with community-based organizations and following a structured, reflection-based curriculum, you can learn how local professionals and experts are addressing these issues with the available resources while developing intercultural and leadership skills in a real-world context. Throughout the program, you can create a service-learning portfolio, which is a compilation of reflection-based assignments and activities. This portfolio provides a guided framework to examine your experience, develop an enhanced sense of civic responsibility, and demonstrate your professional and cultural competencies achieved throughout your program.

If I were to join a volunteer program, this would definitely be a number one to consider. What I love about it, is that you help for free, but simultaneously you are able to gain the undergraduate degree level, which is something I really care about. The program has also a very wide range of work types, which include Arts, Children, Economic Development, Education, Health and Social Services. All of these are extremely educational and you can easily expand your view on the world. I am especially eager to participate in the part which involves children, as their happiness brings so much joy into other people’s lives, thus the circumstances they are growing up in. Therefore I would love to be a part of a program with such ambitious goals.

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Study Abroad

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is a place of intellectual excitement and progressive research and is the world’s leading dedicated social science institution. The School employs many leading experts in their fields and attracts the highest caliber of students from around the world. The LSE General Course offers a unique opportunity to experience all that LSE student life and the city of London have to offer during the year’s integrated undergraduate study. Students joining the General Course are assigned to one of the 15 academic departments that offer undergraduate degrees teaching more than 250 courses. Students on the course may study any combination of undergraduate courses across academic departments. There is a diverse variety of subjects available including Anthropology, International Relations, Mathematics and Languages and The School offers a full spectrum of social science, economics, and political science programs.

I haven’t always dreamt of becoming an economist, but ever since I joined the social economics class at my school I cannot picture myself doing anything else in my life than this. I have finally found something I both love, enjoy doing and actually am quite good at, and since this is a very international and global specialization, studying abroad is almost a must. It is the best way to get to know the global aspects of how the economy in our world functions, and to learn how it impacts our society from many different perspectives. Studyabroad.com gives us, young adults, the opportunity to broaden our horizons in a way which expands us as people just by changing the surroundings we live and study in. I myself am considering to take my higher education outside of Norway, so this might be an option I will speculate when making up my mind.

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However, moving abroad is actually a much bigger step than some might be aware of, therefore we should thoroughly examine the barriers of it. First and most importantly, we should think through our economic situation and decide whether we will be able to handle many new responsibilities weighing on our shoulders. Do I have enough money to pay for the tuition, dorm/flat, meals, bills? Will I be able to freely do something extra, e.g. sightsee, explore the new country?

Your language level. You have to be confident with the way you speak and not afraid to make mistakes- reminder: this is not your first language! Nevertheless, you have to be able to take part in conversations of all genres, and more importantly, master the educational level of the language- that is obviously the most important part of your exchange.

Another simple, yet important aspect is your outgoingness and courage. Being in a new country, city, and school, all by yourself, requires you to be the type of person who gets to know new people fairly easily. Did you have trouble making friends back in your own country and prefer your own company most of the time? Under those circumstances, unless you are moving only for the sake of the university, you should really rethink your decision. If you have always struggled with self-reliance at home, it will most likely not get magically better overnight. Either work on it before moving and be sure in your actions or maybe find another option which suits your personality better.

Those were my examples of two ways to study abroad, and three tips on what to think through before making the big decision. It is an extremely serious and big step for most people, therefore it should really be well thought through. The most important thing about it is that the adventure of your life begins NOW and you are finally in charge of the steering wheel, all by yourself. Life is so short and passes so quickly, that we should use every possibility to expand ourselves and explore the beautiful world outside our comfort zone.

 

Who speaks english?

Give examples of other varieties of English than those that are used in the Anglo-American core area and reflect on their distinctive character.

We often limit ourselves just to the few types of English we know of, which are British, American and also Australian English. However there is so much more to this mysterious language, and wherever we go, we totally unconsciously meet with different accents, dialects, and types of the language. This is exactly what we had focused on in today’s English class. Here are a few examples:

Jamaican English

The official language in Jamaica is standard English. Even though the USA is much nearer, it is due to the colonizations that Jamaican is based on British- and not American- English. The local English has, of course, it’s own specific accent. Patois is often a hot topic for linguistics and professors- some consider it as a dialect, others say that it is a language just like any other and should become the official language in Jamaica since everyone uses it on a daily basis.

Linguistics say, that Patois is a creole language. Sources to the Jamaican Creole date back to slavery. It has very simplified English and the languages of West Africa at its base. The black population of Jamaica derives mainly from the area of present-day Ghana. Over time, pronunciation, accent, and vocabulary were influenced by the newcomers from around the world.

Here is an example of the Jamaican Accent:

South African English

The South African variety of English is used in the Republic of South Africa (RSA). Even though the South African language has identical grammar and orthography as British English, there have been developed many vocabulary differences. Many loanwords come from the germanic language Afrikaans (Dutch, which got developed in Africa) and native African languages. What is also important, is that South African English is a native language just for 40% of the RSA residents, the rest of the citizens use Afrikaans.

The outstanding thing about this language is throwing in “ja” in places, where other English speaking people would rather say “yes”, “yeah” or “well. It is also worth looking at the use of “just now”, which doesn’t mean immediate action like in other parts of the world. The definition within this is more likely “in a while”, “in a few hours”. A similar phrase “now-now”, actually means in about half an hour. This is worth keeping in mind, as we might have trouble with communication while visiting this country.

Indian English

English came to India during the time of British colonization. As a result of this event, the Indian form of English was evolved, which was influenced by their native dialects. In recent years, English has gained in India the status of official language, next to Hindi. In addition, the English language used in India is also not uniform and there are differences depending on the region, mainly due to accretions of the mother tongue of the population.

Between the classic English and the language used in India, there are many differences at the level of phonological, which is associated with the properties of the phonetic alphabet of the Indian languages. For example, in the Indian variety of English, the vowel / e / is lengthened, even in monosyllabic words. Many common consonants for the English language do not exist in Indic languages, and therefore they are replaced by other consonants, which are on a similar level of articulation. Moreover, in some regions, the consonant clusters are not pronounced, and the words beginning with “w” and “v” sound similar. Some diphthongs are pronounced as a short vowel.

The vocabulary is also shaped differently – it is typical to blend English and the dialect of a given region to determine the nouns, especially flora and fauna.

Here, you can listen to how Indian English sounds:

I hope that just by these few exampled, you could somewhat expand your knowledge on the English language. It was very interesting to read about the differences and similarities, and to discover the variation in accents and dialects. I have certainly learned a lot, and I hope you enjoyed reading this post.

Sources:

https://annmichaelsen.com/2011/04/08/who-speaks-english/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_English
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_English
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaican_English

“Grand Torino”

“Grand Torino”is a film telling the story of a retired Polish- American, Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski. An equally important role in the movie have his neighbors, of Hmong decency. They don’t get along too well at first, but the circumstances lead to that the old man gets to know the family, and creates a unique relationship with the children. The film focuses on 5 particular topics, which are: death, family, personal relationships, racism and religion/faith. These points lead to several misunderstandings and also serious conflicts in the movie.  The message is to realize that despite cultural diversities and bigger number of differences than similarities, one is able to offer their life for someone they are fond of.

I have chosen 5 questions to answer in my blogpost:

  • How would you describe Walt’s relationship with his family?  At the start of the movie, Walt is seen at his wife’s funeral. What impression does he have of his son’s family from these scenes?

I would say Walt families behavior is one of the worst that can be found. There is no empathy from his sons’ side, therefore also the grandchildren have no respect for their grandfather. At the funeral, none of them seemed too interested and Ashley, the granddaughter, didn’t even bother to dress appropriately according to the occasion. This says a lot about them, and their relationship with Walt. They only visit him on his birthday, and also they use this occasion to try and talk him into moving to a nursing home and leaving the house in their hands. Therefore, Walt’s relationship with his family is only based on his fortune.

  • Walt states that Thao and Sue will never get away from the gangs that are in the neighborhood. Do you think that is a true statement? Can situations like this change without extreme measures?

I I have to admit that I disagree with Walt’s statement. In my opinion, a situation like this can change in the blink of an eye. All it needs is a little support from a caring and generous person, who wishes to help out and make these children escape the horrific environment they are living in. Usually youth like this is especially ambitious, and due to their cruel past, very successful.

  • At the end of the movie, Walt sacrifices himself for Thao’s family and the neighborhood. Was there any other way to get the same result? Why did Walt do what he did? Would he have done the same for his family? What makes or allows a person to make such a sacrifice for someone else?

There were many other ways to solve the problem, but  this was probably the most dramatic way to make the society aware of how dangerous the issue was. The police might have started a case, but it would take several months, or even years, to work out the connections between the gangs and their victims. Walt offered his life, so that the attackers could be caught red handed, on the eyes of dozens of neighbors. His plan was well thought through, as he didn’t even have a gun on him- this makes him innocent and clears him of all charges. I can’t decide if he would be able to do the same for his family, but I think that if he saw his granddaughter in the same state as Sue was, he would seek revenge no matter how rude or immature the girl is. What Walt did was an act of pure sacrifice for someone he loved, someone he was ready to die for.

  • Walt’s wife had asked the priest to get Walt to confess. Walt is resistant until the end of the movie. Why does he change his position about going to confession? Have you ever been adamant about something and changed your mind or gone through with it because a family member wanted you to? 

Walt realizes that he might not have too much time left of his life, he found out that he was sick, but what he was planning on doing was much more serious. Going to confession wasn’t necessarily a sign of weakness- actually, on the contrary, it was a way to show that he is strong, ready, sure of his decisions and aware of the consequences. We all often do things for our family even if we see no sense in them. Taking action just for the sake of making someone happy is a way to show that we really care, and are ready to do something, even when it doesn’t mean as much to us as it does to them.

  • At the end of the film, Walt bequeaths the car to Thao instead of a family member. Was this unexpected? The last scene shows Thao driving the car down the road. The car has not been modified. What does this scene signify?

I’ve expected Thao to inherit the car, mainly because of how close the young man was with Walt. He knew that the boy had changed and all he wanted was to get a normal job and for his family to be safe. The only condition Walt had, was that Thao wouldn’t modify the Gran Torino, and in the last scene of the film we see that the boy fulfilled the old mans will. The man trusted him unmistakably- when we see Thao driving the car, there isn’t one sign of change in the car. This scene signifies that the boy has respect for the old man, and is mature enough to be in possession of something with such great value.

“The Joy Luck Club” or “The White Tiger”?

It is the time of the school year when we get the possibility to immerse ourselves into the literary world of the English language. I love English literature, simply because there are so many creative publications to discover, and moreover, we aren’t restricted only to native English-speaking writers. Now that English is commonly known all around the world, anyone with enough enthusiasm, regardless where they come from, can publish their work in English.

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For those of you who might not recognize the first author- Amy Tan is a daughter of American Chinese immigrants, born in California in 1952. She makes an impression of a very wise and intellectual woman. In the interview she speaks about how hard it was for her as a child, to cope with the death of her brother and father within one year. She explains that moving to Switzerland wasn’t just a whim- it was a way to escape the problems and bad memories which were holding them back in California. I like the fact that she included members of her family in her books, she was very open about how they behaved and what their life really looked like.

However, this isn’t the first time I hear about this author. I was introduced to her work in the previous school year. After reading a short story written by her (you can find my blogpost about it here!) my knowledge of what it is like to be an immigrant in America really has expanded. The story we were introduced to last year, really caught my interest and I’ve been coming back to it ever since. In a way, it gave me the confidence to stand up for myself and keep fulfilling my dreams, no matter what others opinions were- just like the girl from the story.

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Therefore, when I found out that Tan’s book was one of the two we can choose, I made up my mind right away. However, I didn’t reject the other choice, without finding out more about the plot in the book. Aravind Adiga, born in 1074, is an Indo-Australian writer and journalist. He received the 2008 Man Booker Prize for his first ever novel, namely “The White Tiger”. His parents, who hailed from Mangalore were of Kannadigian origin, while Aravind was born in Chennai (Madras). He began studying in India, but later emigrated together with his family to Sydney, Australia, where he continued his education.

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His career began as an intern in an English-language international daily newspaper with a special emphasis on business and economic news (Wikipedia), where he published about the stock market and investment. However, he has always wanted to be a writer. In an interview, he mentions that “The White Tiger” is a story “of a man’s quest for freedom”. The story focuses on the social and political situation, but in Adigas view, the main character is trying to understand that all of this is a trap and that he somehow has to escape it.

The plot does sound gripping, especially with what is happening in the political world today. However, my choice lies in “The Joy Luck Club”, mainly because I got really absorbed by the Chinese culture and I want to find out more about the author and her life. I hope this is a good decision and that I will enjoy reading the book.

How do fake news influence our society?

 

Rumors spread in the speed of light, and most of us had probably at least once witnessed that in our lifetime. We expect the media to be a trustworthy source, and yes, there are many reliable newspapers and websites where we can find out about what is happening in the world. However, increasingly more fictitious websites and articles, claiming many untrue things- from small misunderstandings, to deliberate accusations- is being made.

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Fake news made by me in 2 minutes. So easy!

In today’s English lesson, we focused on the negative sides of the media and we talked about how it affects our society. We also discussed how the future president of the United States, Donald Trump, might have misused it to get into power. We have read a few articles that we found truthful, and tried to find conclusions based on the texts. Starting off with the video incident- president-elect forbade Jim Acosta, a CNN journalist to ask him a question, followed by calling the TV station “fake news”. This is an extremely provocative move, and disobeying the station put a lot of criticism on Trump. Without explanation, he accused the journalist, then ignored him for the rest of the video. This happened at Trumps very first press conference, on the 11th of January 2017. Already at the beginning of his presidency, he showed his ability to easily manipulate the crowds of the US.

An article by CJR explains the whole happening in detail. The most shocking fact of this absurd is that no other present TV station showed their support for Acosta, staying speechless throughout the whole conversation between Trump and the correspondent. According to the author of the CJR article I read in class, the rest of the present journalist’s duty was to either “pick up Acosta’s line of questioning, or even refuse to continue asking questions, until the President-elect acknowledges the organization he had earlier attacked.” What he also finds alarming, is that they weren’t ready to stand in Acosta’s defense- especially that this wasn’t the first time that the president-elect had ejected a reporter.

Even Facebook itself is getting involved in a project, with the objective to stop fake news appearing on that social media. On a daily basis, they manage to block some of the click baits, but there are many more that get to see the light of day.

“The Facebook Journalism Project will offer training and tools for journalists in order to assist newsgathering and reporting, as well as provide “new storytelling formats.”

Newsweek, 2017

Fortunately, there is a bright light at the end of this tunnel. Different domains are concerned and therefore finding ways to solve this problem. The platform has planned “a project for stronger detection of misinformation and improved verification methods.” This is meant to help decrease spreading fake news.

In order to minimize the amount of fake news which is being spread on the web, google is being more careful of what is being put out in their search engine. Many different fake news detectors are being established, like for example Hoaxy, which is supposed to help track untrue articles. However, we ourselves can also easily check, if what we are reading is genuine. By controlling other sources, the author and the general reliability of the website, we can easily see if the article can be considered as legitimate. We should also focus on the text as a whole, not only rely on the headline which might me misleading. It might be relevant to mention, that many newspapers and news sites, like eg. The Sun, Daily Mirror or Daily Mail, have a relatively bad reputation. Therefore to confirm the information, we should follow the steps I have mentioned above.

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My teacher created a padlet, where we could give our opinions on fake news and how we can avoid it. We have received feedback from many students and other people interested in the topic. Everyone has similar opinions and I also agree with all the comments. However, there is one entry that specifically caught my attention- from Cayden T Lewis. From his point of view, the real problem isn’t the fake news itself, but it’s the society which isn’t-and should- be able to distinguish the pseudo-news. In his opinion, the people should change their conception on the government and not only keep believing that it wants to hurt us. His solution to this issue is to give better education and increase the public opinion of the government. I feel I do relate with the author of the comment in some way, but I think there is so much more to it, that we could go on discussing the problem for days.

We had the opportunity to talk on Skype with students from South Africa, whom we asked questions regarding the fake news topic. It was a class of 15/16 year olds, all very involved in the topic. We wanted to know their opinions on the situation in North America, and whether fake news is an issue in their country. It turned out that we don’t really differenciate in our conclusions. This entails that regardless which country you live in, you get the same amount of information, as media spreads extremely rapid. On the padlet, we also got answers from students in Australia, USA and Bergen, a city which lies by the west coast of Norway. I reckon that they are in our age group, but I know that students from Bergen are in middle school. They wrote many smart comments, all relevant to the topic.

Staying focused on the fact that fake news is an actual and growing issue, I should also mention it’s affection on democracy and the future. The majority of USAs citizens are second class, working people with average education. Considering this, it is obvious that many of them are dependent on the politicians and their actions. However, due to their fair knowledge, they can be easily manipulated- and this is where fake news come into the picture. This has a massive and very negative impact on the democracy, which has trouble coping with the charges being put against them, and the need to explain every false article. If the society won’t think twice before believing something and is able to accuse without proper argumentation, the future of the world looks very alarming and doesn’t bode the best scenarios. Therefore, we, the people, should ourselves try to make a change to that- before it is too late.

I myself wasn’t aware what big of an issue fake news were until now. I was usually able to differentiate real and false posts on Facebook, but once in a while, I caught myself in believing untrue articles. After so much research on this topic, I am much more informed what kind of damage this issue is doing to our society. From now on, I am definitely going concentrate on being attentive to what I read, and mature in my judgments.

 

 

 

The Kiva Project- update

 

Josefina

We didn’t get to help Kevin Orlando because he got funded. We hope that his future is fortuitous. We then chose Josefina from the Phillipines and she needs 1025$ to buy organic fertilizers. We were the last funders and she has been now fully funded. We hope that her crops sell, and that we get our loan back in the near future.

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The Philippines

The Philippines’ location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world’s greatest biodiversity. The land is considered to be an emerging market and a newly industrialized country, which has an economy transitioning from being one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing.

Pros and cons of loaning   

There are many benefits of this, such as:

  • The woman gets a chance to develop her plants farm
  • She can make sure her crops get better support
  • We have the satisfaction of helping someone out

However, there are still some things we should take under consideration:

  • There is a risk that we might not get our money back
  • Her farm might not benefit as much as we would like

Looking over both the pros and cons, we can summarize that there are more advantages than disadvantages. There is always a risk in everything we do, but this case is worth it.

We hope that Josefina receives a loan of $1025 so he can buy organic fertilizer and pay to maintain her farm to provide it better support and improve its production, and that she and her family gets a better life.

Written with Ingrid, Sondre and Mathias