Computer and language skills for young migrants

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Teenagers newly arrived in Melbourne come to The Huddle regularly to learn computer skills and build language around items that hold special memories for them. The computer skills of students vary greatly, depending on where they come from, their levels of literacy and education and the experiences with computers.

They practice personal pronouns and language to describe the object and its significance. This opens the possibility for them to share their feelings and experiences through speaking and listening, visually with photographs and in writing using the stylus on Samsung slates. They make a poster using photos and writing about their items which is shared online so that their stories exist beyond The Huddle.

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The Huddle – learning about place, self and others through digital storytelling

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At The Huddle we actively promote social cohesion through our IT-based education programs. Middle years students from local schools come to The Huddle to learn about place by exploring images of the locality and how it has changed over time. They also learn about community through the guests to the classroom, many of whom are elite sportsmen playing Australian Rules Football for North Melbourne Football Club. An underlying aim of all our programs is to develop oral language and IT skills and to empower students by giving them the camera. We cater for students with diverse language backgrounds learning in mainstream classrooms and in programs for newly arrived migrants.

Using video and stills, they make their own digital stories to build community through sharing stories. In the photo above, you can see posters some students have made that reflect on their experiences of migration.

The oval at Arden St, where we are based, was once a swamp with a seasonal lake known as the Blue Lagoon. Gil Freeman created this beautiful watercolour to re-imagine the swampy environment that is now the football oval.

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I will link to a 3 minute video about Arden St that some students from North Melbourne Primary School made at The Huddle. They now attend University High School.

January 2013

Here’s my first blog. I plan to post about community participation, the arts , innovation, education, multiculturalism, music and community projects that integrate these.

I work at The Huddle – the community arm of the North Melbourne Football Club. The Huddle specializes in innovation in education and community development with an overall aim of promoting social cohesion. We have a state of the art computer-based classroom which engages young people in digital storytelling about place, self and others.

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My role at The Huddle involves creating, developing and delivering educational programs for 8-16 year olds that cater for English language learners in mainstream classrooms and establishing a Study Support program for 15-25 year olds to support their learning.

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I am also a musician and composer. I play with strings and vocal trio Euphonia with my sister Dee Hannan and dear friend Alice Garner. I composed for the film One Night the Moon, with Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly and directed by Rachel Perkins. I also composed for the theatrical version of One Night the Moon directed by Wesley Enoch at Malthouse Theatre. I currently compose pieces for Xylouris Ensemble and Euphonia.

I like a balance between being a practitioner, creating new work, developing ideas and reflecting on and analyzing these to give new perspectives and approaches to what I do.

euphonia 2 M Hannan 2008