A look into my internship at Comundos
I am Giovanna and I had the opportunity to work for three months as an intern at Comundos while coursing a Master of Educational Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB).
It has been a fantastic and rewarding journey at Comundos where I had the opportunity to learn and improve many pedagogical and transversal skills as an individual and an educational scientist.
In a period where the online world has progressed and advanced due to uncontrollable factors, media literacy has never been so important.
Comundos enables people all over the world and especially those living in rural contexts to get acquainted with ITC (Information, Technology and Communication) skills and media literacy in a very original and creative way: through the creation of digital stories.
These digital stories empower people and enable them to speak on issues they are concerned about in their daily lives, with regards to the 17SDGs established by the United Nations.
In the 21st century, telling your own story with the aim of informing the public and raising awareness on topics that often we don’t know much about, is an urgent action to fight against the rise of misinformation, disinformation and massive influence of commercial media.
Media Literacy is, therefore, a necessity, a very urgent one.
As part of my internship, I designed, in collaboration with other specialists, various pedagogical sheets and an online course (“Digital Stories”) on Google Classroom with the aim to create a hybrid teaching system for the workshop on digital storytelling.
In particular, one of the main projects consisted of the design of 17 pedagogical sheets on the 17 SDGs with the aim of educating secondary students in Belgium to become aware of societal, economic and environmental issues in the world and trigger them to act in order to prevent, mitigate and solve those problems. This project was directed and tutored by Nik Lippens, while Bart Vetsuypens (my Internship mentor and coordinator of Comundos) helped me in the development process of the sheets.
Furthermore, inspired by this project and further talks with people and educators from Cameroon, I designed other pedagogical sheets on SDG4 (Quality Education) and SDG5 (Gender Equality), as well as some on environmental education, in collaboration with Emmanuel Sengafor. In this case, intercultural dialogue and exchange were crucial to design the sheets for the specific context of Cameroon. This project aims to trigger mindset and behavioural changes in students of young age in Cameroon in regard to gender equality and climate changes and will be implemented in secondary schools with the PROCEFA.
Moreover, I created my personal digital story “I am a very happy vegetarian” where I explain some misconceptions about vegetarianism, the reasons why I personally decided to become vegetarian and why I am very happy about this lifestyle.
As a final main project, we have started running a podcast channel on Anchor where we interview digital storytellers to know a little bit more about them and deepen our understanding of their stories and messages they want to send out to the public.
Through this internship, I acquired numerous skills that are so crucial to promoting quality education and for my career as an educational scientist.
Although in the beginning I was a little afraid that an internship held fully online (due to external factors) would be less motivating and tiring in the long term, I have changed my perspective and can say that working as an educational scientist online can be also very productive and rewarding.
Finally, I want to thank every person I had the pleasure to talk to and who taught me something during this academic experience.
A gift for Comundos
For years, Comundos has been assisting remote communities, schools and NGOs, throughout the world, in digital inclusion. We do this in an original way by using media literacy. We work with 'multipliers' who we teach to think critically and make relevant use of communication technology. Could we ask you for a financial contribution so that we can continue this work of offering people, who are less fortunate, opportunities to tell their 'inspiring story'?
Thanking you in advance!
You will be transferred to the 'Friends of Comundos' Fund managed by the King Baudouin Foundation.