The Board members 2017 are listed here
The Board had totally 7 meeting, one meeting every month except in July, starting normally the first Sunday in asynchronous mode and ending the second Sunday in Skype Board chat at about 14 gmt. In September we had a longer meeting discussing the future of Kidlink. board meeting Minutes are sent to the members as soon as they are approved by the members.
The Board will continue its dialog in the private Board group in www.facebook.com/groups/ka.board. and in its Skype chat.
2. KA- Membership and Sponsorship
Kidlink Association had positive numbers partly thanks to money received from Kidlink Society. Even this year we have maintained low membership fees for low-income countries.
We are thankful for our Kidlink Association members donations.
We are now thankful that our Canadian technician offers us one hour per month for free. But we need more technical support and expertise. We need therefore more money
We would also like to modernise our Kidspace CMS and create mobile apps for Kidlink projects to make it easier for our project users to participate with e.g. mobile phones.
We are looking for other economical sources and ways to get more money to our Association.
We appreciate if Kidlink Association members can contact the Board with good ideas. We think that we do not need to create a private foundation owned by the Kidlink Association members, to economically sustain our Kidlink project.
Stellan will however talk with Swedish authorities about the utility of a private foundation compared to our non profit org Kidlink Association.
3. Kidlink volunteers
We need always more Kidlink volunteers: to help in moderating projects, in supporting participants, in spreading kidlink projects among their colleagues. This year we have had several schools from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India involved in our projects.
We continue our efforts to get more Kidlink volunteers. We ask our Kidlink Association members for help with this. As more volunteers are needed we can not afford to have a Board that can not help running the Kidlink Project administrative tasks. By being and becoming a Board member, each board member must find and spend some time to help out answering email help requests, participating at Board meetings, preparing Annual meetings etc. We also suggest that we need to enlist more project leaders and members to help out overall to ensure that we continue to grow – having additional people to learn about Kidlink and to carry on the projects over time. We need a public invitation of some kind asking for volunteer teachers to come on board and join us as workers and as project volunteers. The global education conference is a good venue for doing this. During the GEC in Nov 2017, we made this announcement during presentations in which Kidlink Projects were discussed and asked for volunteers to contact us.
4. Kidlink Dialog and Documentation
We kept the Kidlink dialogue active in the Kidlink World cafe that Anil created in FB. He spent a lot of his time to increase this dialogue. He invited many teachers from the world and added every day new articles or info, useful for the teachers. Currently we have new Kidlink FB groups: Kidlink friends /Africa, /Arabic, /Pakistan, /India, /Armenia. But we need more active and expert moderators for these groups.
Our Drupal cms with information about our projects worked fine during 2017 but we have not been able to make security updates for that CMS. We have during 2017 therefore migrated information from Drupal to WordPress on www.kidlink.net with the plan to install WordPress on www.kidlink.org as soon as possible on our server.
We will continue our teacher dialog in https://www.facebook.com/KidlinkProject. We will continue to manage Facebook groups in several languages. We continue with our video project on www.youtube if we find a volunteer willing to help us with it.
We will continue to keep the Kidlink dialog active in Facebook Italian, Russian, Scandinavia , Sri Lanka and Catalan and in the main group. All information about Kidlink and its projects will be published with WordPress that is easier to make security updates with.
5.Global dialog among the youth
Kidlink Association has during 2016 (2017) worked with two sort of dialogues:
- Electronic telecommunication dialogues in Kidspace and Facebook
1a. Kidspace: “Diamond poem”, ‘I describe me, you draw me,” and “Schools around the world” . The youth published their work in Kidspace.
We received some youth feedbacks with comments and questions regarding the projects. With these feedback we have found that many teachers have difficulties to register students in Kidlink and then to moderate the dialog, approving texts and messages.
1b. Facebook: Schools also posted video messages and photos from classrooms in private project groups in Facebook. See eg the project “Schools around the world”” with documentation from Facebook.
Skype video meetings have been organized during many of our projects.
2. Paper and mail dialogs:
In the same project “Doves for Peace”, youth created paper works, wrote messages on them and sent these with ordinary post to other participating schools.
Aofa Article 3 says about Kidlink Association “Its purpose is to promote a global dialogue among the youth of the world…. The Association emphasizes electronic telecommunications, but also supports communications in other forms and media. Kidlink does not have tools to allow kids to dialog between them. Kidspace is the only communication tool we own and can control, but it doesn’t work well as said above. We have to explore how kids can have moderated secure dialogs in eg Moodle that Bonnie, Anil and Manoel are using. And if it works there, we should migrate more projects to Moodle.
We invite and help our teachers to connect their students within the projects in a safe way. With time will we maybe find solutions to our problem. Registration in Kidspace with the four questions was before required to be able to participate in a Kidlink project.
“Kidlink registration and user profile as a tool to get in touch with project mates
We will discuss the idea about making ur kidlink registration a bonus for kids who participated in a kidlink project. Those kids who participated in one of our projects and then registered can there after login, view the others mates profiles and get in touch with the project mates continuing a dialog with the tools they themselves choose (email, instagram or whatever they choose to use).
6. What Kidlink offers
6a. ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION: KIDSPACE
Stellan Kinberg has because of health problems not been able to continue his work making Kidspace a more intuitive and manageable CMS. Old Kidspace still works however and has been used in several projects. It is however vulnerable to injection, something that has been tried by a hacker during 2016 without making any damage. We have been able to eliminate the injection vulnerability thanks to a Felipe a programmer in Canada. Even if a https certificate error message appears on some kidspace nodes, the server is secure. We have worked with Moodle as a cms alternative to Kidspace. We have not found a easy way to keep public access pages in Moodle.
We will with the help of our Canadian programmer get rid of the annoying https certificate error messages that appears on some kidspace nodes. As mentioned in “2. Kidlink Association Membership and Sponsorship
“We would like to modernise our Kidspace CMS”
The Board will have the dialog about this this during 2018.
We continue our work to make Kidspace solving the certificate error problem we have.
7. OTHER FORMS AND MEDIA
7a. Moodle and Edmodo
Bonnie has made tests using Moodle with the Moon project. The Board has looked at Moodle and suggested that part of the project pages should be made public.
Pia, Anil and Stellan have tested Edmodo if it can be used for Kidlink projects.
Our work with Moodle continue with the help of Bonnie, Terry, and Joyce. We try to find a way to have selected pages public accessible without login. It is important we can make examples of good works and info pages public available to interested schools and teachers and search engines.
Anil, Stellan and Pia will continue to study Edmodo
We will also see if students participating in Moodle and Edmodo projects can exchange messages between each other like many have done in Kidspace.
7b Facebook projects
Landmark Game and Doves for Peace had also this year a great success. These 2 projects have their descriptions and instructions in Kidlink website, but they took place only in FB private groups. Many schools over the world participated. We will continue to use Facebook private groups as a communication tool for teachers interested in our projects. We have had continuous interaction in Facebook during 2016 and 2017. Through these groups we invite teachers and students to participate and organize Skype video conferences and Skype chat.
Fb has proved to be an useful and unrivaled instrument to spread Kidlink projects and to communicate in a quickly and immediate way among teachers. But in some schools Fb is not allowed and the main problem is that students cannot use it.
We started two new FB groups: “kidlink friends/arabic” and and “kidlink friends / Africa” that in short time got 10+ members. We must be active in these groups with feedbacks, ideas of participation in the group and info about our projects.
We continue to support projects like “Doves for Peace” where students create art and send these with messages through postal mail. We keep our eyes open for other tools for communication, I.E. Creating works with google drive and sharing them in Kidspace.
Larissa is going to start a project connected with books literature, students’ researches in september 2018. She will write more about it summer 2018 and suggest it for the board to be approved.
8. OTHER SOCIAL NETWORKS
Not all students and teachers are using Facebook. in Russia for example https://vk.com and https://ok.ru/ are very popular and growing. Google plus is also very active.
Some teachers are using Twitter chats in which a chat is advertised, then a moderator sends out a series of questions, usually no more than 10 over an hour’s time. An example is called #worldgeochat.
Pinterest is also an important social media. The account http://www.pinterest.com/kidlinkp was created by Joyce in 2014. and is being used by 4 followers with 47 likes.
Instagram seems to be widely used in Europe.
Padlet is also widely being used for sharing work. The social media world is not limited to Facebook.
We can not be everywhere.
Kidlink Facebook closed groups are:
“Kidlink friends /Pakistan” moderated by Anil.
“Kidlink friends /India” moderated by Anil.
“Kidlink friends /Arabic” moderated by Stellan and Lubna
We must continue to stay updated with the social media world and will study the alternatives more closely during 2018 and maybe find ways to deal with this variety of options.
We have a Kidlink Twitter account “@KidlinkProject”. Twitter edu chats are big in USA. We have to follow this and develop our twitter participation.
Messenger Kidlink World café
The work done 2017 by among others Lusine and Anil with our international Kidlink World café for teachers must be improved. Some teachers left it not having time for it. The café moderators must put focus on informing about projects and helping teachers to join Kidlink while keeping a relaxed, welcoming and pleasant ambient.
We will create video tutorials on our youtube channel, like “How to make Kidlink work for you”
9. YOUTH ENGAGEMENT
We are still having a hard time finding good youth leaders, that are willing to help out with the youth committee and in the board meetings.
Lejla C a high school student in Sweden, was a youth member in the Kidlink Board 2011-2013. She helped among other with creating the Kid center in https://www.kidlink.org/kidspace/start.php?HoldNode=26815&HoldNav=27425
The project died as Lejla became very busy with school work and had to leave the Board.
PLAN 2018.We think about informing project students about the possibility to become a Kidlink volunteer helping us to achieve the goals in article 13 (“to promote a global dialogue among the youth of the world” ) for example becoming a manager of our old Kid center.
During 2016/17 Kidlink managed projects that were run in Kidspace (and in FB groups) like
- Diamond (manager David)
- Where do I live?
- Finish my Story
- What’s my number? (manager Pia for these 4 projects) and projects like:
- Doves for Peace (manager Larisa),
- Landmark Game (manager Terry),
- School around the world (manager Lusine) that have been run in private groups in Facebook.
Managers have documented part of the Facebook work in Kidspace.
The “Moon over us” project in collaboration with iCollaboratory with Bonnie is planned to be run on Kidspace.
We continue to run the successful “Doves for Peace” project.
We have some projects running also in Italian and in Catala, and they are supported by their FB groups. We can launch every year one/two projects in these languages too.
The Catala group will continue its successful work.
New projects and old projects to get alive
We will consider finding more science projects like the one suggested by Manoel.
KidArt. We want new art competitions in KidArt.
But the board thinks that if we can get our old Kidlink Newspaper project alive again, we could again hope to find new youth leaders.
“FAST PLANTS” suggested by Manoel Araujo Filho in Brasil. Students in the Fast Plant project observe together the development of a vegetable (e.g. Brassica Rapa ) that will be planted the same day but in different locations.
The Project Fast Plants will collect the data sent by the students periodically and start the comparisons and analyzes in tables, graphs and other means, through the environment for EAD.
The project promotes the exchange of information resulting from this experiment. This project is planned to start February 2018 last week in Moodle There are already two schools willing to participate.
11. THE FUTURE OF KIDLINK
To secure a long life for Kidlink it is important that we continue our work, among others the successful work done by among others Larisa, Lucine and Anil with e.g. our international Kidlink World café for teachers.
We must continue to look for new project and spread our Kidlink projects as much as possible to new continents and areas, Like South America, Africa, Middle East and Oceania.
This makes it also possible for us to talk about our projects in conferences,articles and workshops all over the world.
Stellan will contact Swedish SIDA http://www.sida.se/English/ to try to start a cooperation helping teachers and schools in the third world to get connected with other schools around the world.
Some of the Kidlink projects are really very popular and it happens thanks to the active coordinators who keep the teachers updated and share experience at conferences and workshops. Some project managers are very passive. We should somehow encourage the managers.It may be special certificates or appreciation letters for each year in Kidlink.