Reaching out…

So, as part of this course (yes, I know it’s all I blog about…) I’ve been asked to reflect on my first attempt at making a global connection. This came about with one of the other teachers on my course, who sent me a bunch of questions her children (in Chengdu, China) wanted to find out about Norway. Here’s my reflections:

  • It’s exciting. Although I’m stupidly busy at the moment juggling my PYP Coordinator’s role, teaching full time, writing reports, mentoring an exhibiton student, trying to help out with the wider exhibition, as well as juggling other stuff outside of school, I found it seriously engaging. Pinging messages back and forth on Twitter to set it up, getting to grips with a new piece of software (Padlet, which I’ll get onto later)… it was really rather thrilling, especially knowing that someone else on the other side of the world was equally keen on making it work.
  • The children were really engaged, really quickly. I mentioned to them over lunchtime that this class wanted to make contact and they were fighting to make videos. I’m going to dedicate a bit of time to this over the next few days, just to answer the questions we had been asked.
  • My class really aren’t very good at making videos. Not their fault; no-one has ever taught them, and like many digital natives (God, I hate that term…) they are still content consumers, not content creators. So much teachable stuff, in regard to communication skills and what is appropriate in an international context. Drafting what you want to say in advance; clear speaking voice; standard English; not dicking about making bunny ears behind the speaker; not making “Ching-chong-ching” noises on a video you’re going to send to students in China. Plenty of work to do, and all of it worth doing – this made me realize that the class I thought of as being quite internationally-minded… aren’t.
  • I need to get to grips with the software before showing it to kids. This stuff needs to be planned; doing it on the fly is no good. Having said that, I really do like Padlet once I got to grips with how to create and share padlets. It’s also very gratifying to see people respond quickly.
  • I want to do this again, and better!

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