Paradise Lost (long)

When we stand back and take a look around the world of today, it is easily noticeable that many countries have an expansive history of supporting migrants and refugees, and in many cases, they go onto enrich the society, whether we go back 5, 10 or more than 100 years. The people, fleeing violence and persecution are often escaping wars they had no choice in and are now hoping to try and go to ‘safe havens’, where they can try and live in places that stand as beacons of hope and freedom to the world. There are of course some who deny these facts and there are others who embrace it, but one thing for sure is that we are all members of one species no matter our skin colour or background, the human race.

What we have been witnessing for some time is a growing negative narrative towards immigrants and refugees, in particular, Muslims and people from the Middle East, coming into ‘our’ countries in search of hope and perhaps a faint chance at finding something we all want to call paradise. But I assure you the paradise they are searching for is not what we would consider one.

Paradise can often be associated with a place of exceptional happiness and delight, and I am sure every day each one of us at some point during the day scrolls through their Instagram feed searching for the perfect vacation spot, and our own piece of paradise, where we can escape from all our troubles and the realities that surround us. When we are sitting there in search of this place and our perfect happiness, I am sure we won’t generally be drawn towards South Korea and the small island of Jeju to its south. But for 549 people, it is currently being considered somewhat of a paradise in comparison to what they left behind.

Neil and M discussing the refugee issue on Jeju. Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

Neil and M discussing the refugee issue on Jeju. Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

The Yemeni refugee issue on the island has not had that much positive media attention in the last few months, and very rarely have we heard the stories of the refugees, who are currently awaiting an answer about their status from the Korean government. Since their arrival, between April and May 2018, it seems every time the issue gets some air space, it is very negative, or we just see the Korean people protesting for their expulsion. After spending some time talking with them when I visited Jeju recently it became apparent that coming to Korea was the only option they had, and I am without doubt they never thought they would be living here in 2018. If it wasn’t for direct flights and visa-free access, which was suddenly then canceled in June after the influx of 550, I believe they would be home with their families, if it wasn’t for one somewhat small problem.

Of course, 549 may not sound like a big number in comparison to the amount of Syrian and other middle eastern refugees that travel through Turkey into Europe each year, with 198 thousand applicants registered in 2017, with Germany accounting for 31% of all first-time applicants in the EU-28. It was followed by Italy (127 thousand, or 20%), France (91 thousand, or 14%), Greece (57 thousand, or 9%), the United Kingdom (33 thousand, or 5%) and Spain (30 thousand, or 5%).

So, when just 550 Yemen refugees starting entering Jeju, apparently it was enough for South Koreans to take notice. In fact, it was enough for a Blue House (governmental) petition, that has now been signed by more than 700,000 people asking the Moon administration to expel them from the island. This, in my opinion, truly shows a poor mentality and a complete lack of awareness towards an issue, I am sure many Korean, if not foreigners as well, fail to understand, or perhaps don’t want to understand.

What we have witnessed over the last few weeks and months, is hundreds of Koreans taking to the streets of Seoul protesting, calling them “fake refugees” and accusing the Yemenis of being economic migrants. Online forums for mothers on Jeju that usually discuss pram reviews or the best preschool have turned overwhelmingly political in recent months.

South Koreans protesting against the refugees. Taken from News article by the South China Morning Post -    https://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/long-reads/article/2155163/influx-refugees-yemen-divides-south-korean-resort

South Koreans protesting against the refugees. Taken from News article by the South China Morning Post - https://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/long-reads/article/2155163/influx-refugees-yemen-divides-south-korean-resort

And after visiting Jeju with a fellow director, in August, we spent some time talking with many of the locals, who don't really seem to be too bothered by the refugees being there.

Sitting in a small coffee shop in Jeju city we start discussing the refugee issue with a local resident who has lived on the island his entire life. He tells us, “Before talking to other people about the situation I felt a little negative towards them but now I have come to understand their situation a little more and I don’t really see any problem with them being here. Korean people tend to have this fear about things they don’t understand and are often unwilling, or open-minded to change the fear into understanding. I think another big problem is the media and the somewhat negative information they show about the refugees. How can people understand another’s situation without discussion. I hope we can resolve this situation in the best way for everybody who is involved, especially people living in Jeju and the Yemen refugees”.

Yemen refugees searching for paradise but struggling to find a place to call home

Since arriving here the refugees have taken various art classes, cultural classes and language programmes to try to integrate themselves and some of the local residents working with them have grown very fond of them.

“...whenever I meet you I feel so happy. You are the person who makes people enjoy the moments with you. Thank you for coming here and being my friend”, writes a young girl who attended an art workshop with several of the Yemenis when they first arrived. This image itself paints a completely different story to what we are seeing in the mainstream and local media.

Photo supplied by 'M', a Yemeni refugee currently residing on Jeju island.

Photo supplied by 'M', a Yemeni refugee currently residing on Jeju island.

I wonder why we are not really seeing the stories of the refugees within the media and why the media is portraying them in such a negative light when they do. And when we look through the newspapers and online content about the issue we can see that others have not been so welcoming, “I am absolutely against having refugees,” one woman said.

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Some also mentioned religion as a reason, “I really hate the thought of people with the religion of Islam living on Jeju in a large number”, and others point to the refugee crisis in Europe, and hope to avoid a similar fate for South Korea, “I used to live in Europe... and accepting the Muslim population is literally a crazy idea,” wrote another.

The most outspoken critics of the Yemenis have come from conservative Christian groups. A recent poll showed 49% of South Koreans were opposed to accepting the refugees, while 39% were in favour of accepting them. The more surprising poll showed that over 54% of 19-40 year old also opposed them being here.

South Korea has approved just 3 Syrian refugees since 2015.

Ahmad Barro, left, Ahmad al-Othman and Ahmad Khalifa last month in Yangju, South Korea. The men, all from Syria, expressed frustration as they talked about family members left in Aleppo. Credit - Jean Chung for The New York Times

Ahmad Barro, left, Ahmad al-Othman and Ahmad Khalifa last month in Yangju, South Korea. The men, all from Syria, expressed frustration as they talked about family members left in Aleppo. Credit - Jean Chung for The New York Times

One underlying point that does sit well for the Korean government and the anti-refugee protesters is the previous track record of refugee intake, which could give the Moon administration a very easy-out.

Since 2015, some 848 Syrian refugees have applied for refugee status here, with just 3, less than 1%, of them eventually be approved, the rest given humanitarian visas. And according to further statistics from the Ministry of Justice, 40,470 people have applied for refugee status since 1994 and Korea has accepted just 839 or 4.1%. In comparison to other countries approval ratios who are significantly higher, Germany 31.7%, Mexico 55.7%, Canada 51.8 and even the average OECD stands at 24.8%, six times higher than that of South Korea.

“The point of the policy is to ensure that these Syrians will return home once the civil war is over, so not to make their life here too comfortable,” said Kim Sung-in, secretary general of Nancen, a refugee advocacy group in Seoul. “It essentially leaves them to fend for themselves.” Twenty-eight Syrians who claimed asylum thereafter the Paris terrorist attacks in November languished in crowded, windowless rooms at the airport for up to eight months. They were allowed to enter South Korea in July to apply for refugee status, but only after human rights lawyers intervened and publicized their plight.

“They told us to go elsewhere,” said Ahmad, 23, one of the 28, who asked to be identified by his given name only. “But we had nowhere else to go, so we just waited and waited.”

To Korean immigration officials, fleeing war is not sufficient grounds for asylum, said Chae Hyun-young, a legal officer at the United Nations’ refugee office in Seoul. Applicants must also be at risk of persecution. “And they focus on whether the applicant has suffered persecution in the past, rather than whether they would suffer in the future if returned home,” Ms. Chae said.

Korean War SC Coll Box 1, RG6s-KWP.27    1st LT William Millward of Baltimore, Md, Civil Assistant Officer, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, distributes candy to Korean children at a refugee collecting point in Western Korea.

Korean War SC Coll Box 1, RG6s-KWP.27 1st LT William Millward of Baltimore, Md, Civil Assistant Officer, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, distributes candy to Korean children at a refugee collecting point in Western Korea.

Now, considering that South Korea was once considered a refugee country it is quite remarkable they have this mentality towards others, and even though they are signed onto the UNHCR resettlement programme. It is quite obvious to see from their own statistics for refugee intake is incredibly low. So, there is no doubt that we must question the relationships between the more powerful middle eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the Korean government going forward, and in particular towards the interests that lie in other countries, such as Yemen and Syria, who have reserves of untapped resources such as oil and gold as well as the strategic location. Not to mention any potential nuclear deals, technology patents or clean energy opportunities in the future. So we need to tread lightly when looking at what people might consider just to be a refugee issue, and we can clearly see that these countries have a lot vested in Yemen already as well as other counties in the surrounding areas.

Human rights filmmakers attempt to re-shape the narrative

Coming back to today and why I actually became interested in the Yemen refugee issue in Jeju. Being based near Seoul and with only access to mainstream media and the Korean news for information about the issue, it doesn’t paint the whole picture. So, after living in Korea now since 2011 and working as a professor at a media university as well as a documentary director on films related to human rights issues, including a North Korean film about refugees, ‘While they Watched’ (2015), the Sewol ferry tragedy, ‘After the Sewol’ (2016) and ‘Crossroads’ (2017),  another director came to discuss the idea of going to Jeju in order to plan a film about the Yemen refugee issue. So, we packed our equipment and headed to Gimpo airport in the South of Seoul.


Taken from Sewol film, After the Sewol, 2017. Photograph by Neil P George © 2016

Taken from Sewol film, After the Sewol, 2017. Photograph by Neil P George © 2016

After arriving in Jeju we spent several days driving around the island filming and location scouting, and then we made contact with the owner of Global Inner Peace, a non-profit and civil society organization that has been working with the refugees since they arrived. We arranged to go to their office to discuss the issue and organize a meeting with some refugees so we can listen to their stories.

As I walked into the room there was an air of silence. Men Sat around tables listening intently to the teacher stood in front of them. This is what a classroom should look like, keen students who are interested in learning something new and paying attention to their teacher.  What you might not expect to see are ten men, of Arabic descent, trying to speak Korean.

Since the Yemen refugees arrived on Jeju in April and May 2018, they have clearly found it difficult to integrate into the society, but they are certainly trying their best and as I stand to observe their class it’s hard to believe that just 12 hours earlier another Saudi-led airstrike bombs down on a school bus killing at least 29 children. Muwlef, the Red Crescent Director said, “I am really shocked because there is no military base or troops in that area. Why would they carry out such an action?”



The United States is, of course, helping the coalition, being the only party in the conflict to use warplanes, with refueling, intelligence and billions in weapons sales. And just last week, Yemeni rebel health officials accused the coalition of launching airstrikes in the rebel-held port city of Hodeida, killing at least 28 people and wounding scores.

Hodeida has been under siege since June, despite U.N. peace efforts. The coalition is seeking to push the Houthis out of the strategic city, whose port is an essential gateway for supplies that fuel the rebels’ ability to dominate the capital, Sanaa, and the north. Hodeida is also a key entry point for food, medicine and other aid for more than 22 million Yemenis — three-quarters of the population — in need of assistance in what the United Nations describes as the world’s most severe humanitarian crisis.

And when I woke up on the 10th August to the news of the Saudi-led bomb strike on Yemen I didn’t know what to think. I was going to meet people from a country already torn apart by war and now we are watching videos of their children being massacred.

The children were on a field trip when their bus was struck at a market, the first stop of the day; 50 were killed and 77 injured, according to the ministry. Most of the children were inside the bus when the airstrike hit, according to a local medic, Yahya al-Hadi. The International Committee for the Red Cross said a hospital it supports in Saada had received 29 bodies of "mainly children" younger than 15, and 40 injured, including 30 children.

Ayman Gharaibeh, the UNHCR representative to Yemen recently said, “The world cannot afford to let Yemen slip into the abyss”, and I think he is absolutely right.

Saudi-led air strike kills 29 children in Yemen - BBC News

A Yemeni child is transported to a hospital after being wounded in a reported airstrike on the Iran-backed Houthi rebels’ stronghold province of Sa’ada on August 9, 2018. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

A Yemeni child is transported to a hospital after being wounded in a reported airstrike on the Iran-backed Houthi rebels’ stronghold province of Sa’ada on August 9, 2018.
Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

It is heartbreaking to see my home being destroyed and my people being killed.

After talking with the owner of Global Inner Peace, we then sat down to talk with 3 of the refugees, 2 of which were comfortable to talk about the stories, the third just wanted to listen.

“When I heard the news about the airstrike (on the 9th August) it was too painful to watch any videos. I am not a strong person and it is heartbreaking to see my home being destroyed and my people being killed. I want them to stop the killing!  M tells me.



Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

“Our children are going to school, like they do in any other country, in order to learn and play, and they get killed in this way. If this is the way they (Saudi Arabia) are wanting to help us, we don’t want any help” says Ali AlHutaiby, a 29-year-old refugee who used to be a student from Sana’a, the capital city of Yemen.

The pain from their eyes paints a picture in itself. Coming here without much choice to go anywhere else and now being treated almost like cattle, herded together, given schedules and in some cases curfews to live by each day. Around 50 of them are crammed into accommodation at the immigration office, sharing just 1 bathroom and others sharing small rooms between 5 people in local motels.

The conflict is also taking a toll on children’s access to education where we have seen a total of 20 incidents of attacks on schools were reported and verified. Schools have been hit during both ground operations and aerial attacks, and many are currently unfit for use due to damage, the presence of IDPs or occupation by armed groups. Some 2 million children are out of school, depriving them of an education and exposing them to child recruitment into armed groups and armed forces, or child marriage. Children who have experienced stressful situations are likely to show changes in social relations, behavior, physical reactions, and emotional response manifesting as sleeping problems, nightmares, withdrawal, problems concentrating and guilt. So, when we hear about attacks happening on school buses it makes it even more upsetting and distressed. These men fled for good reasons and now have to be judged by people who are not understanding the situation they escaped from.

They have of course received help from some communities here, mostly religious based or NGO’s, who are assisting them with food, accommodation, and schooling but all the really want is the fend for themselves and live a normal life.

“I just want to live a normal life, whatever that means, and I want to help people when I am in a position to do it. Given the choice I would go home tomorrow, of course, I want to see my family and friends but I can’t. If I go back I truly believe I will die”. M tells us over coffee.

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

When I came to Jeju, this was a place I dreamed to call ‘paradise’.

The war, since 2015, has torn the entire country of Yemen apart, with millions abandoning their homes searching for sanctuary elsewhere but due to the lack of money, it is extremely difficult for most to escape.

Coming back to the realities of Jeju, when talking with ‘M’, he wanted to remain anonymous, and is now awaiting the decision of his refugee status in Jeju tells me, “Back in Yemen I come from a successful family but it means nothing during the war. My families house was destroyed, my entire family is scattered all over the place and now I am on Jeju island, 8000 km from my home. When I came to Jeju, this was a place I dreamed to call ‘paradise’ some 30 years ago as a child. I give thanks to God for bringing me to this place I try to call paradise and I hope to be able to live in a safe place, not a war zone. I believe that all humans need help within their lifetimes at some point and I want to be the one helping, but at this moment I am the one asking for some help and understanding”.

[caption id="attachment_77" align="alignright" width="200"]Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018[/caption]

As we talk about their daily lives in Jeju it becomes clear that all he is thinking about is wanting to help those back in his home country but knowing if he were to return he would surely be caught in a war, enlisted into the armed forces and risk being potentially killed. He continues, “I want people to understand this was my (and our) only choice to leave. If we return (to Yemen) I am sure we would be killed or at least fighting in this terrible war. I wish that people could walk in my shoes to understand what I have been through and I hope that if I can share my story, people will start to understand just a little and realize that they don’t need to be afraid of us. I would like people to feel comfortable with us and just allow us to live like human beings”. M is a Yemeni refugee who wanted to remain anonymous for fear that his family and friends could suffer if he is seen on the news or social media speaking out against what is happening back in his home country.

South Korea has had a vested interest in the Middle East since the 1970s.

People boarding a ship near Masan, South Korea, in 1950.    PHOTO: JIM PRINGLE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

People boarding a ship near Masan, South Korea, in 1950.
PHOTO: JIM PRINGLE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Refugees are not new in South Korea, in fact, Korea itself was a refugee country during and after the Korean War, that ended in an armistice in 1953, with some estimates of the numbers of people displaced ranging widely, with anywhere from 1 million to more than 5 million forced to flee. So one could presume that a country that has been through a war, technically still not resolved, would have a better understanding of the issues surrounding refugees and show some form of empathy towards other countries going through a similar plight.

And of course, South Korea is also not new to the issues within the middle east, having been involved there for some time selling arms and supplying troops, particularly to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In fact, South Korean arms exports, amounted to $253 million in 2006 and reached $2.5 billion ten years later, and according to the SIPRI Top 100 arms and military weapons producing companies, including the Korea Aerospace industries, Hanhwa Corp. and LIG Nex1, South Korea has increased their arms sales by 20.6 percent to $8.4 billion, putting them alongside ‘other established producers’ such as Israel and Japan.

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The relationship between these countries can be traced back to the 1970s under Park Chung Hee, the dictator who ruled Korea between 1963-1979.

In the early 1970s, the face of the Middle East changed when the oil boom brought a rapid increase in revenues to oil-producing nations. This led these countries, mainly in the Middle East, to launch ambitious programs of public spending on infrastructure to foreign companies. The 1970s oil boom opened opportunities for South Korean companies to expand to the Middle East and compete with other international companies. Seoul began to regard this region as an attractive market for its industries, mainly the construction companies. The main goals of the government and the chaebol were to increase the competitiveness of South Korea’s economy and South Korean chaebol and to overcome the conception that South Korean companies were incapable of competing in international projects.

Moving forward to the modern relationship between UAE and Korea, we only need to go back to 2009 under the Lee Myoung Park administration when they made an agreement to send troops to the UAE, becoming known as the ‘Akh unit’, in Arabic meaning ‘brothers’. These soldiers were sent to train the UAE forces and continued throughout Lee Myoung Park and the Park Guen Hye administrations.


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It was also reported in a Wiki-leaks document that, South Korea has more than 716 troops in 13 countries, including a peacekeeping mission on the Lebanese-Israeli border and naval counter-piracy operations in Somalia. Seoul also plans to expand its deployment in Afghanistan, sending 350 troops to Parwan province north of the Afghan capital Kabul to protect reconstruction efforts by South Korean engineers and workers.

In the future, Korea plans to expand its standing army of peacekeepers to 3,000 and to increase humanitarian and disaster-relief missions throughout the world.

Ex-President Lee Myong Bak

Ex-President Lee Myong Bak

This relationship will be a great benefit to the UAE, as it will be able to gain extensive experience with special forces, due to the ongoing conflict with North Korea. Abu Dhabi is struggling with security threats in it's near abroad, including the desire to root out terrorism and maintain a stable business environment for foreign investors, as well as deeper problems arising from increasing unpredictability over Iran's role in the region and the potential for conflict to emerge in reaction to it. South Korea can offer high-tech goods and services that Abu Dhabi needs to develop and diversify its energy sector and the overall economy.


Rep. Kim Jong-dae of the Justice Party

Rep. Kim Jong-dae of the Justice Party

The 139-strong unit, composed of the Navy's UDT/SEAL and other special operation forces, would carry out the duty of helping train the Middle Eastern country's special forces and protect South Korean residents there in case of an emergency, the ministry said in a statement. Allegations were raised in 2018 by an opposition lawmaker, Rep. Kim Jong-dae of the Justice Party, that South Korea has actually signed at least six secret military deals with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under the governments of conservative Presidents Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye. Rep. Kim Jong-dae of the Justice Party claimed the Lee government signed five of the deals on military cooperation, while the Park administration signed at least one. These types of deals are not new between countries but it was alleged that these deals played a significant role in South Korea also winning bids for an $18.6 billion deal to build nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

It is also worth noting that the ROK-UAE nuclear deal had been criticized in South Korea for being commercially weak. The bid was reported to be about 20 percent beneath the industry average bidding price range. Other unsuccessful bidders from France, Japan, and the United States may now feel a bit better about losing out to KEPCO, knowing that there was more behind the deal than a mere cost discount. 


Park Jie-won, floor leader of the Democratic Party (DP)

Park Jie-won, floor leader of the Democratic Party (DP)

And when we trace this back to 2011, Park Jie-won, floor leader of the Democratic Party (DP), had already lashed out at President Lee Myung-bak for his alleged opaque dealings over Korea winning an $18.6 billion deal to build nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and although in response, Knowledge Economy Minister Choi Joong-Kyung refuted the claim, saying, the government made no backdoor deals with the UAE and did not include the proposal to lend the construction cost in the final contract.

However, as we now know it was confirmed by the Former Defense Minister Kim Tae-young, in 2018, that the two countries had, in fact, signed a secret military pact mandating South Korea dispatch its troops to the UAE in the event of a contingency. “It was basically about having South Korean troops come to the UAE when it was in military trouble,” Kim said in an interview with local daily JoongAng Ilbo. “During peacetime, it was about helping with UAE’s military training and weapons management.”



Former Defense Minister Kim Tae-young

Former Defense Minister Kim Tae-young

So, in having these secret pacts between South Korea and middle eastern countries we could easily be led to question how much influence they might have in regards to any other issues, perhaps issues surrounding refugees..?

From all the available information it is clear that South Korea has a large amount invested in the countries of Saudi Arabia and UAE, and they, in turn, are also looking for opportunities to try to influence the somewhat less developed areas, specifically within Yemen, in order to gain more influence and power, mostly due to its highly strategic position as well as having resources of oil, gold, and other valuable minerals. Taking all of this into account we have not even considering the USA’s role within the Saudi-led coalition.

The US classified the middle east as the most strategically important area of the world at the end of the 2nd world and little has changed since then. They have a lot to gain in strategic positioning, weapons sales, oil exploration and of course a main transportation hub throughout the world. But as the power of SA and UAE grow there seems to be a power struggle not just within the immediate countries but also from the US, and while they still remain the primary security guarantor in the Middle East, many of its partners have become far more capable and far more assertive: They decide on their interests, how to best achieve them, and the types of relationships they wish to pursue with other actors.

"The US is certainly in a bind in Yemen," said Katherine Zimmerman, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. "It doesn't make sense that the United States has identified al-Qaeda as a threat, but that we have common interests inside of Yemen and that, in some places, it looks like we're looking the other way."

"The Obama administration had reservations about the Yemen war from the beginning, but supported the fight largely to show support for Saudi Arabia at a time when the relationship was strained by the Iran nuclear deal," Blecher explained. Which as we all know President Trump has now pulled out of.

Who has the most to gain out of this relationship?

Returning to the UAE and its interests, it is clear that they have a lot to gain from the agreements with South Korea, already having 5 MOU’s, as well as various other agreements, exports and import opportunities as well. Aside to the trade relationship between the two countries which is also booming, according to figures from the South Korean embassy. In the first half of 2017, South Korea’s exports to the UAE were valued at $2.95 billion (Dh10.8 billion), a 4 per cent increase on the same period in 2016, while the UAE’s H1 exports to South Korea grew 47 per cent to $4.29 billion in 2016. And in November 2017, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) made an unexpected and its largest ever investment in the South Korean stock market, and much attention has been given to what is behind it. The Middle East nation might have suddenly become attracted to domestic stocks as they purchased a net 967 billion won (US$906.28 million) worth of South Korean stocks last November.


Yemen's strategic importance ©L. Saubadu / K. Tian / C. Mutto, cam/gil/jj (AFP/File)

Yemen's strategic importance ©L. Saubadu / K. Tian / C. Mutto, cam/gil/jj (AFP/File)

The nation’s holdings of listed South Korean shares, which stood at 2.86 trillion won (US$2.68 billion) at the end of 2008 when the Lee Myung-bak administration came to office, continued to increase to 5.446 trillion won (US$5.103 billion) at the end of 2009, 6.836 trillion won (US$6.406 billion) at the end of 2010, 6.837 trillion won (US$6.408 billion) at the end of 2011 and 8.24 trillion won (US$7.722 billion) at the end of 2012, Lee’s last year in office.

The amount of the UAE’s South Korean shareholdings came to 8.242 trillion won (US$7.724 billion) at the end of 2013 during the first year of the Park Geun-hye presidency, up a mere 2 billion won (US$1.874 million) in a year. The figure slightly rose to 8.962 trillion won (US$8.399 billion) at the end of 2014 but kept decreasing since then to 8.254 billion trillion won (US$7.736 billion) at the end of 2015 and 6.931 trillion won (US$6.496 billion) at the end of 2016. It gradually rebounded from last year, returned to the 8 trillion won (US$7.5 billion) level at the end of May when there was a presidential election and showed an increase since then.

The UAE's stock investment was mostly concentrated on oil-related companies in the past, but the investment made in November concentrated on about 100 major companies including Samsung Electronics Co., SK Hynix, and Hyundai Motor Co. Some analysts speculate that some senior South Korean officials' previous visits to the UAE may well have led to Abu Dhabi's increased investment in Korean stocks.

This proves the countries have significant levels of interest within each other's economies as well as looking to push for new deals between the two countries in the future. So, having social issues, such as the Yemeni refugee issue could easily create some tensions within the relationship, something I am sure is not wanted from either side.

And when Moon went to visit the UAE in early 2018, he took the opportunity to emphasize the strength of bilateral relations, downplaying recent reports about a possible discord, “The Akh unit is the pride of Korea’s armed forces, and the symbol of cooperation between Korea and the UAE,” adding that the unit was instrumental in the two countries forming a relationship of special strategic partners. Perhaps he was unaware of the exact dealings that had taken place during the previous administrations under Lee Myoung Park and Park Guen Hye, who coincidentally are both now residing in jail for bribery, embezzlement, tax evasion, and corruption.



The opposition parties also criticized the Moon administration over a senior presidential aide's recent visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), "There is also a rumor that the UAE even mentioned the severance of diplomatic relations, and Im (Im Jong-seok, Blue House chief of staff) was sent as a special envoy to resolve the issue," LKP floor leader Kim Sung-tae said during a committee meeting. "The Moon government has caused a diplomatic stir, being immersed in political retaliation against its conservative predecessors."

Khaldoon Khalifa al-Mubarak of Abu Dhabi, left, chief of Abu Dhabi’s Organization & Administration Department, meets with Presidential Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok (Yonhap)

Khaldoon Khalifa al-Mubarak of Abu Dhabi, left, chief of Abu Dhabi’s Organization & Administration Department, meets with Presidential Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok (Yonhap)

Im on Sunday (December 10th 2017) met with Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces. He also met with the Akh Unit in the UAE, touring the facilities, receiving a briefing by the soldiers. And when Moon visited the UAE to show a strengthening of ties, this could well be seen as playing straight into the hands of the coalition formed to battle the Shiite rebels in Yemen, and could cause even more destruction within the already war-torn country, and in turn help the Saudi government to improve their stronghold over the already weakened Yemeni government.

However, a former South Korean defense minister has downplayed the chance of entering a conflict alongside the UAE and classified it as a "low risk." But the Shiite rebels in Yemen, who the UAE is battling as part of a Saudi-led coalition, say they have already tried to target the under-construction Barakah nuclear power plant with a cruise missile, which is coincidentally being built by the Korean Electrical Power Corporation (KEPCO).

 

"The Barakah nuclear power plant is not simply a mega construction project worth $18.6 billion," Moon wrote. "The fact that the UAE put confidence in Korea, which had no experience in constructing overseas nuclear power plants, and signed a contract with us to build one in Barakah was possible only because there was deep trust between our two countries."

This project will have immense implications on South Korean trade with other Middle Eastern nations that perceive Seoul as a potential contractor for building these nuclear power plants in other regional states and in regions outside the Middle East. It is no coincidence that South Korea should be building better military and economic relations with the UAE as the mission clearly complements the economic relationship. South Korea also has a vested interest in the oil coming out of the middle east, but i will talk about this later in the article.

So, if we bear all of this in mind, we simply must question how much influence will the UAE and Saudi governments have towards the Yemeni refugee issue and what effect would this have on the relationship between Korea and middle eastern countries going forward if they do? Would the Moon administration potentially risk all of these potential deals in the future for 549 Yemeni refugees?

The strategic position of Yemen will play a significant role.

Economically, Yemen is important to the global flow of oil, however, in the resource-rich Arabian Peninsula, Yemen is only a minor player in the global oil business mostly due to a lack of investment and continuing attacks on its infrastructure, which has led to Yemen’s oil production decreasing since 2001. (It just about produces 131,000 barrels of crude oil per day and its oil reserves are barely bigger than those of the United Kingdom.) Yet a major escalation of its conflict would have severe repercussions across global oil markets for geo-strategic reasons. Yemen is located adjacent to the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important energy choke-point, and to the Bab-el-Mandab Strait, which controls access to the Suez Canal.

The strategic positioning of the small island of Socotra as well as the harbor ports of Aden and Mulkalla will surely play a significant role in the growth and development of the country as well as the security of Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the other middle eastern countries in the future, thus impacting even further on their broken economy. Moreover, the strategic location along the Bab el Mandeb, the strait that links the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and is one of the world's most active shipping lanes, which should be considered highly strategic and an invaluable position to SA. The port harbors of both Aden and Al Mukalla having both been bombed significantly since 2015, the first incident reported on May 11, 2015, when a U.S drone strike killed four AQAP militants traveling in a car around the Mukalla, including the commander Mamoun Abdulhamid Hatem. “The UAE plays a parallel role on the Yemeni island of Socotra to maintain security and stability, support development projects, and help the people of the island,” the ministry said. It added that its military presence “comes within the efforts of the Arab Coalition to support the legitimacy at this critical stage in the history of Yemen.”

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Now, most of Yemen's GDP comes from its limited oil production, which accounts for about 85 percent of export earnings and 75 percent of government revenue.  Therefore, confirming that these port harbors play a vital element in the economy of Yemen, due to being the most natural and logical place for shipping across the world. The Port of Aden, in 2018, actually witnessed a steady growth during the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, and the handling rate is now the largest during the past ten years. From January to June 2018 it reached 333 vessels, an increase of 6% over the same period last year and the shipped cargo reaching 570,266 tons, an increase of 115% weighing 1,062,097 tons, an increase of up to 194% from last year. But where is this much-needed money going, into the hands of the already rich SA coalition or is it finding its way into the Yemen economy?

 

Photo was taken from article published on  The Atlantic

Photo was taken from article published on The Atlantic

These numbers, of course, tell a story in themselves, and even though there is a civil war raging, the strait of Bab el Mandeb and the port city of Aden are still playing an ever-increasing role bringing goods around the world, including taking oil to countries such as Japan, South Korea, India and China, some of the largest economies in the world. At the same time, there is a vast fear growing in relation to the security of the shipping vessels in the area and the growing ties between Yemen’s Houthi Shi’ites and Iran poses another threat to both Saudi Arabia and the United States. It potentially could allow Iran to outflank the Gulf, and deploy air and naval forces to Yemen. This threat still seems limited, but it is important to note that Yemen’s territory and islands play a critical role in the security of another global choke point at the southeastern end of the Red Sea called the Bab el Mandab or “gate of tears.”

Another thing to consider is that Yemen may well be a small country, but it does have a population of 26.1 million and one of the highest population growth rates in the world. Nearly 63% of its population is 24 years of age or younger and it is deeply divided between Sunnis (65%) and Shiites, like the Houthis, (35%). So, when South Korea saw the influx of Yemen refugees seeking asylum in 2018 it should not have been a surprise that they saw many young males entering.

Yemen is one of the world’s largest protection crises.

For over two and a half years, airstrikes, armed clashes and attacks on civilian infrastructure have pushed Yemen into a downward spiral, resulting in the world’s largest food security crisis, and enabling the spread of cholera at an unprecedented scale. Half of the Yemeni population live in areas directly affected by conflict, many of whom are suffering from the deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure, and other apparent violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The crisis in Yemen is one of the world’s largest protection crises and has forcibly displaced three million people from their homes.

This conflict has been raging now since 2015 and according to the Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights, Yemen is one of the world’s largest protection crises, in which civilians face serious risks to their safety, well-being and basic rights. As of 15 October 2017, health facilities reported 8,757 conflict-related deaths and over 50,610 injuries, and over three million people have been forced to flee from their homes. Millions of people in Yemen need humanitarian assistance to ensure their basic survival. An estimated 17.8 million are food insecure, 16 million lack access to safe water and sanitation, and 16.4 million lack access to adequate healthcare. Needs across the country have grown more acute since June 2017, with 11.3 million in acute need of humanitarian assistance in order to survive – this is an increase of 15 percent in five months.

I am always a firm believer that people should know their history in order to learn from it and not make the same mistakes again. And after researching about Yemen it became clear that a lot of people don’t actually realize the war didn’t really start in 2015. It can be traced back to 1990 when the two states unified, which in turn caused even more tensions and if we go back even further than that we can see why.

The Yemen Arab Republic

In 1962 - Imam Ahmad died and was succeeded by his son but the army officers seized power, setting up the Yemen Arab Republic, which in turn sparked a civil war between royalists supported by Saudi Arabia and republicans backed by Egypt. In 1967 South Yemen was formed with the formation of the People's Republic of Yemen, comprising Aden and former Protectorate of South Arabia, which led to thousands fleeing to the north following a crackdown on dissidents and the armed groups formed a bid in order to overthrow the government. 1978 we see Ali Abdallah Saleh become the President of North Yemen and fighting continued with a renewed effort to try to unite the two states and then in 1986 thousands die in the south due to the political rivalry and at that point. President Ali Nasser Muhammad fled the country, later to be sentenced to death for treason. This then led to a new government being formed.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh, In office 22 May 1990 – 27 February 2012. Killed on 4 December 2017.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh, In office
22 May 1990 – 27 February 2012. Killed on 4 December 2017.

May 1990, the two Yemenis united as the Republic of Yemen with Mr. Saleh as President, but tensions between the states endured. A coalition government was formed in April 1993 made up of ruling parties of former north and south and then in August, the Vice-President Ali Salim al-Baid withdraws to Aden, alleging that the south is being marginalized and southerners are being attacked by northerners. Saleh declares a state of emergency in May 1994 and dismisses Al-Baid and other southern government members following a political deadlock and sporadic fighting. Al-Baid declares independence of the Democratic Republic of Yemen and Northern forces capture Aden, whilst the southern leaders flee abroad and are sentenced to death in absentia.


USS Cole was bombed in an attack against the  United States Navy  guided-missile destroyer  USS  Cole   on 12 October 2000.

USS Cole was bombed in an attack against the United States Navyguided-missile destroyerUSS Cole on 12 October 2000.

The US naval vessel USS Cole is damaged in an al-Qaeda suicide attack in Aden in 2000, killing 17 US personnel and sparking more violence leading up to February 2002 when Yemen expels more than 100 foreign Islamic clerics in a crackdown on al-Qaeda. In October Al-Qaeda attacks and badly damages oil supertanker MV Limburg in Gulf of Aden, killing one and injuring 12 crew members and costing Yemen dear in lost port revenues. We then see the Houthi insurgency in 2004, when hundreds are killed as troops battle the Shia insurgency led by Hussein al-Houthi in the north. After several months of clashes, President Saleh says the leader of the rebellion in the north has agreed to renounce the campaign in return for a pardon. In March 2006 more than 600 followers of the slain Shia cleric Hussein al-Houthi who was captured following a rebellion he led in 2004 are released under an amnesty and Saleh wins another election term.

September 2008 sees an attack on the US embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa which kills 18 people, including six assailants and in October the President announces the arrest of suspected Islamist militants allegedly linked to Israeli intelligence and the fighting continues until February 2010 when they finally signed a ceasefire with the Houthi northern rebels, but this breaks down in December.

After months of mounting protests, President Saleh is injured in a rocket attack and flown to Saudi Arabia, returning home in September, eventually handing over power to Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is inaugurated as President after uncontested elections.

Jumping forward to 2014 when the Houthi rebels take control of most of the capital Sanaa and then go onto reject the draft constitution proposed by the government in 2015. This led up to the two suicide bombings that targeted Shia mosques in Sana’a in which 137 people are killed. To view the full breakdown of the Yemen modern history here.

Houthi Shiite Yemeni raise their weapons during clashes near the presidential palace in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Jan. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Houthi Shiite Yemeni raise their weapons during clashes near the presidential palace in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Jan. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

So, when people talk about the Yemen war we must realise that it is not something that just started in 2015, this goes back a lot longer and it also has many similarities to what we saw happen with the Korean war, and what Korea has been through since the 1950s, not just with North Korea but even within the country itself. We could easily discuss the development of Korea post-war, and how Syngman Rhee took control of an unstable democracy, only to be overthrown by Park Chung Hee. The country, during 1960’s and 70s under the dictatorship of Park, was developed ‘at all costs’, effectively forcing the people to work 7 days a week, earning barely enough to feed their families. All of that economic development came at a cost and it ultimately led up to the 5.18 Gwangju uprising in 1980 and then the eventual 6.10 democracy movement in 1987, where Korea finally became a democracy. But the Korean people still continued to fight throughout the 1990’s and 2000s to build the economy and become a more democratic state but in doing, so they left the safety culture at the back, which resulted in various man-made disasters, such as the Sampoong, Seung-su bridge collapse, Seohae ferry disaster and even more recently the Sewol ferry tragedy in 2014. Obviously, I don’t intend to talk about Korean history but when you explore the situation in Yemen, the comparables between Yemen and Korea are easy to see, both the society, the history with dictatorships and the way they are trying to be controlled by outside influence, such as the USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE and you don’t need to look that hard to see these similarities.

They even continue in terms of the geographic location, South Korea being the Asian Pacific hub between China, Russia, Japan and the rest of the world and when we look at Yemen’s positioning we can explore this in a broader strategic context, and the crisis in Yemen can be seen as only a part of the U.S.-Saudi strategic equation.

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The Broader Strategic Importance of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula

U.S.- Saudi partnership and cooperation are critical in building some form of deterrence and strategic stability to contain Iran in the Gulf. Any nuclear agreement will not affect the need for close cooperation between the United States, Saudi Arabia and other key members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in dealing with the broader and active threat Iran poses in terms of conventional forces, asymmetric warfare, missiles, and strategic influence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip.

From a strategic viewpoint, the flow of oil and gas tanker traffic out of the Gulf and through the Strait of Hormuz remains the world’s most important energy choke point. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) also reported in November 2014 that an average of 167 million barrels worth of oil a day passed through the Strait of Hormuz. The Strait of Hormuz is the world's most important oil chokepoint because of its daily oil flow of 17 million barrels per day in 2013. Flows through the Strait of Hormuz in 2013 were about 30% of all seaborne-traded oil. EIA estimates that more than 85% of the crude oil that moved through this choke point went to Asian markets, based on data from Lloyd's List Intelligence tanker tracking service.6 Japan, India, South Korea, and China are the largest destinations for oil moving through the Strait of Hormuz. Qatar exported about 3.7 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) per year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the Strait of Hormuz in 2013, according to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy 2014.7

This volume accounts for more than 30% of global LNG trade. Kuwait imports LNG volumes that travel northward through the Strait of Hormuz.

There is no question that Yemen is confronting a humanitarian crisis that has been exacerbated by the entry of the Saudi-led coalition into the war.

We met them for the second time and went to a coffee shop on the north coast of Jeju, not that far away from the immigration centre where around 50 others are staying and we talked about their lives back in Yemen and what they have been doing since arriving here in May. After coming from Malaysia, where they were constantly trying to find work for around 3 years, what the Korean people don’t seem understand is they just simply didn’t have anywhere else to go, and so when they hear about the Yemen refugees in Jeju in the media they don’t appear to have any interest in trying to understand the issue that brought them here in the first place.

Ali tells us he spent 6 days in the airport waiting to be interviewed for refugee status before being allowed to enter the island. We discussed the recent news and the related media and M tells us, “People shouldn’t believe the media from the middle east. They just tell misinformation and propaganda about Yemen and the issues we have. We are actually a very peaceful people and the media only concentrating on Syria. Why they don’t they talk more about Yemen and what we have gone through!”

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

According to Afrah Nasser, an independent Yemeni journalist who is based in Sweden, “When western news outlets cover Yemen it's often 'parachute journalism.' This is mainly because it's been hard to access Yemen and if you want to get in you have to get permission from the Saudis and the Houthis. For foreign journalists, it's become hell to enter or leave the country and a trip that used to take a few hours might now take days or even weeks."

With the constant news feeds giving focus on other Middle Eastern countries and the difficulty in accessing the country, it also brings attention to who is controlling this limited information coming out of Yemen, and it also highlights the important issue we are dealing with today of ‘fake news’, and who do we actually trust for our news. This has become an important question since President Trump came into power, with his constant berating of the ‘mainstream’ media that he doesn't like. But this is a whole different conversation altogether.

Coming back to the refugees, it is clear they are angry and upset about what is happening in Yemen but also they are powerless to do anything whilst residing in Jeju and you can sense the frustration about what is happening around their own situation.

They told us that they try to have contact with their relatives and friends every couple of weeks back in Yemen but due to the power issues and lack of cellular services it is becoming harder each week, and they echoed the UN report that said the situation is getting worse in Yemen. And after reading through the UN report published back in 2017 I can see exactly where they are coming from.

It is clear from the report that all parties to the conflict display a disregard for International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law and impede the principled and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance and this can be seen with the 8,878 total reported incidents as of October 2017.

un 1.jpg

They are in a severe economic decline and in fact, there hasn’t even been electric there since 2011. On top of all of this the recent closures of Yemen’s ports (sea, land, and airports) on 6 November 2017 by the Saudi-led Coalition, threatens Yemenis’ lifelines and remains partially effective in Hudaydah, Salif and Sana’a. Within 24 hours of this, the prices for food, fuel, and water had soared, putting them out of reach of vulnerable populations, which highlights the volatility of the situation in Yemen.

The UN report goes on to say that this is the world’s largest man-made food security crisis Yemen is now the world’s largest man-made food security crisis. However, this crisis is not driven by a lack of food in the country but rather, Yemen’s food crisis is driven by factors constraining the supply, distribution and people’s diminishing purchasing power. Ongoing conflict and economic decline have steadily eroded people’s coping mechanisms, leaving large parts of the population at the risk of famine.



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As we continue to talk with M and Ali they both nod their heads in agreement about it but all they seem to be thinking about at this moment are their own struggles.

It is almost unimaginable what is happening back in Yemen with over 22.1 million people in need of assistance and we are now sitting discussing the issues with men who are also trying to find their way in Jeju. On top of that, there are a lot of people in Korea who appear to want them to leave, and it would also appear that a vast majority of them don’t have any idea about the situation itself.

 

The photo was taken from the  Yemen Press .

The photo was taken from the Yemen Press.

The costs of this terrible war rise higher and higher... We have to wake up to the reality of what is happening in Yemen.

The refugees in Jeju just want their voices to be heard and want people to understand why they came here. A plight not so dissimilar to that of the Sewol ferry victims families, who I spent 3 years filming with, and who fought for that entire time for their voices to be heard, and all within their own country. Perhaps that in itself shows the mentality of this incredibly insular society and in particular the attitude of the previous administrations. So, one does wonder how these Yemeni strangers will continue to be received in the future.

Yemeni children raise protest signs and chant slogans during a demonstration in the capital Sanaa on August 12, 2018, against an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition which hit a bus killing dozens of children. (AFP Photo)

Yemeni children raise protest signs and chant slogans during a demonstration in the capital Sanaa on August 12, 2018, against an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition which hit a bus killing dozens of children. (AFP Photo)

However, I am a firm believer that once the Korean people gain a much better understanding of the situation they will be more accepting and allow them to try and create a normal life for themselves, which in turn will help them to earn some money that they can then send back to their families in Yemen. This money can be used to support the and booster the local economy in some small part, hopefully bringing back some normality to their lives in general. The Yemen war, known as the forgotten war, has been raging for a long time and well before 2015 and if people can see that, understand the issues and try to help the refugees, perhaps we can start to bring back some decency to the world that seems to have lost all reason these days.

The golden rule by which we should live.

A golden rule in life that I very much practice is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated. It is the maxim of many religions and societies but what we seem to be witnessing from a vast majority of people in South Korea is almost the complete opposite. I myself would urge each and every Korean to take a good hard look in the mirror. Look at your grandparents and your own country's history. See how the rest of the world treated them when they were caught up in the Korean War. Now, try and put yourselves in the shoes of these young Yemeni men and women who had no choice but to flee their own war-torn country in search of a place they could try to call paradise, perhaps not what we all think of one but to them it is a paradise that they hope to be able to call a second home one day.

When I came to Jeju to talk with the refugees I did not consider how deep this issue is rooted. This issue is not just about the Yemen refugees, it goes a lot deeper than that, but at the heart of it is; Can we allow ourselves to turn a blind eye to these growing human rights issues that are taking place all over the world and sometimes right next door?

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

We can only understand these issues when we open our eyes, our ears, and our minds, and what I witnessed after the Sewol ferry tragedy and the empowerment of the South Korean people is now being heavily diminished by their attitude towards the Yemen refugees. I hope these people can wake up and realise that we are all human beings at the end of the day and try thinking about a very simple ideology known as the golden rule. It says, “Before one performs an action which might harm another person, try to imagine yourself in their position, and consider whether you would want to be the recipient of that action. If you would not want to be in such a position, the other person probably would not either, and so you should not do it”.

This is the basic and fundamental human trait of empathy, the ability to vicariously experience how another is feeling, that makes this possible, and it is the principle of empathy by which we should live our lives. In writing this piece I wanted to try and shed some more light into the Yemen refugee issue in Jeju and ultimately I hope people can start to understand and then feel some empathy for what their country has been through and what they now experiencing. I will leave you with the words of M, a young male Yemeni striving to make a way for himself here and for people to listen to his story.

I believe that all humans need help at some point within their lifetime, and I truly want to be the one helping, but at this moment I am the one asking people to help and understand me”.

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

_____________

Neil P. George is an assistant professor lecturing on documentary and editing in the Visual Production department at Dong-Ah Institute of Media and Arts. He is also a documentary director producing films related to South Korea and human rights issues.

Paradise Lost (short)

When we stand back and take a look around the world of today, it is easily noticeable that many countries have an expansive history of supporting migrants and refugees, and in many cases, they go onto enrich the society, whether we go back 5, 10 or more than 100 years. The people, fleeing violence and persecution are often escaping wars they had no choice in and are now hoping to try and go to ‘safe havens’, where they can try and live in places that stand as beacons of hope and freedom to the world. There are of course some who deny these facts and there are others who embrace it, but one thing for sure is that we are all members of one species no matter our skin colour or background, the human race.

What we have been witnessing for some time is a growing negative narrative towards immigrants and refugees, in particular, Muslims and people from the Middle East, coming into ‘our’ countries in search of hope and perhaps a faint chance at finding something we all want to call paradise. But I assure you the paradise they are searching for is not what we would consider one.

Paradise can often be associated with a place of exceptional happiness and delight, and I am sure every day each one of us at some point during the day scrolls through their Instagram feed searching for the perfect vacation spot, and our own piece of paradise, where we can escape from all our troubles and the realities that surround us. When we are sitting there in search of this place and our perfect happiness, I am sure we won’t generally be drawn towards South Korea and the small island of Jeju to its south. But for 549 people, it is currently being considered somewhat of a paradise in comparison to what they left behind.

Neil and M discussing the refugee issue on Jeju. Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

Neil and M discussing the refugee issue on Jeju. Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

The Yemeni refugee issue on the island has not had that much positive media attention in the last few months, and very rarely have we heard the stories of the refugees, who are currently awaiting an answer about their status from the Korean government. Since their arrival, between April and May 2018, it seems every time the issue gets some airspace, it is very negative, or we just see the Korean people protesting for their expulsion.

After spending some time talking with them when I visited Jeju recently it became apparent that coming to Korea was the only option they had, and I am without a doubt they never thought they would be living here in 2018. If it wasn’t for direct flights and visa-free access, which was suddenly then canceled in June after the influx of 550, I believe they would be home with their families, if it wasn’t for one somewhat small problem.

Of course, 549 may not sound like a big number in comparison to the amount of Syrian and other middle eastern refugees that travel through Turkey into Europe each year, with 198 thousand applicants registered in 2017, with Germany accounting for 31% of all first-time applicants in the EU-28. It was followed by Italy (127 thousand, or 20%), France (91 thousand, or 14%), Greece (57 thousand, or 9%), the United Kingdom (33 thousand, or 5%) and Spain (30 thousand, or 5%).

So, when just 550 Yemen refugees starting entering Jeju, apparently it was enough for South Koreans to take notice. In fact, it was enough for a Blue House (governmental) petition, that has now been signed by more than 700,000 people asking the Moon administration to expel them from the island. This, in my opinion, truly shows a poor mentality and a complete lack of awareness towards an issue, I am sure many Korean, if not foreigners as well, fail to understand, or perhaps don’t want to.

What we have witnessed over the last few weeks and months, is hundreds of Koreans taking to the streets of Seoul protesting, calling them “fake refugees” and accusing the Yemenis of being economic migrants. Online forums for mothers on Jeju that usually discuss pram reviews or the best preschool have turned overwhelmingly political in recent months.

South Koreans protesting against the refugees. Taken from News article by the South China Morning Post -    https://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/long-reads/article/2155163/influx-refugees-yemen-divides-south-korean-resort

South Koreans protesting against the refugees. Taken from News article by the South China Morning Post - https://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/long-reads/article/2155163/influx-refugees-yemen-divides-south-korean-resort

And after visiting Jeju with a fellow director, in August, we spent some time talking with many of the locals, who don't really seem to be too bothered by the refugees being there.

Sitting in a small coffee shop in Jeju city we start discussing the refugee issue with a local resident who has lived on the island his entire life. He tells us, “Before talking to other people about the situation I felt a little negative towards them but now I have come to understand their situation a little more and I don’t really see any problem with them being here. Korean people tend to have this fear about things they don’t understand and are often unwilling, or open minded to change the fear into understanding. I think another big problem is the media and the somewhat negative information they show about the refugees. How can people understand another’s situation without discussion. I hope we can resolve this situation in the best way for everybody who is involved, especially people living in Jeju and the Yemen refugees”.

Yemen refugees searching for paradise but struggling to find a place to call home

Since arriving here the refugees have taken various art classes, cultural classes and language programmes to try to integrate themselves and some of the local residents working with them have grown very fond of them.

“...whenever I meet you I feel so happy. You are the person who makes people enjoy the moments with you. Thank you for coming here and being my friend”, writes a young girl who attended an art workshop with several of the Yemenis when they first arrived. This image itself paints a completely different story to what we are seeing in the mainstream and local media.

Photo supplied by 'M', a Yemeni refugee currently residing on Jeju island.

Photo supplied by 'M', a Yemeni refugee currently residing on Jeju island.

I wonder why we are not really seeing the stories of the refugees within the media and why the media is portraying them in such a negative light when they do. And when we look through the newspapers and online content about the issue we can see that others have not been so welcoming, “I am absolutely against having refugees,” one woman said.

Some also mentioned religion as a reason, “I really hate the thought of people with the religion of Islam living on Jeju in a large number”, and others point to the refugee crisis in Europe, and hope to avoid a similar fate for South Korea, “I used to live in Europe... and accepting the Muslim population is literally a crazy idea,” wrote another.

The most outspoken critics of the Yemenis have come from conservative Christian groups. A recent poll showed 49% of South Koreans were opposed to accepting the refugees, while 39% were in favour of accepting them. The more surprising poll showed that over 54% of 19-40 year old also opposed them being here.

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South Korea has approved just 3 Syrian refugees since 2015.

Ahmad Barro, left, Ahmad al-Othman and Ahmad Khalifa last month in Yangju, South Korea. The men, all from Syria, expressed frustration as they talked about family members left in Aleppo. Credit - Jean Chung for The New York Times.

Ahmad Barro, left, Ahmad al-Othman and Ahmad Khalifa last month in Yangju, South Korea. The men, all from Syria, expressed frustration as they talked about family members left in Aleppo. Credit - Jean Chung for The New York Times.

One underlying point that does sit well for the Korean government and the anti-refugee protesters is the previous track record of refugee intake, which could give the Moon administration a very easy-out.

Since 2015, some 848 Syrian refugees have applied for refugee status here, with just 3, less than 1%, of them eventually be approved, the rest given humanitarian visas. And according to further statistics from the Ministry of Justice, 40,470 people have applied for refugee status since 1994 and Korea has accepted just 839 or 4.1%. In comparison to other countries approval ratios who are significantly higher, Germany 31.7%, Mexico 55.7%, Canada 51.8 and even the average OECD stands at 24.8%, six times higher than that of South Korea.

“The point of the policy is to ensure that these Syrians will return home once the civil war is over, so not to make their life here too comfortable,” said Kim Sung-in, secretary general of Nancen, a refugee advocacy group in Seoul. “It essentially leaves them to fend for themselves.” Twenty-eight Syrians who claimed asylum thereafter the Paris terrorist attacks in November languished in crowded, windowless rooms at the airport for up to eight months. They were allowed to enter South Korea in July to apply for refugee status, but only after human rights lawyers intervened and publicized their plight.

“They told us to go elsewhere,” said Ahmad, 23, one of the 28, who asked to be identified by his given name only. “But we had nowhere else to go, so we just waited and waited.”

To Korean immigration officials, fleeing war is not sufficient grounds for asylum, said Chae Hyun-young, a legal officer at the United Nations’ refugee office in Seoul. Applicants must also be at risk of persecution. “And they focus on whether the applicant has suffered persecution in the past, rather than whether they would suffer in the future if returned home,” Ms. Chae said.

Refugees are of course not new in South Korea, in fact, Korea itself was a refugee country during and after the Korean War, that ended in an armistice in 1953, with some estimates of the numbers of people displaced ranging widely, with anywhere from 1 million to more than 5 million forced to flee. So one could presume that a country that has been through a war, technically still not resolved, would have a better understanding of the issues surrounding refugees and show some form of empathy towards other countries going through a similar plight.

Korean War SC Coll Box 1, RG6s-KWP.27    1st LT William Millward of Baltimore, Md, Civil Assistant Officer, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, distributes candy to Korean children at a refugee collecting point in Western Korea.

Korean War SC Coll Box 1, RG6s-KWP.27 1st LT William Millward of Baltimore, Md, Civil Assistant Officer, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, distributes candy to Korean children at a refugee collecting point in Western Korea.

However, it is quite obvious to see their attitude towards refugees by looking at their own statistics on refugee intake. So, there is no doubt that we start wondering why and we must also question the relationships between the more powerful middle eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the Korean government going forward, in particular towards the interests that lie in other countries, such as Yemen and Syria, who have reserves of resources such as oil and gold as well as the strategic location. Not to mention any potential nuclear deals, technology patents or clean energy opportunities in the future. So we need to tread lightly when looking at what people might consider just to be a refugee issue, and we can clearly see that these countries have a lot vested in Yemen already as well as other counties in the surrounding areas.

Human rights filmmakers attempt to re-shape the narrative

Coming back to today and why I actually became interested in the Yemen refugee issue in Jeju. Being based near Seoul and with only access to mainstream media and the Korean news for information about the issue, it doesn’t paint the whole picture. So, after living in Korea now since 2011 and working as a professor at a media university as well as a documentary director on films related to human rights issues, including a North Korean film about refugees, ‘While they Watched’ (2015), the Sewol ferry tragedy, ‘After the Sewol’ (2016) and ‘Crossroads’ (2017),  another director came to discuss the idea of going to Jeju in order to plan a film about the Yemen refugee issue. So, we packed our equipment and headed to Gimpo airport in the South of Seoul.

Taken from Sewol film, After the Sewol, 2017. Photograph by Neil P George © 2016

Taken from Sewol film, After the Sewol, 2017. Photograph by Neil P George © 2016

When I woke up on the 10th August to the news of the Saudi-led bomb strike on Yemen I didn’t know what to think. I was going to meet people from a country already torn apart by war and now we are watching videos of their children being massacred. And after arriving in Jeju we spent several days driving around the island filming and location scouting, and then we made contact with the owner of Global Inner Peace, a non-profit and civil society organization that has been working with the refugees since they arrived. We arranged to go to their office to discuss the issue and organize a meeting with some refugees so we can listen to their stories.

As I walked into the room there was an air of silence. Men Sat around tables listening intently to the teacher stood in front of them. This is what a classroom should look like, keen students who are interested in learning something new and paying attention to their teacher.  What you might not expect to see are ten men, of Arabic descent, trying to speak Korean.

Since the Yemen refugees arrived on Jeju in April and May 2018, they have clearly found it difficult to integrate into the society, but they are certainly trying their best and as I stand to observe their class it’s hard to believe that just 12 hours earlier another Saudi-led airstrike bombs down on a school bus killing at least 29 children.

We started to talk about the recent attack on the school bus that killed children on a field trip; 50 were killed and 77 injured, according to the ministry. Most of the children were inside the bus when the airstrike hit, according to a local medic, Yahya al-Hadi. The International Committee for the Red Cross said a hospital it supports in Saada had received 29 bodies of "mainly children" younger than 15, and 40 injured, including 30 children.

Saudi-led air strike kills 29 children in Yemen - BBC News

It is heartbreaking to see my home being destroyed and my people being killed.

“When I heard the news about the airstrike (on the 9th August) it was too painful to watch any videos. I am not a strong person and it is heartbreaking to see my home being destroyed and my people being killed. I want them to stop the killing!  M tells me.

“Our children are going to school, like they do in any other country, in order to learn and play, and they get killed in this way. If this is the way they (Saudi Arabia) are wanting to help us, we don’t want any help” says Ali AlHutaiby, a 29-year-old refugee who used to be a student from Sana’a, the capital city of Yemen.

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

The pain from their eyes paints a picture in itself. Coming here without much choice to go anywhere else and now being treated almost like cattle, herded together, given schedules and in some cases curfews to live by each day. Around 50 of them are crammed into accommodation at the immigration office, sharing just 1 bathroom and others sharing small rooms between 5 people in local motels.

And As Ayman Gharaibeh, the UNHCR representative to Yemen recently said, “The world cannot afford to let Yemen slip into the abyss”, and I think he is absolutely right.

The conflict is also taking a toll on children’s access to education where we have seen a total of 20 incidents of attacks on schools were reported and verified. Schools have been hit during both ground operations and aerial attacks, and many are currently unfit for use due to damage, the presence of IDPs or occupation by armed groups. Some 2 million children are out of school, depriving them of an education and exposing them to child recruitment into armed groups and armed forces, or child marriage. Children who have experienced stressful situations are likely to show changes in social relations, behavior, physical reactions, and emotional response manifesting as sleeping problems, nightmares, withdrawal, problems concentrating and guilt. So, when we hear about attacks happening on school buses it makes it even more upsetting and distressed. These men fled for good reasons and now have to be judged by people who are not understanding the situation they escaped from.

Fortunately, the refugees on Jeju have received help from some communities here, mostly religious based or NGO’s, who are assisting them with food, accommodation, and schooling but all the really want is the fend for themselves and live a normal life.

“I just want to live a normal life, whatever that means, and I want to help people when I am in a position to do it. Given the choice I would go home tomorrow, of course, I want to see my family and friends but I can’t. If I go back I truly believe I will die”. M tells us over coffee.

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

When I came to Jeju, this was a place I dreamed to call ‘paradise’.

The war, since 2015, has torn the entire country of Yemen apart, with millions abandoning their homes searching for sanctuary elsewhere but due to the lack of money, it is extremely difficult for most to escape.

Coming back to the realities of Jeju, when talking with ‘M’, he wanted to remain anonymous, and is now awaiting the decision of his refugee status in Jeju tells me, “Back in Yemen I come from a successful family but it means nothing during war. My families house was destroyed, my entire family is scattered all over the place and now I am in Jeju island, 8000 km from my home. When I came to Jeju, this was a place I dreamed to call ‘paradise’ some 30 years ago as a child. I give thanks to God for bringing me to this place I try to call paradise and I hope to be able to live in a safe place, not a war zone. I believe that all humans need help within their lifetimes at some point and I want to be the one helping, but at this moment I am the one asking for some help and understanding”.

Neil and 'M' discussing the refugee issue on Jeju. Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

Neil and 'M' discussing the refugee issue on Jeju. Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

As we talk about their daily lives in Jeju it becomes clear that all he is thinking about is wanting to help those back in his home country but knowing if he were to return he would surely be caught in a war, enlisted into the armed forces and risk being potentially killed. He continues, “I want people to understand this was my (and our) only choice to leave. If we return (to Yemen) I am sure we would be killed or at least fighting in this terrible war. I wish that people could walk in my shoes to understand what I have been through and I hope that if I can share my story, people will start to understand just a little and realize that they don’t need to be afraid of us. I would like people to feel comfortable with us and just allow us to live like human beings”. M is a Yemeni refugee who wanted to remain anonymous for fear that his family and friends could suffer if he is seen on the news or social media speaking out against what is happening back in his home country.

The Yemen war, known as the forgotten war, has been raging for a long time and well before 2015 and if people can see that, understand the issues and try to help the refugees, perhaps we can start to bring back some decency to the world that seems to have lost all reason these days.

There is no question that Yemen is confronting a humanitarian crisis that has been exacerbated by the entry of the Saudi-led coalition into the war.

We took them to a coffee shop on the north coast of Jeju, not that far away from the immigration centre where around 50 others are staying and we talked about their lives back in Yemen and what they have been doing since arriving here in May. After coming from Malaysia where they were constantly trying to find work for around 3 years, what the Korean people don’t seem understand is they just simply didn’t have anywhere else to go, and so when they hear about the Yemen refugees in Jeju in the media they don’t have any interest in trying to understand the issue that brought them here in the first place.

Ali tells us he spent 6 days in the airport waiting to be interviewed for refugee status before being allowed to enter the island. We discussed the recent news and the related media and M tells us, “People shouldn’t believe the media from the middle east. They just tell misinformation and propaganda about Yemen and the issues we have. We are actually a very peaceful people and the media only concentrating on Syria. Why they don’t they talk more about Yemen and what we have gone through!”

Yemen-inforgraphic.jpg

It’s clear they are angry and upset about what is happening in Yemen but also they are powerless to do anything whilst residing in Jeju and you can sense the frustration about what is happening around their own situation.

They told us that they try to have contact with their relatives and friends every couple of weeks back in Yemen but due to the power issues and lack of cellular services it is becoming harder each week, and they echoed the UN report that said the situation is getting worse in Yemen. And after reading through the UN report published back in 2017 I can see exactly where they are coming from.

un 1.jpg

It is clear from the report that all parties to the conflict display a disregard for International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law and impede the principled and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance and this can be seen with the 8,878 total reported incidents as of October 2017.

They are in a severe economic decline and in fact, there hasn’t even been electric there since 2011. On top of all of this the recent closures of Yemen’s ports (sea, land, and airports) on 6 November 2017 by the Saudi-led Coalition, threatens Yemenis’ lifelines and remains partially effective in Hudaydah, Salif and Sana’a. Within 24 hours of this, the prices for food, fuel, and water had soared, putting them out of reach of vulnerable populations, which highlights the volatility of the situation in Yemen.

un 2.jpg

The UN report goes on to say that this is the world’s largest man-made food security crisis Yemen is now the world’s largest man-made food security crisis. However, this crisis is not driven by a lack of food in the country but rather, Yemen’s food crisis is driven by factors constraining the supply, distribution and people’s diminishing purchasing power. Ongoing conflict and economic decline have steadily eroded people’s coping mechanisms, leaving large parts of the population at the risk of famine.

As we continue to talk with M and Ali they both nod their heads in agreement about it but all they seem to be thinking about at this moment are their own struggles.

It is almost unimaginable what is happening back in Yemen with over 22.1 million people in need of assistance and we are now sitting discussing the issues with men who are also trying to find their way in Jeju. On top of that, there are a lot of people in Korea who appear to want them to leave, and it would also appear that a vast majority of them don’t have any idea about the situation itself.

The costs of this terrible war rise higher and higher... We have to wake up to the reality of what is happening in Yemen.

The refugees in Jeju just want their voices to be heard and want people to understand why they came here. A plight not so dissimilar to that of the Sewol ferry victims families, who I spent 3 years filming with, and who fought for that entire time for their voices to be heard, and all within their own country. Perhaps that in itself shows the mentality of this incredibly insular society and in particular the attitude of the previous administrations. So, one does wonder how these Yemeni strangers will continue to be received in the future.

However, I am a firm believer that once the Korean people gain a much better understanding of the situation they will be more accepting and allow them to try and create a normal life for themselves, which in turn will help them to earn some money that they can then send back to their families in Yemen. This money can be used to support the and booster the local economy in some small part, hopefully bringing back some normality to their lives in general.

Aisha giving water to her youngest daughter Wafaa. The majority of Yemenis do not have access to clean water. In a country where the humanitarian situation is extremely fragile due to the lack of food and clean water, people are often not strong enough to fight diseases such as cholera.    Photo: WFP/Reem Nada

Aisha giving water to her youngest daughter Wafaa. The majority of Yemenis do not have access to clean water. In a country where the humanitarian situation is extremely fragile due to the lack of food and clean water, people are often not strong enough to fight diseases such as cholera. Photo: WFP/Reem Nada

The golden rule by which we should live.

A golden rule in life that I very much practice is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated. It is the maxim of many religions and societies but what we seem to be witnessing from a vast majority of people in South Korea is almost the complete opposite. I myself would urge each and every Korean to take a good hard look in the mirror. Look at your grandparents and your own country's history. See how the rest of the world treated them when they were caught up in the Korean War. Now, try and put yourselves in the shoes of these young Yemeni men and women who had no choice but to flee their own war-torn country in search of a place they could try to call paradise, perhaps not what we all think of one but to them it is a paradise that they hope to be able to call a second home one day.

Photo: my1give on Twitter

Photo: my1give on Twitter

 When I came to Jeju to talk with the refugees I did not consider how deep this issue is rooted. This issue is not just about the Yemen refugees, it goes a lot deeper than that, but at the heart of it is; Can we allow ourselves to turn a blind eye to these growing human rights issues that are taking place all over the world and sometimes right next door?

We can only understand these issues when we open our eyes, our ears, and our minds, and what I witnessed after the Sewol ferry tragedy and the empowerment of the South Korean people is now being heavily diminished by their attitude towards the Yemen refugees.

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

So, I hope these people can wake up and realise that we are all human beings at the end of the day and try thinking about a very simple ideology known as the golden rule. It says, “Before one performs an action which might harm another person, try to imagine yourself in their position, and consider whether you would want to be the recipient of that action. If you would not want to be in such a position, the other person probably would not either, and so you should not do it”.

This is the basic and fundamental human trait of empathy, the ability to vicariously experience how another is feeling, that makes this possible, and it is the principle of empathy by which we should live our lives.

In writing this piece I wanted to try and shed some more light into the Yemen refugee issue in Jeju and ultimately I hope people can start to understand and then feel some empathy for what their country has been through and what they now experiencing. I will leave you with the words of M, a young male Yemeni striving to make a way for himself here and for people to listen to his story.

I believe that all humans need help at some point within their lifetime, and I truly want to be the one helping, but at this moment I am the one asking people to help and understand me”.

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

Photograph by Hankyul Kim © 2018

_______________

Neil P. George is an assistant professor lecturing on documentary production in the Visual Production department at Dong-Ah Institute of Media and Arts. He is also a documentary director producing films related to South Korea and human rights issues.

The OVTE Project

The OVTE Project - (Online Video Technologies and Education)

Neil George, MA Broadcast Futures, 2010.


 

1.     Introduction

2.     Background and Literature review

            I.     History of Education and its politics

          II.     Why people learn - Pedagogical and Andragogical learning

        III.     Constructivist learning

        IV.     How people learn

          V.     Story telling and personal reflection

        VI.     Communities, collaboration and competition

      VII.     Development of new educational practices and the storage of information

    VIII.     Culture and revolutions of human behaviour within education

        IX.     Online learning and emerging technologies  

3.     Methodology

I.      The Concept

II.    The Prototype

4.     Conclusion

5.     References

6.     Bibliography


CHAPTER I – Introduction

When I first began my MA major project I wanted to explore the use of technology within education. I found this to be a fascinating topic, as this is something that is fairly new to the UK, especially with regard to broadcasting. Technology in modern society seems to be at the heart of everything we do, whether business, financial, education or entertainment but, it can be seen that as far as the UK is concerned, we seem to have not embraced educational technology to the same extent as they do in other countries such as the US.

I felt that this would be a very interesting topic to explore further in order to see how educational facilities use technology and also see how government is looking to these technologies in order to enhance the educational process for the benefit of future generations.

“As new technologies continue to emerge and students require more flexibility in class scheduling, institutions of higher education are striving to accommodate students.” (Lysa Kosak, Dionna Manning, Ellen Dobson, Lisa Rogerson, Shannon Cotnam, Susan Colaric, & Cheryl McFadden, 2004)

Within my own practice I enjoy to learn from many different sources and so I felt that it would be very interesting to see how broadcasting could be affected by the enhancement of new technologies within education and to see how the delivery of education is going to change in the future because of these available technologies.

On continuation of my research I wanted to explore educational facilities where technology is used to their advantage and how these technologies are delivered to the learner. Is it self-directed or teacher lead?

This then led me to explore the topic further as I wanted to understand and look at the whole history of education and how government policies have an effect on the way in which education is delivered to all levels of learners and also how much influence government and government bodies have on the types and uses of new technologies.

So, within this document I will explore further how education, technology and video can work together in order to enhance this, especially that relating to broadcasting.

I will look at the history of education, from the Forster Act of 1870 through to modern day educational policies, in order to see how education has developed and evolved over time and how modern education has instigated new practices, new policies, and new technologies. I will also look at what kind of impact these have had and will have in the future on students, lecturers and educational facilities and establishments.

Politics, globalization and political agendas will be researched and I will attempt to examine how these have had an effect on educational practices and what current policies are being put in place in order to develop the use of emerging technologies in comparison to previous policies.

Two very important questions will then be explored, namely, why people learn and how people learn. These are essential questions when looking at the enhancement of education through non-traditional learning environments and so I will be researching this in order to see how willing the learners are to use new technologies to enhance their educational experiences.

It is also important to explore how human behaviour has an impact on the way in which education is delivered. I will also look at how these effects brought about changes to both educational establishments and educational policies, which in turn changed the way people, can learn and want to learn.

It is also very important to look at what technologies there have been and what there will be in the future. Naturally, the development of new and emerging technologies came about as a result of social, political and educational changes. These have also assisted in the way that education is and will be delivered. I will then explore some of these technologies and examine what I think might lie ahead for the future of education.

“Online learning has increased in popularity with both universities and students for numerous reasons. Students find it more convenient to take classes online without the expense and time constraints involved with commuting to a campus facility. University administrators are seeing the online trend as a major revenue and recruitment tool.” (Lysa Kosak, Dionna Manning, Ellen Dobson, Lisa Rogerson, Shannon Cotnam, Susan Colaric, & Cheryl McFadden, 2004)

The reason why I want to explore this subject is because of the way technology is being used within modern society in order to enhance the way education is delivered. But, I want to look at this and see if the technology is being used in the most appropriate way and whether or not learners, and in particular broadcasters will be able to learn by using new technologies and new educational practices.

I think this is very important to explore because we have learned a lot through the use of technology but does it take away from the learning experience of one to one teaching and mentoring?

I want to discover whether the use of these technologies will be a good thing or will it create new communities who believe they have a solid understanding of a subject but in professional practice they lack the community and communication skills in order to pass on this information to other learners?

Does the use of technology take away from the learning experience and rather than having an educational and emotional experience, the learner is left somewhat socially inept when dealing within a professional environment?

Education in its earliest form was created in order to pass on knowledge from one person to another but with the use of technology, the computer system has almost become the teacher and social interactions will be lost.

As John Dewey once said,

“Education is a social progress. Education is growth. Education is not preparation for life, it is life itself." (John Dewey, 1915)

Overall, I intend to explore the question:

‘Is the use of online video technologies a justifiable way to educate broadcasters of the future?’


CHAPTER II – Background

             I.     History of Education and its politics.

In order for me to evaluate and look at online learning and education I felt it necessary to look at education as a whole and look at its history.

When thinking about looking at historical elements of how something has evolved and changed over time I find it very useful to look at the specific word to first of all discover its origin. The word education comes from the Latin, ‘Educare’, meaning, "bring up, rear, educate," which is related to ‘educere’ "bring out”.

This is in its earliest form acknowledges the need for people to ‘bring up’, which in some forms of thinking could be thought of as the natural evolution of human life in its basic forms; birth, life and death. The bringing up of life and ‘education’ is a natural desire for any parent in today’s society but where did it start to become a more formalised practice?

The history of education has become a practice of teaching and learning in whatever form was available to mankind as it evolved throughout time. Perhaps we can go back to origin of our species, around 200,000 years ago and we see that many tribes had beliefs, values, practices and specific knowledge that they passed down throughout the generations from father to son. This is a distinct form of education but a very much informal ‘learning’ method, but we still see this in today’s society and especially in more practical forms of working, such as electrics or plumbing.

In fact, the use of education could be seen as far back as the cavemen. They drew on walls in caves in order to depict their lives, therefore allowing people to see nowadays, and therefore be able to see a distinct form of progress or education and learning as to how this species of man evolved over time. People in modern society then studied these in order to gain knowledge about how they used to live in pre-historic times. Once again, we can see another form of education or ‘passing on’ information in order to learn.

With the evolution of mankind and the development of writing skills and tools we can see more of what we would refer to today as a more formal classification of education. Being able to write would also need having the ability to read and thus the need for educating had come about.

The Mesopotamian’s writing systems and the Egyptian hieroglyphs could be classified as some of the earliest recorded forms of educating through written forms. The Mesopotamian’s writing was a form of keeping accounts and the Egyptians would depict events happening. In fact one of the earliest recorded alphabets was developed in Egypt around 2000 BC.

"Modern systems of education in Europe derive their origins from the schools of the High Middle Ages. Most schools during this era were founded upon religious principles with the primary purpose of training the clergy. Many of the earliest universities, such as the University of Paris founded in 1160, had a Christian basis". (Wikipedia, 2010)

The era of modern education in the UK could be considered to stem from the1870, Forster Act, which paved the way for the national system, as it required the establishment of elementary schools nationwide. This was the start of universal education being available for all instead of those who were lucky enough to be able to afford it.

From this ideology the country was divided into districts and school boards were elected in deprived areas, which were to become responsible for raising funds in order to maintain the schools.

These schools had to guarantee attendance for all children within the district between the ages of 5 and 13. After this, other education acts followed including the Balfour Act and the Fish Act of 1918.

As we entered the 20th century education as a whole became more of a social, economic and political issue. It became clear that education was very important to the nation and to the individual. The Butler Act was introduced in 1944 which proved the foundation for the system we have in place to-day.

“…education, for us, as once for Dewey (1916), is seen as pivotal to the conception of a democratic society, and for the model if citizenship that such a conception of society implies”. (Olssen, M., Codd, J. and O’Neill, A., (2004)

During the 1960’s further and higher education took on dramatic changes in what they were to offer.

When first created the main purposes of universities were to educate through the use of academic courses; training people to think logically and coherently, and teaching research skills. In the 1960’s we saw the introduction of the ‘polytechnic’ university and college that were created in order to deal with more practical skills.

“A polytechnic was a type of tertiary education teaching institution in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.” (Wikipedia, 2010)

This meant that they offered more practical or hands on courses rather than academic courses. Between 1965 and 1992 all degrees from polytechnics were validated by the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA).

These degrees were recognized as equivalent to a university degree but the courses were placed under strict scrutiny from external examiners.

After 1992, and the new Further and Higher Education Act they were all given status as full universities and therefore able to give out their own degrees.

“…the rate of progress and advancement in knowledge throughout society at any time is equal to the variation of ideas at that time, and therefore, given that the aim of universities is to create, preserve, transmit and find new applications for knowledge, the most effective strategy is to conserve the variation of ideas”. (Bowen, William M. , & Schwartz, Michael, 2005)

This is very important to consider in terms of the difference between traditional universities and the ‘new universities’ that were originally formed as ‘polytechnics’.

In the modern era of politics and especially throughout the 1990’s a university degree based education was seen as a necessity in order to get a job. However, the technical side and more practical sides of education were overlooked and skills gaps were created. This came about in many industries and especially within broadcasting and production. It therefore became evident that these skills would need to be filled and also universities would need to cater for these types of courses. This is where colleges and more technical universities (polytechnics) came into their own, in creating opportunities for these skills to be developed, where the original university could not offer this type of learning. Education at this time was also experimenting with technology and many practical based courses became available for people to re-train themselves with the appropriate needed skill base.

The academic approach to education had become somewhat outdated in some peoples opinion. However it could be argued that perhaps the distinction between the theory and practice had become blurred. When in the past a traditional degree was seen as purely academic and theoretical, with the introduction of more practice-based degrees the line between academic and technical has inevitably merged.

However, is this really a good thing to have?

Education had come under heavy scrutiny for only offering academic courses but now it seemed to be offering more practical based courses with some theoretical learning attached to it. Will these mean that academics are no longer needed, or are we passing through into a new form of educational policy?

Should we go back to the days of more traditional degrees and anything practical based should be taught through a practical means? The way in which politics affects education nowadays is crucial to the development of all educational facilities, communities, people, and the process of education itself. Should we cast aside the history of education for modern technology or should we embrace modern technology and allow it to enhance the learning process?

How do political issues reflect upon the way education is and will be delivered in the future? Do they embrace and use modern day technologies in the right ways or is government out of touch with what learners want in today’s society?

“…Educational policy is not just a matter of understanding its educational context or reading it as the ‘pronouncements’ of ‘the policy-makers’. It requires an understanding of the dynamics of the various elements of the social structure and their intersections in the context of history”. (Olssen, M., Codd, J. and O’Neill, A., 2004)

It could be said that, all education has stemmed out of politics and thus politics leads the concept and ideology of ‘learning and education’. From as far back as recorded civilisation, rulers and politicians have played a key role in educating its people, in order for them to learn and grow as a community, a society and ultimately as the human race we are today. Some might argue that if it weren’t for monarchy and politicians there would not be places in which to study at all.

Others might argue that religion played a key element in educations as during the ‘Middle Ages’, the monasteries of the Catholic Church were used as centres in which to educate.

But, in modern society and particularly throughout the 1990’s educational policies within western societies gained considerable support as they were perceived as removing bureaucratic constraints upon personal freedom.

Obviously, within the context of this dissertation it is not possible, or relevant, to go into a vast amount of detail about political issues within education but it is interesting to see how politics effects the way education is delivered across all platforms. The distinction is now blurred between academic and technological education since the former cannot exist without the latter.

In 1996 the Education Act consolidated all previous education acts since 1944 and a new era for education came.

This Act fully opened the era of education for all and the Government policies of encouraging, and setting targets, for 50% of the “leaving cohort” to aim for a university education has brought about a rapid expansion of new institutions and the rise of non-academic courses relying heavily on new technology.

This trend has continued to such an extent that we see overflowing universities and many disappointed students with the appropriate academic standards unable to gain a place. 


           II.     Why people learn – Pedagogical and Andragogical learning

After exploring the history of education I felt it was necessary to look into why people learn. So, why do people want to learn?

“…the ulterior significance of every mode of human behaviour association lies in the contribution which it makes to the improvement of the quality of experience…while every social arrangement is educative in effect, the educative effect first becomes an important part of the purpose of the association…of the older with the younger.” (John Dewey, 1915)

It is very important when thinking about why we learn to also look at who is the learner. Teaching children and adults can be very different practices and in fact different methodologies all together. Each has different needs and wants for their own learning and life experiences, whether it is knowledge or life skills that they are exploring.

If we look the meaning of both, pedagogical and andragogical learning we can see that they both have very different targets and also the way in which each is approached is very different in teaching methodology.

"Pedagogical learning resides, and flourishes, in the belief that if a child does not learn, then the teacher has failed as a transmitter of knowledge". (Lloydene F Hill, 2001) 

The andragogical experience is seen as somewhat different to pedagogical learning and therefore one must assume that the processes need to be different as well.  

"An adult learner must first investigate why they must undertake the learning task, and assess the possible positive or negative outcomes associated with learning this body of knowledge, or not. Once this has been accomplished, the adult learner will focus an extreme amount of energy and time into the task of obtaining this knowledge, and be responsible for his own decisions with regards to that knowledge. Adults possess a deep desire to be recognized as self-disciplined, self-motivated, and independent self-helping individuals. If they are treated like the students in the pedagogical learning model, they become psychologically conflicted as the need to be independent and self-focused battles with the dependency that was established in early on in their education". (Lloydene F Hill, 2001)

So, if we are to think about the learning experience of university students for example, where do we place them? Are they to be considered as children or adults? What about mature students? I think these questions need to be considered when thinking about teaching practice and also the use of technology.

For example, with children we assume that they have little knowledge of the subject matter, and adults we presume will have some knowledge. But is this always the case?

However, with adults do we always presume that they can instigate a high quality standard of self-directed learning, and achieve the best outcomes in conjunction with the learning outcomes and achievements of the course?

Figure 1. Pedagogy vs Andragogy

Figure 1. Pedagogy vs Andragogy

So, thinking about these types of learning methodologies, why do people learn?

Naturally, for children this process is something instilled from birth. They learn to walk, talk and after this point they start to gain knowledge. When they reach a certain age they will go to school to have a more 'traditional instructional approach' to learning, delivered through classroom based teaching. But, after completing schooling, which we perceive to be high school, students are thrust into a different style of learning through college and university.

So, it could be seen that there are many reasons from this point why people want to learn. Several philosophies behind why people want to learn might be seen as innateness, maybe a fascination of the subject or a necessity for their future or current work. Maybe it is just from having a curiosity about the general subject matter or is it just done for the sake of the learning a new process?

All of these points can be argued for both children and adults alike, but perhaps when it comes to university or higher education we need to think about an in-between stage of learning that is neither adult nor children.

It is therefore also very important to consider the delivery of these types of education. An adult learner could well be considered mature enough for self directed learning where as children need to have a kind of direction, whether from their parents or from the teacher. But, this can be difficult when considering university students because perhaps although they consider themselves to be adults so lack the maturity to fully understand self directed learning.


         III.     Constructivist learning

Because my project is more related to adult and university learners, in particular production and broadcasting I wanted to see if there were more practical styles of teaching methodologies.

If we look at ‘constructivist learning’ in order to see how that works in terms of the adult learner. Perhaps this could be a good methodology for an adult/university learner, which could also embrace the use of online learning to their advantage.

Constructivist learning thinks about the learner as an individual, how people learn, the nature of knowledge and where the responsibility of learning should reside increasingly with the learner rather than a collective. It is more to do with the 'experience' of learning and learning by 'doing'.

"All learning involves knowledge construction in one form or

another; it is therefore a constructivist process". (Geraldine Lefoe, 1998)

This is an important point to consider for the adult learner especially as they will need to be aware of the need for self-direction.

The principles behind learning or educating could be an active process in which the learner constructs meaning out of the subject. Over time people will naturally develop the ability to learn more and build on their prior knowledge and experiences.

In my opinion, knowledge is more easily assimilated where the learning experience tends to be of a more practical nature. Experience is vital to the development of the individual in improving their learning capacity.

When we think about online learning cultures it is essential to gauge and understand what the ‘learner’ wants to gain from the experience and how the knowledge and information will be transferred to them. Whether, by e-mail, online resource or video tutorials, it is very important to make sure that they are able to reflect on their learning experience and they must understand why they want to learn within this environment as opposed to learning in a more traditional environment.

Are they seeking to apply the knowledge to their daily routine, such as their work or is it in order to increase their understanding of the world about them in general?

Once they have a clear understanding of their own needs they can then reflect on their work in a more constructive way, which will then allow them to expand their knowledge within an online environment. Not all learning needs to come from traditional methods but it needs to be justified why the learner is choosing an online facility in order to learn.


        IV.     How people learn

Now that I have explored why people want to learn in a theoretical and practical context, I think it is very important to consider how people learn. Not everyone is the same and all people like to be educated in very different ways, from books to online learning. Each of which has its’ own very unique form of teaching the subject.

“Humans are viewed as goal-directed agents who actively seek information. They come to formal education with a range of prior knowledge, skills, beliefs, and concepts that significantly influence what they notice about the environment and how they organize and interpret it. This, in turn, affects their abilities to remember, reason, solve problems, and acquire new knowledge”. (J. Bransford, 2000)

Perhaps we have seen more traditional forms of studying no longer regarded as the best form of education. Spending long hours in a library gaining knowledge from books is perhaps something to be laughed about in the future, but maybe we need to think about the ways in which we should be learning in the future and not just consider the fact that we have all this modern technology and therefore must use it. We should also think about the individual rather than the collective if this is the case, but can we always do that?

Each individual will have different reasons for studying but do teachers take these into account when they are teaching them or do they just teach as a collective in order to pass on some sort of information? As well as this, the way in which learners can access information and knowledge has completely changed but having information stored on a computer system is not necessarily always going be a good thing, and what happens if that computer system fails to work? 

Do we turn back to hard copies and start to read once more or do we just forget about the information and lose the invaluable sources we once relied on so much?

The way in which learning has changed over the decades is astounding to see. With the use of newer and faster technologies everything can be made available at the press of a button. Who is to say that the information people are receiving is genuinely correct?

The information and knowledge being passed down by well-known scholars and teachers is perhaps something of the past but does this mean that the information is correct or does it mean we need to re-evaluate our teaching methodologies all over again?

“The teaching of metacognitive activities must be incorporated into the subject matter that students are learning (White and Frederickson, 1998). These strategies are not generic across subjects, and attempts to teach them as generic can lead to failure to transfer”. (J. Bransford, 2000)

This I think is essential within new age teaching because it is not just about having the knowledge but learning how to use this knowledge and be able to take control of their own learning experiences. It should also be about the process of obtaining knowledge and then being able to reflect upon that knowledge in order to use it in an effective way.

It is also important to look at how people access the information and from this access what kind of interpretation they bring about.

The way in which the learner can interpret information will differ from one to another. This interpretation will also differ on how the learner obtains the information, whether from a book, a lecture or from an online resource. Each way could potentially differ in its delivery and so the learner needs to consider this when accessing information.

This could also lead to learners interpreting their own meaning of the subject matter, which could be miss-leading from the original sources point. Another point is about how the learner uses the information in order to develop his or her own ideas and enhance the research within the subject.

This is where online learning might have issues, as with examples such as Wikipedia, it has often been seen that the sources come from other online websites or articles and so, how do we know that this source is justified?

We need to consider how people access information a lot more in the future and how they interpret it as well. Information is already easily accessible but each individual learner will make their own observations and interpretations about this information and so we need to make sure that the sources are checked and the information is coming from relevant academics or professionals. 

We really need to be very careful in the way in which people learn in the future because at the end of the day any educational information needs to be based on research, understanding and knowledge. Maybe this is something at the moment modern technology is limited by?

We also need to consider the amount of information that is being passed out and whether it should be checked before being made so readily available. The source of that information needs to be checked and verified and surely this would lead back to an original source, such as a textbook or author.

The way in which people learn will naturally change over time and we are now moving into a very technological era for education, so sources of knowledge and information have to be reliable and easily traceable and we must have hard copies in order to know the origination of the information or our whole history could end up being deleted at the push of one single button.

We need to consider how much we should allow technology to influence the way we learn and educate, and find the most appropriate methods in which to use it before we become too reliant upon it.


          V.     Story telling and personal reflection

“Storytelling is fundamental to our everyday lives in communicating with, and understanding, the people around us and the world we live in…”. (Chris McKillop, 2005)

I think this is key to education and the way in which education is delivered, not just in schools but also through all levels of education and to all levels of students. The most important thing in learning is making the learner appreciate and enjoy the subject they are studying. If they don’t enjoy what they are doing then they are more than likely to stop doing it. I find that this is a big problem with modern educational systems; they seemed to have lost the enjoyment of teaching subjects and look at students as numbers rather than the next generation of professionals and teachers.

If we can promote the way in which story telling could enhance the learning environment, then I am sure we would be able to see a lot more confident and excited learners. This is also very important when it comes to broadcasting because TV, film and online video are all about telling stories. Whether it is an advert, a TV programme or a film they most important point is engaging the audience and delivering the message to them in an interesting way.

Figure 2. Moon Map of learning, 1999 & McDrury & Alterios Model for learning, 2003

Figure 2. Moon Map of learning, 1999 & McDrury & Alterios Model for learning, 2003

McDrury and Alterio (in 2003) proposed this five-stage model for reflective learning through storytelling, which was mapped against Moon’s (2002) five stages of learning.

This model uses the idea that the starting place for any storytelling is when a particular person first chooses to what story to tell.

The expansion and processing phases of this model are used for questions, in order to develop the story or question it and the reconstructing phase is all about evaluating the story and any implications that might come from it.

These are very interesting points to consider when teaching higher educational students as it will enable and allow students to reflect upon the situation and gather their own reflections in terms of the learning outcomes within the course.

If used within an educational facility making a subject interesting is all about storytelling and therefore the story would become the learning phase for the student and so considering these five points would be very useful for teachers to think about.

This would also engage the students and allow a lot of reflective thought about the particular subject, which they can then instigate throughout their own working methodology.

“The role reflection plays in education is currently attracting considerable attention and debate throughout the world. Educators from a range of disciplines are embracing a reflective outlook and encouraging students to learn about themselves and their areas of study by engaging in reflective activities.” (M. Alterio and J. Drury)

I am sure that the idea of reflecting on ones work has been around for a long time but it seems that recently educational facilities have explored this a lot more than in the past. These days and especially within higher and further education facilities, students are encouraged to reflect on their work in order to see how they could have improved on it. I think this is a great way in which to develop a student into a more professional mode of thinking for their future.  They need to understand how a professional environment operates and they will always receive feedback from clients in regard to the work and then reflect on this in order to improve it to the specifications.

If the students therefore have reflective skills this can only enhance the way they will work in the future.

As well as this, the reflective process needs to done in order to appreciate that what they are doing has reached an acceptable standard. Once they understand this they can then collaborate with others in order to pass on this information. That is a very important point that has to be thought about within higher education. The ‘passing on’ of knowledge or information can be done between learners and directed by the teachers if needed.

This then provides a need for a community environment, collaboration between learners and teachers and of course competition in order to get the best possible results from the learners as well.


        VI.     Collaboration, communities and competition

"In the ideal collaborative environment, the authority for testing and determining the appropriateness of the group product rests with, first, the small group, second, the plenary group (the whole class) and finally (but always understood to be subject to challenge and revision) the requisite knowledge community”. (Ted Panitz, 1996)

In today’s society, collaborating with others in a professional environment is common practice and it is somewhat rare to work on your own. It is therefore essential for learners in higher education to engage with collaborative learning; this can also be done within an online environment quite successfully. However, it is very important, when collaborating with others you are also fulfilling your own learning requirements. This can sometimes be hard to achieve within a traditional learning environment in comparison to online learning but if the team work well and use each other’s strengths then each individual can actually concentrate on their own unique learning need.

This is something that I would encourage within a professional environment and so learners need to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses in order to make the best out of collaborations.

Once this has been achieved, learners will be able to impart and gain knowledge about different subject areas as well as reflect on the process of the collaboration, which in turn will lead them to have a better understanding of their own skills.

Another important point to consider when collaborating is the people you are working with. You will need to build a team or small community that can communicate and work effectively together in order to get the work done. But, how important is a community environment when learning? 

 “If education is to foster the "spiritual, mental and physical" well-being of the community it has to be focused on the "spiritual, mental and physical" well-being of each individual member of that community; education has to be child-centered”. (Unknown author, 2010)

Community learning whether we see it as a local community or just within a classroom clearly is all about collaboration. We need to be able to work with others in whatever possible way we can and most importantly we need to work with them towards a common goal. This is a very important point to think about and consider with education because usually education is delivered to a large collective and you as an ‘individual’ need to gather the information and use it to your advantage. But, within a community or collaborative environment the goal is the end product and working in order to achieve that goal needs to be the most important thing. What you learn along the way can be considered as your ‘learning experience’.

So, maybe another important question that must also be considered is how has learning changed community development or in fact, has it had an effect on the community environment at all?

How is a community affected by education?

A good case study for community development within education can be seen from Finland. Although, this is based more towards child development it is very interesting to see the way in which they educate the students. They allow the students to have a lot more free time than we would in the United Kingdom and the parents are involved with the children’s education a lot more as well. Another important factor about Finnish education is that the teachers must have a Master’s Degree in order to teach the students, which therefore means that they have studied a subject to a specialist level.

“The Finnish philosophy with education is that everyone has something to contribute and those who struggle in certain subjects should not be left behind”. (Tom Burridge (BBC) (2010))

 I think the strength behind Finland’s education system comes in several forms. One is that the teachers need to be qualified to Master’s level in order to teach at school. Also, in South Korea, you are unable to teach at a university without a PhD. So, will we in the UK find a lack of Professors for our future learners?

Perhaps this will be an interesting topic to look at over the coming years, with universities receiving less funding each year and more students. Will they look to hire more Professors and make them teach larger classes? Will this then have an impact upon the learning outcomes and the way in which students learn?

Another important factor to look at is competition between schools, colleges and universities in both terms of students and funding.

 It can be clearly seen from the Finnish example that they educate as a community, involving parents, teachers and most importantly the students themselves throughout the learning experience in a collaborative environment.

In both the UK and USA a considerable emphasis is put on the value of competition: for example parents will be encouraged to choose a school because of its successful league table status. This inevitably leads to some schools, universities and colleges succeeding whereas others will not.

Is a competitive environment actually the best way to educate students where statistics matter more than imparting knowledge and learning?

In fact, we have recently seen from the 2010’s A Level results that over 3,000 ‘A’ grade students will be turned away from their chosen university due to competition for the restricted number of places available due to funding cuts.

 What does this mean for future generations of learners?

 As we see from Finland, the education system is far more relaxed and encourages group learning a lot more and from this we can see that the results speak for themselves.

 “In 2006, Finland's pupils scored the highest average results in science and reading in the whole of the developed world”. (Tom Burridge (BBC) (2010))

 Perhaps this shows the rest of the world the way in which they learn works. But, maybe this form of learning would not work for other countries the same way it works for Finland.

 Another interesting study to look at here in terms of competition would be South Korea. Every day, South Korean students study for almost 3 hours more than those in the USA and UK. But, does this actually benefit them in the long term?

Well, it can be seen that since the end of the Korean War;

 “The country’s emphasis on education has seen its young people leapfrogging the academic achievement of other industrialised countries, including the United Kingdom”. (BBC, 2005)

 Their dedication to improving the chances for children and young learners is astounding when compared to other countries and the students appear to be driven by the need to be successful. 

It is all about getting into the best university in order to get the best job available and with the large amount of competition there is within the country this will naturally lead students to study for extended periods of time.

It is interesting to note that in Finland, education is free, whereas in South Korea it is not. Korean families tend to spend considerable amounts of money on their children’s education and often they look to foreign schooling in order to try to enhance their future prospects. Most of the universities in Finland are  state owned and they encourage students through both academic and practical courses. In South Korea, there is a mixture of state and private owned universities but even the state owned ones have a cost to bear.

Governments in both countries promote education but they do this in different ways, with similar outcomes. However, I think the significant difference between the two countries is the attitude and culture with regard to education.

Finland has a collaborative and relaxed approach to teaching and learning whereas in South Korea they have very intense learning environments. Finland has perhaps been allowed to develop these educational practices without exploitation from others. The South Koreans on the other hand had years of exploitation by the Japanese and then the Korean War. These I think lead the next generations to see opportunities in which to restore control and pride to the nation, and allow them look to their future, therefore allowing the younger generation to become more prosperous with the emphasis placed on education.

Also, perhaps, considering the Confucian ideology, ‘Knowledge is a passport to status and wealth’ could be an issue here because the people certainly believe that the higher your status is, the wealthier you should become. This philosophy has definitely led to a huge amount of human competitiveness in Korean society.

Maybe, we can learn from both of these educational systems in order to develop our own, which could be seen as somewhat staid in comparison. But, we should also look at our own history of education in order to develop new ways of enhancing our learning methodologies for the future and take some good points from others.

We tend to see a lot of competition within the UK, universities, schools and colleges all competing on national averages and league tables. But, maybe they are more interested in just getting a higher pass rate in order to receive better funding than enhancing the learning experiences?

Are internet based learning courses being used towards a university’s statistics?

If they are, do they offer the same knowledge environment that a learner would get if they were on campus full time? Will online learning be able to offer appropriate degree based courses where the student has enough contact with academics in order to achieve the learning outcomes for the course or not?

The idea of competition in education is a good thing to have. However, with UK universities losing funding and more students wanting places, how can each potential learner have the same opportunities? Are we asking a lot more of younger learners these days than we did previously or are the exams getting easier?

This is a very important point to think about when offering online courses, as we can now see that there are a lot more universities in the UK offering online degrees. Should we really consider university as more than just a piece of paper rather than as an educational experience?

This seems to have been somewhat lost over the past decade or so due to politics and so perhaps we need to explore once again what is meant by a university degree.

We saw in the 1960’s the introduction of Polytechnics in order to satisfy the need for less academic educational courses but what will we see in the future? Will there be a lot more online facilities that can offer the same learning environment as a campus university?

Will there be other kinds of educational institutions in the future who offer new ways of learning that can compete with modern day universities and colleges?

I believe that this is a very important point to think about when considering online learning. The original purpose of universities was academic research but then with the introduction of polytechnics, higher education became a mixture of both practical and academic but now we have online learning coming into this mix as well. So, we need to think about where online learning will be. Is it more to do with training than learning? This needs to be established when offering online courses or thinking about learning within an online environment.

It will be very interesting over the coming years to think about new styles of learning, especially within the online arena. Obviously, universities are already offering online degree and professional courses but are these courses actually fulfilling the learners needs and wants? Of course they will end up with a degree or qualification that will help them develop but will they have grown in the same way as they could have by learning in a university environment?

There will in the future be an expansion of ways to learn, which will involve a combination of all styles of learning. Even now we tend to either learn through one form or another but with the use of technology, educational establishments will have to start offering learning environments that suit the student, rather than only offering static ways of learning. 


        VII.     Development of new educational establishments, practices and the storage of information

Perhaps in the future it won’t be about the facility but it will be more about the ‘learner’ and what they want to achieve from education. They will use a more constructivist learning style and take control of how, when and where they want to learn and even who they want to teach them?

“Digital media, either online (Internet-based) or offline (from floppy disks or CDs), that enable reading on computer monitors have the advantage of being multimedia and thereby the potential to be highly engaging”. (Clara Chung-wai Shih and David E. Weekly, date unknown)

Even today we have seen courses offered in different ways but still the university will remain in control of the experience. In the future we will see a change where the learner will become a lot more responsible for their learning experience whether online or classroom-based learning. Knowledge will be passed on and filtered not just by teachers but also by students and especially in broadcasting.

Broadcasting is quite different from many other areas of education, as you need to be using and doing in order to learn. There is only so much you can learn through academic research, but this also means that the learner will need to have the facilities available to them in order to progress their learning. This is also where online learning can only help a small amount because the learner will learn a lot more from going out to film than watching online tutorials. However, if they don’t have access to equipment or collaborative environments then they will be disadvantaged. I think this is where international colleges and universities can take advantage of online learning and use it as one learning method as part of their course structure. Offering students access to online resources can enhance their learning experience but they still need to have regular contact with other learners and teachers.

We have seen the introduction of new universities (polytechnics) and more recently CLC training centres (for younger learners) in order to deal with more practical and hands on issues rather than academic ones, but I don’t think online learning should be considered as a ‘centre’ for learning. It should be looked at as a resource for learning and I think this is very important point.

I think we will start to see new ways of learning that will involve a variety of different ways through which the learner can engage. This will come about from the ‘learner’ and probably not from establishments but they will have to adapt and change in order to meet the demands of new generations of learners. I think there will need to be better definitions between learning and training within these facilities and also the teachers will have to understand different methodologies of learning and adapt to each individual learner in order to deliver a comprehensive learning experience.

With this we will also find new ways of using technology in order to deliver better learning experiences. We need to be able to offer learners much better resources than we currently do and also they need to be relevant for the learner.

I think that the way in which different digital media systems will be used even more in the future will impact significantly upon the way learners interact with their educational experiences. Already, we have seen over the past decade a vast growth in online learning and learning via DVD’s or CD’s and this is only going to increase as we move a lot of references, journals and books into an online format.

Information is more easily accessible these days and will continue to be stored in servers rather than in libraries. But, we will still need the source references because as we all know, computer information can be easily manipulated, transformed or deleted and so if we solely rely on computer systems to give us information perhaps this information will become jaded over time.

Scanning or copying books to a computer system is one thing but finding someone who can re-iterate the meanings and pass on this knowledge to other students surely needs to be at the forefront of any educational policy and we should not be reliant on Google or Wikipedia to pass on this information with un-known sources and references. Or should we? However it is important to keep an open mind when selecting and using a wide range of these types of resources. There is also a danger that students will access information in this way, which they can pass off as their own work leading to accusations of plagiarism.

“Using the Internet for distribution not only makes it easy to update information and publish to a wide audience, but this information can be customized to individual users’ tastes - users can even be permitted to publish their own information, letting them post comments on materials or add new material to the server”. (Clara Chung-wai Shih and David E. Weekly, date unknown)

This is another interesting point and by doing this we are allowing the user to take more control over the information that they receive as well as what they learn. However, care is needed to establish how we allow the user to utilise this information and make sure it is used in the correct contexts. This would be something that the teacher can check with the learner as long as there was regular communication between the two.

I don’t think the internet or computer based information can ever replace books or journals but they are being used a lot more today than even five years ago and as the source information improves I am sure that we will see this continue significantly, as more and more people become used to online learning and online resources. This will also allow learners to use this information and write their own thoughts about it, perhaps in ‘blogs’, and then this information and knowledge can be reflected upon and used in different contexts for other learners, therefore promoting a more collaborative online environment.  


     VIII.     Culture and revolutions of human behaviour within education

I believe that culture and education should go hand in hand, as without one you cannot have the other. So, it is therefore very important to understand ones culture in order to understand its educational systems and policies. I think when it comes to online learning this can be a very difficult thing to do because you are not immersing yourself into the society when using online learning facilities as compared with attending university.

“Passing on knowledge and skill, like any human exchange, involves a “teacher” and a “learner” – or if not a teacher in flesh and blood, then a vicarious one like a book, or film, or display, or a “responsive” computer”. (Jerome Seymour Bruner, 1997)

This is a very interesting statement to consider because when does a computer become responsive? When there is another user involved? I think it is important to think about a computer as being an information resource. Nowadays, the majority of books can be downloaded, a film can be easily watched and information can be easily displayed.

Even teachers can be contacted via either text or video based interaction. So, if we consider computers to be information resources, then we can think more progressively about how learners can gain knowledge and information in an online environment. However, when learning in this kind of environment we have to make sure that the learner is conducting his or her own learning rather than learning from a more traditional teaching methodology.

But, are learners losing out on a cultural experience that they would have gained from learning within a more traditional environment?

Culture needs to be considered as part of an education, as it is very important for someone to learn about themselves, the world and the subject they are learning.  With the right input of computer based learning perhaps they can explore things they would not have originally considered within a traditional environment.

“We seem to have arrived at an important juncture in our intellectual and cultural history, a moment of transition between two very different modes of thinking. Calm, focused, undistracted, the linear mind is being pushed aside by a new kind of mind that wants and needs to take in and dole out information in short, disjointed, often overlapping bursts – the faster the better”.  (The Shallows, How the Internet is Changing the way we Think, Read and Remember by Nicholas Carr- September 2010)

We can see that the way in which people are learning is changing significantly and that the learner is also now starting to take more control over what, how and when they learn. This is a very important point to think about as we move into a more technical learning environment. Human behaviour is changing and people are becoming more open to new ways of educating themselves and this will lead to other new ways of learning, understand and sharing knowledge and information. But, we need to be very careful about how we understand and use this information and also how it is passed on in the future to others.

Perhaps we need to even start to separate the learning experience even more between academic and practical worlds before they become so blurred it will be difficult to see the differences. Or alternatively, we need to study for longer and gain a much more substantive understanding about a subject before we are allowed to teach it.

We definitely need to consider how the human learning experience is evolving and make sure that the experience is still one of academic merit that uses our history of learning as a means of passing on knowledge from one generation to the next.


IX.     Online learning and emerging technologies

“A learning network is a natural environment for team teaching. Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary views of a subject area are facilitated in the learning network…Different courses can be mixed together when they have overlapping subject areas. It is also very easy for the teacher to become a student and for faculty to take courses in areas they wish to explore”. ((Linda Harasim, Starr Roxanne Hiltz, Lucio Teles, Murray Turoff, 1995))

It was important for me within the practical element of my project to consider the learner in an online environment and how they can use this type of website. This was even more so important within production environments because broadcast learners are particularly used to learning using a hands on approach. I wanted to make sure that whatever resource or information was available on the website it kept the essence of broadcasting and allowed a more hands on approach.

If we look at all the online resources that are available today it is clear that people are interested in using online learning, and in particular online video is becoming ever more popular as a learning resource. There has been a significant emergence of a lot of online courses over the past few years it is very important to consider the user in this format. It is also very important to consider how much contact the lecturers have with the learners. This needs to be very carefully considered as the education needs to be useful for the learner and they should demonstrate through the course a clear understanding to the level they are looking to obtain.

This is particularly important with regard to broadcasting because this subject is a very practical subject and also it is usually done within a team environment. So, when offering some form of online resource it needs to be relevant and useful for the learner. This is why I wanted to have many different resources available, so the user can then choose what they want to have access to and reject what they didn’t want to use.

“…7,500 graduate and undergraduate students showed that 82 percent preferred courses that offer “captured” lectures online, over traditional classes…” (Suzanne Bowness, 2008)

It was also important for me to consider the level of the learners and make sure I could have a range of levels available and also allow the more highly skilled practitioners to add content to the website in the future. This means that the learner is also learning from professionals, who are working within the industry and therefore using live examples of work. This will add to the quality of the resource, information and the learning experience overall.

We have seen a rapid expansion in educational facilities offering online learning over the past few years and this will only grow in the future.

As well as this the way the learners and teachers interact will change, with the creation of new learning environments that will take advantage of the use of the Internet in order to explore new teaching methodologies.

If teachers embrace these new technologies and use the Internet wisely I think it will only enhance the way education can be delivered.

When considering learning within any environment the teacher should have a clear understanding of what the learner needs to gain.

“Schoolteachers have a unique role in online environments as they combine their face-to-face teaching with online activities. In this situation the networked classroom is an enhancement of school-based activities rather than a substitute for them” (Linda Harasim, Starr Roxanne Hiltz, Lucio Teles, Murray Turoff, 1995)

Clearly, the Internet and online resources have allowed information to be accessed a lot easier than before and if used appropriately can enhance the learning experience. Online resources are also going to be something that will be used considerably more in the future, with the increase in broadband speeds and downloadable information.

Teachers need to play their part in this by embracing technology and the use of the Internet within their practice.  

“…when we go online, we enter an environment that promotes cursory reading, hurried and distracted thinking, and superficial learning.” (Nicholas Carr, 2010)

Of course there are always negative points about anything related to change or advancement within society, but if the technology is used to the best of its ability then surely this is a great way to advance society in general.

If you only consider the negative points and use them in a positive way, you can then have a more positive experience with whatever it may be.

But, we should also realize that this technology and information is here now and will continue to grow in the future. If it is used appropriately and the sources are relevant and academic in basis I believe it can only be a positive step towards new learning techniques. The teachers need to be careful about the way they use the technology and also take advantage of the learner’s knowledge, as they will possibly have more experience in using some technologies than the teacher. If this can be done then current and emerging technologies will play a significant way in which people learn in the future but will not hinder upon the learning experience.

“The advantages of having immediate access to such and incredibly rich and easily searched store of data are may, and they’ve been widely described and duly applauded.” (Nicholas Carr, 2010)

In having access to fast information it allows research to be carried out at a much quicker rate, but will this effect upon the quality of the research or not?

With web 2.0 used a lot nowadays, and 3.0 becoming more widely understood it will be used a lot more in the future, and even the possibilities of web 4.0. It is clear that the Internet will play a significant role within education in the future, in terms of both learning environments and resources.

We can see this from the way people interact when using online environments nowadays and the constant use of blogs, twitter feeds or facebook are encouraging the use of social networking as a source of information. But, we haven’t as yet really expanded this style of information sharing into the educational arena. Maybe in a few years time we will see this as a new style of collaborative learning.

Naturally, in doing all of this research for my major project it really helped me to see how education has developed and evolved over time. This therefore led me to the concept of developing something that would be useful for broadcasters and producers but also allow them to be in control of how and when they choose to learn.

From this point, it made me start to think about exactly what I wanted to create and also what I wanted to achieve with my project. In order for me to fully understand the need I decided to undertake surveys with students, lecturers and broadcasters in order to find out what they felt about online learning and especially the use of online video as a learning resource.

“We can't afford to let the web happen to us: we need to be aggressive and shape it ourselves," (Brian Lamb, 2010)


CHAPTER III – Methodology

I.                 The Concept

“Whether or not a person attends a traditional graduate program, she will find that top-quality online learning can help her advance across two or four or even eight careers over the course of her lifetime”. (C.L. Max Nikias, 2008)

Thinking about this and all of the research I did, I wanted to look at how I could instigate an online learning resource for broadcast disciplines. The main idea behind the project was to develop an online facility to educate both students and professionals who study and work in broadcasting disciplines. In creating this online resource it would be used to enhance the way in which they learn and also provide a variety of resources so the user can take control of their own learning experience.

One of the main points behind the project was to see if the user could take control of their own learning experience if they were to be given the appropriate resources.

I set about researching the practical elements of the project through initial surveys, in order to discover if this would be something both students and lecturers would be interested in. I gathered some very interesting responses from the surveys which led me to look at exactly what kind of resources should be offered as part of an online learning facility, especially that relating to broadcasting.

When students responded to a question about learning they answered that they would be most interested in learning within a more 1:1 environment than any other.                    

This was very interesting because this is something that could almost never be done in a more traditional way but could be done through a mixture of online and personal learning. Another survey looked at how students currently study and received interesting results, as the majority answer was a combination of both lectures and video learning. This showed that the students were already engaged with video learning and use video as a large part of the studies but perhaps didn’t have a great deal of access to video tutorials or specific video learning from reliable sources.

I then wanted to ask the students whether they would be interested in having access to an archive of online video tutorials that were relevant to broadcasting and were all made by professionals currently working within production environments.

This was one of the most important results for my project, as the result was exactly what I wanted.

All respondents said they would be interested in having this kind of resource to learn.                      

After this result I wanted to check which resource the students would be most interested in learning in an online environment.

Once again I received some very interesting results, in which 95% of respondents said that they would like to have online video tutorials and they preferred this format of online learning to others as it showed exactly what the coverage of the lesson would be and was easy to follow.

From this point I decided that there was a need for these types of websites and so I looked at other websites that offered similar resources to my concept.

I therefore researched which current websites were using video technologies in order to enhance the way their users can learn and discovered that there are quite a few different uses of online video within websites, and so I decided to look at six different sites that all offer slightly different learning environments.

Youtube Edu

The first site I looked at was Youtube EDU. As we all know Youtube is very famous for video but over the last few years has expanded into the education sector. It integrates videos from hundreds of different universities and colleges, ranging from student activities through to lectures and tutorials. The quality is lacking as the majority of the filming is done by students, but Youtube is really only interested in the content which they can deliver to a wider audience base.

In spite of this, it is a fantastic resource for video information and gives access to lectures and other resources that would not normally be available.

Itunes U

A very similar programme that offers almost the same thing to Youtube EDU is iTunes U. This is part of the iTunes application and offers a wide selection of lectures, language lessons, audiobooks, tours, and films all aimed to encourage the use of online video.

This, like Youtube EDU, has mixed content some of which is not educational but it embraces the use of online video learning.

Edu Fire

Edu Fire is an online resource mostly aimed at learning languages, business and technical applications. However, they have taken advantage of video through the use of applications, such as Skype, and therefore allowing a more personal approach to learning a subject through video-phone calling.

This site shows that there is a great use for video learning in an online environment, and also proves that students can engage with their subject and also get regular feedback from their teachers at a schedule that suits them both.

Internet video magazine

Internet video magazine website is not specifically related to education, however it does offer some great sections that are for broadcast specialists, such as camcorder, video editing, and software reviews as well as some sections showing tutorials for production and broadcast professionals.

This website shows that there is clearly a market for online learning within the broadcast environment. They have a good subscription rate and deal with a wide range of topics within broadcasting and production.

Videomaker

The website is similar to Internet video magazine but offers a lot more. It also provides good quality reviews for all kinds of production equipment and has detailed articles on camcorders, editing equipment and software and also lighting, distribution and other relevant topics that producers would find useful. They also have a training section where you can book specific training with one of their experts and also an online community, which has much more information via a blog, newsletter, contests and extra resources.

This site adds to the overall assessment that producers and broadcasters are interested in learning via an online environment, as long as it has been instigated well, and professionals maintain it regularly.

Lynda.com

This site is all about learning through an online platform. They have over 40,000 tutorials on the site ranging from languages to Avid editing and everything in between. They work on a ‘member-supported’ environment, which means you have to be a member and therefore there is some kind of cost involved but for what you are getting it is quite minimal. They also have a wide range of courses, but they are mostly related to design packages, although they are expanding all the time. They receive around 20 million visitors each year and they also produce 95% of the videos themselves.

This really proves the point that online video is becoming a lot more common and is being used extensively by different learners.

I think the fact that there are websites like these already it shows how education and learning are changing and has changed over the past few years. For example, when I studied at university there were very few online resources for me to look at and learn from, so I had to literally teach myself everything via a “hands on” approach or wait for a lecturer to show me. These days you can just Google what you are looking for and a majority of the time there will be either textual or video based tutorials available.

However, this goes back to a point I made earlier about quality and how do we know that the author is either qualified or a valid source of this information?

After completing these sections of the research I looked at what I wanted to offer as a resource and how I could instigate it.

In order to achieve this, the website needs to have a variety of sections, each of which deals with specific areas of broadcasting and production and is using new technologies in order to enhance the learning environment. I therefore decided to split the sections into: learn, magazine, tutorials, a review and live section. Within each section they will cover a wide area of topics all related to production but essentially they all offer a learning experience.

Within each of these sections there would be a variety of information, knowledge and learning resources that would be updateable and available to all learners who wanted to have access to them. By creating this type of resource, it will allow each learner to have a unique experience on the site and use only what they needed. The can also have opportunities to comment and add their own information as well and so it creates a more collaborative environment for them to learn in.

There are a wide range of online learning courses available through colleges and universities but I wanted concentrate specifically on those resources that are available which relate to broadcasting and production and have tried to use video as a major part of the learning experience.


CHAPTER IV - Conclusions and outcomes

When I first began looking into this subject I never thought that I would go into so much depth and look at a wide variety of things. But, I think that in doing the research I have done, it has allowed me to appreciate how education has evolved and how online resources and learning can enhance the way that education could be delivered in the future.

I think that the project has shown a need for the use of online learning within a broadcasting environment. However, it does need to be very carefully considered how this could be delivered.

The main aim of the project was to explore the concept; ‘is the use of online video technologies a justifiable way to educate broadcasters of the future?’

I think that in terms of the practical project, and through the survey research I did it clearly showed that there was a need for this type of resource. I think that the development of the online resource was good but it could have been instigated slightly better, especially in terms of functionality. It offered all the relevant information and resources that were needed for broadcasters and allowed them access with ease to these.

 From the early development of deciding what form the website would take all the way through to the final delivery, I wanted to focus on the user and the content. I think that this came across on the website and although perhaps it lacked detail in design it had all necessary functions that would be needed in order to enhance the learning experience within an online environment.

I explored a wide variety of technologies that could be instigated in order to enhance the learning experience and looked at other sites that currently offer similar things and feel that given the right educational environment my project could be very successfully developed, using a professional designer and coder. 

The prototype worked but if I were a web designer or coder by trade it could have been improved. However, this was not my main aim of the project. I was not looking to create an amazing website but to create a useful and informative resource for broadcasters to use and learn from. I think in terms of this I achieved what I set out to do.

I think that the most important part to my project was the research and I showed that these types of online learning facilities are being used a lot more and will continue to be used in the future.

As I said, online learning and online resources are being constantly used already and this area will continue to grow over the coming years. However, in terms of broadcasting I believe it needs to be seen as an additional resource, so the learners can take advantage of new and emerging technologies and also get used to learning through new and different ways including online facilities.

It is clear that broadcasting and production are considered to be team environments. Working in a team environment you need to think as a team and not an individual. I therefore believe that online resources will be able to add to the learning development of students and professionals, therefore enabling them to expand their understanding of the subject matter and learn relevant technical skills that they might be lacking.

I also think that constructivist learning with the addition of personal reflection can be a very positive way to learn broadcasting. This could be seen as the ‘blended approach’ and due to the fact that broadcasting is a very ‘hands on’ industry it is clear that learners need to be undertaking practical tasks, or out filming in order to have a working knowledge of the required processes. They also need to work within a professional environment.

The ‘blended approach’ will allow for both the theoretical information and also the more ‘hands on’ learning, which is needed in broadcasting. However, this is where I feel that online resources can be used to benefit the learner and offer them the opportunities to learn more and also do a lot of self directed learning as well. In having access to online resources each learner will be able to take more control over their learning activities and expand their knowledge or technical skills at their own pace which might not be the case if they only were to learn within a more classroom based environment. The crossover from further education to higher education and the way in which courses are taught are very different and so each individual student should be considered and the appropriate personalized teaching methodology should be instigated.

The pedagogical and andragogical experiences from student to student need to be clearly defined and understanding how these differ is vital but also how these learning methodologies impact upon higher education. It was quite interesting to think about the differences between younger learners and mature students and how pedagogical and andragogical learning experiences would differ from one another. The pedagogical experience is more related to child learning whereas andragogical is related to adult learning but when considering first year university students; their age needs to be considered before formulating which learning experience they will actually undertake. Therefore, pedagogical and andragogical learning will have to be thought about in regard to the transition from further education (school or college) into higher education (university). Clearly, this transition should be carefully thought about, as the student needs to be considered a lot more as an individual. Although, I recognise this as a serious difficulty, within the context of broadcasting I believe that each individual learner will have a distinct area that they want to be involved with more than others. Therefore, the educational facilities should consider these needs and make appropriate resources available to the learner, whether through online learning or through traditional means.

This could also relate very well to self directed learning and help to enhance all students understanding of this and allow them to reflect on their own work with a lot more understanding.

It’s very important for students to reflect on their work and methodologies but they will also need constant supervision from their tutors. In an online learning environment, this can be hard to achieve and so using a blended approach to learning is definitely the most appropriate, but using online resources will give significant advantages to learners in the coming future. It is important for teachers and learning facilities, whether online or not, to consider the learner as an individual rather than a collective. If this is done, then each student can take advantage of learning from both a pedagogical and andragogical method. What I mean by this is they will have opportunities for a variety of teaching methodologies and more self-directed learning opportunities. I think that this is really important when it comes to online learning as defining the user as an individual will enhance their learning methodologies and will allow them to have a full learning experience within higher education establishments.

As I mentioned, broadcasting is very much considered to be a team environment and if you only learn something within an online facility, the learner will be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to working in the future. Contact with others is essential for the growth of the learner and needs to be considered as important as technical knowledge. The learner needs to have social awareness of the broadcasting environment and this will be difficult to gain within an online facility.

Of course, this could be combated by the use of online video communication tools, such as Skype, but I feel that this will not have the same impact as learning within a studio or classroom environment. I think that the blended approach would deal with this and with the use of the online resource will extend the learning opportunities significantly.

Without question learning outcomes will need to be specifically developed, especially in relation to online learning and the use of online resources. Naturally, there are certain things that you cannot learn using online facilities and this can be related to broadcasting. You can only learn so much from reading a book or watching an online tutorial, you need to be physically doing or operating something to really have the full experience. For example, operating a camera, you need to actually have the camera in your hands to see what it can do. Of course, having online resources that can guide you through the use of the camera would be very useful alongside a lecture on camera operation. But, you would need to have specific learning outcomes of that online resource, so that the teacher knows that the student has fully understood all the functions of the camera and is confident in its use. I believe that having relevant online resources can enhance the learning environment for the learner as long as they have regular contact with a teacher or lecturer.

Government should also be promoting the use of online resources and online learning, so enhancing the way that education can be delivered across all platforms. At present, there are a substantial number of online courses but the learning outcomes and learning methodologies that are used will not hold the same experiences as a more traditional form of education would. Government policies need to consider both methods in the future, so that facilities are delivering the most appropriate skills in both terms of technical, theoretical and social skills. These social skills are more relevant for the learner when working in a professional environment.

This has been seen in the Government's recent drive to increase the number of students wishing to access higher education, and especially those from 'working class' backgrounds has led to a vast need for on-line courses to provide for these young people and even more so as there are fewer jobs available now due to the recession. This should make on-line education a real growth area, which should be tapped into.

In researching how education has evolved over the years it was good to see that establishments are using new technologies and will continue to do so over the coming years. By looking at this it helped me to understand my project a lot more and see how I wanted to develop it. It also allowed me to understand how education has changed and see how higher education is evolving in modern times and see how it evolved from the introduction of polytechnics in the 1960s through to the introduction of CLC’s in the 2000’s.

I think the way in which people learn has changed significantly and especially over the past few years. We have seen a huge influx of online learning courses and online resources but we should still consider traditional learning methodologies, and their sources such as books, magazines, journals, and of course, teaching and learning from lecturers or mentors.

Replacing traditional forms of learning with online learning is not ever likely to happen but it is important that the source of information be very carefully considered because the source needs to come from some form of academia rather than just a Google search or Wikipedia content. Even the way that I researched this dissertation came through a wide variety of sources including books, journals, online journals, surveys, online searches but the majority of my main research came from books because the information was not available online. I think this shows that even topics such as online learning, video technologies and broadcasting, the sources of the most relevant information still came from books.

As my research grew so did my research methodologies as I found new references and new information.

I think that the way information and knowledge is delivered to the learner is vital to make sure they have a full comprehension of the subject matter. This is where storytelling and personal reflection are very useful for the teacher and the learner. The teacher will engage the learner through interesting teaching methods and the learner will be able to reflect on this and use the knowledge in order to enhance their own understanding of the subject. In broadcasting, this is a particularly useful tool to use because it is a very ‘hands on’ environment for the learner. By reflecting on the teaching and also on their work, the learner can satisfy learning outcomes as well as grow as a practitioner in whatever chosen subject they are learning.

Even though learning subjects such as broadcasting, a university education requires the need to be able to have a theoretical understanding of the subject and this is where reflecting on your work can help the learner to fully understand the subject in both practical and theoretical elements.

Although practical skills are very useful in broadcasting, it is equally as important for the learner to understand theoretical issues. These can be delivered by lecturers, with the options of having online resources available. In having these resources available, the learners can do a lot more self-directed learning in their own time and then within the classroom can have more subject specific teaching. With the right online resources available to the learner they will be able to have a distinctly fuller educational experience.

I think it’s also very important when learning a subject such as broadcasting that it is delivered within a community and collaborative environment, whether this is an online or classroom based environment. Both of these environments could be considered as having a ‘community feel’. However, it is the way in which the learner interacts that will give it a community feeling or not. Naturally, because broadcasting or production is a team environment, it makes sense to learn using a more traditional method but with the use of online resources in order to enhance technical skills or knowledge. It is therefore important for the learner to understand the need to work collaboratively, as this is what they will be doing in professional practice.

We can see from the research that there are significant numbers of online resources but will these resources offer the same learning experience that you would get from practical experience? I think at present this is not possible to answer because online learning is so new. However, in the future we will be able to understand whether or not these types of learning methods enhance the educational process or not.

Obviously, online learning is becoming a lot more popular these days and this is causing more universities to offer these types of courses but what kind of competitive environment will this lead to and how will the learner be able to experience this without physically being in a classroom?

It could be considered that this type of learning is not competitive because it is self-directed rather than in a more community or collaborative based environment. This is something I have experienced whilst studying for my Master’s Degree. In doing this, I have had to do most of my work on my own and therefore I’ve had to reflect a lot on my work in order to learn. This has resulted in me changing my methodologies and also the way I think about education and learning.

Sometimes competition can be a positive factor in education but if the learning experience you have is the same as everyone else how can you differentiate yourself from others?

I think this is becoming an ever more difficult question to answer. If all learning experiences are the same and the outcomes are the same, then what makes the learner unique? I think that in terms of broadcasting it will come from the learner’s experiences and willingness to learn more and have more technical skills than others. Progress can therefore come from self motivation and we will see in the future the individual taking more control of their learning experience.

Therefore, educators need to understand this and offer new types of learning environments or resources that will benefit these new learners.

It is essential to think about how educational facilities will change in the future for these types of learners and the way in which education is delivered. Trying to get the right mix between traditional and online learning will be required for these facilities. For example, broadcasting will always need technical skills and equipment and so the facilities will need to have these available for the learners.

This is something, at present, online learning would find difficult to compete with. However, in the future, I think we will see online resources being used a lot more when it comes to teaching technical skills and I think educational facilities can therefore take advantage of online resources, if they are relevant to the subject that is being taught.  It would of course also depend on the learner and whether or not they would use these resources to improve their learning experience.

I believe that the way in which online learning or online resources will be used in the future will have to be very carefully considered by each establishment, and when they have a full understanding of the need and how they can use it for their learners and we will see a much more affective use of online learning.

The passing on of this knowledge and/or skills is essential and has always been the key driver behind education but we also need to consider how human behaviour has changed the way that this information is passed on. In particular, we need to consider how people will learn in the future and how establishments will meet this demand for the ever-changing world.

I think that in the future we will need to consider the individual a lot more and make sure that their learning experiences can be unique and I think that with the correct use of traditional and online resources this can be achieved successfully.

I think that the research I have undertaken and the main idea behind the project has led me to think even further about this subject as well. I feel that there is a need for these types of resources to be made available to the learner and I think in the future the idea of learning within an online environment will become a lot more commonplace and I hope to see universities take advantage of these by giving learners new and interesting resources in order to develop their learning experiences. 

Overall, I feel that I have gained a lot of knowledge about these subjects now and have also learned a lot about myself by writing this.

I hope that I can continue to research these subjects and that what I have written can also lead into further research. I am very interested to see how education will evolve over the coming years and embrace the use of online resources, all with the main aim of enhancing the way we all learn and try to take advantage of new and emerging technologies in the future within educational facilities.

I think in the future and with newer technologies changing and updating so quickly, we should consider that we are all now becoming learners as well as teachers and if we embrace this and use it to our advantage, we will be able to prosper from new technologies and learn like we have never learned before.

  


V. References

Alterio, M. and J. Drury, 2002, Learning through storytelling in higher education: Using reflection & experience to improve learning, The Dunmore Press

BBC, 2005, South Korea’s education success - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4240668.stm

Bowen, William M., & Schwartz, Michael, 2005, The Chief Purpose of Universities: Academic Discourse and the Diversity of Ideas - http://www.mellenpress.com/mellenpress.cfm?bookid=6259&pc=9

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Carr, Nicholas, 2010, The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember, London, Atlantic Books

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Linda Harasim, Starr Roxanne Hiltz, Lucio Teles, Murray Turoff, 1995, Learning Networks: A Field Guide to Teaching and Learning Online, MIT Press

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Kosak, L, Dionna Manning, Ellen Dobson, Lisa Rogerson, Shannon Cotnam, Susan Colaric, & Cheryl Brian Lamb, 2010 – Online article by Sarah Cunnane, Emerging-technology expert calls for open access to academic knowledge - http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=412769

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VI. Bibliography

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Education is not just about academic research, but life itself - http://opinion.globaltimes.cn/commentary/2009-11/482295.html

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Storytelling grows up: using storytelling as a reflective tool in higher education - http://www.storiesabout.com/files/McKillop%202005%20SERA.pdf

South Korea’s Education Success - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4240668.stm

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Online learning - http://www.umassonlineblog.com/2008/03/11/online-learning-good-for-grad-students-bad-for-undergraduates/

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Educational practices, Using New Media - http://www.searchlit.org/newmedia/new_media.pdf

Problem-based learning: What and how do students learn?

Educational Psychology Review Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2003).

Analyzing collaborative knowledge construction:Multiple methods for integrated understanding

Why we still need teachers - http://eideneurolearningblog.blogspot.com/2006/10/why-we-still-need-teachers.html

http://blogs.doublepositive.com/2009/03/31/youtube-edu-hub-will-education-be-free-somedaysoon/

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/fall73/kosak73.html

http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/TeachingOnline.htm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/may/13/highereducation.uk1

http://www.videomaker.com/article/8339/

http://chronicle.com/article/In-Case-of-Emergency-Break/48021/

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=107969&sectioncode=26

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/how-technology-is-transforming-thelecture.

aspxhttp://ictlogy.net/20090619-educator-or-the-pros-and-cons-of-video-lecturing/

http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Abstract/2008/12000/Live_Lecture_Versus_Video_Recorded_Lecture__Are.31.aspx

http://assett.colorado.edu/post/164

http://www.westga.edu/%7Edistance/ojdla/fall53/valentine53.html

http://www.westga.edu/%7Edistance/ojdla/spring51/jones51.html

 

Websites

 

http://www.scribd.com/doc/22332946/Pedagogy-vs-Andragogy

http://www.apple.com/education/mobile-learning

http://research.becta.org.uk/index.php?section=rh&rid=13768

http://couros.wikispaces.com/emerging+technologies

http://www.inspirationbit.com/why-do-we-learn-and-what/

http://www.youtube.com/education?lg=en&b=102&s=edu&t=

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=educate

http://www.pbs.org/aboutpbs/news/20021213_videoindex.html

http://www.pbs.org/teachers

http://www.teachers.tv

http://www.teachertube.com/

http://www.ecse.rpi.edu/Homepages/shivkuma/teaching/video_index.html

http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/

http://www.sanatansociety.org/free_online_teaching_video_clips.htm

http://www.edutopia.org/online-learning-video#

http://www.videoteaching.com/

http://www.educator.com/

www.itu.int

www.wikipedia.org

www.bbc.co.uk

www.itv.com

www.freetube.com

http://publishing2.com/2008/04/23/the-future-of-online-advertising-entertainment-vs-information/

http://ezinearticles.com/?Traditional-Marketing-VS.-Online-Advertising&id=186100

http://www.impliedbydesign.com/articles/the-advantages-of-internet-advertising-vs-traditionaladvertising.html

http://www.atelier-us.com/advertising-and-marketing/article/internet-advertising-vs-tv-advertising

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/3437837/TVadvertising-now-cheapest-on-record.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/may/19/digitalmedia.advertising

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/dec/24/project-kangaroo

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/kangaroo

www.iptv-industry.com

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/23/iptv_analysis/

www.ofcom.org.uk/research/cm/cmr08/

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv/psb_review/

http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Greenfield_Howard_2280620.aspx

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleid=61532

http://www.crtc.gc.ca/Eng/publications/reports/broadcast/rep061214.htm

http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=849

http://www.internetnews.com/infra/article.php/3604891

http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/P/htmlP/publicservicb/publicserviceb.htm

 

Videos (for reference)

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8601207.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8605789.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8608067.stm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbQ0sDFaPYQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWVvLwR5bVA&feature=related