Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Skyping My Head Off

This has been an exciting week for me, as I have had two conversations with educators in Holland and Ethiopia. We're working on a project I'm starting at my school called the World Village Project. Although there are sites like Epals that will help connect you to international schools, I'm fortunate enough to have made these connections myself. We're designing curriculum for our children so that their exchanges will be about more than "how much homework do you have a night." Of course, those types of personal questions are important to ask when making connections, but working together on a mutually agreed-upon project makes learning meaningful.

Some folks have been trying to get me to lead a NAIS Challenge 20/20 Project, which I will do if I have to. My objection to the program is that it's dealing with issues raised in Jean Francois Rischard's book High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them. I think these are all quite obviously important issues to address, but only AFTER our children know one another and have worked together on shared content. If integration really is rule #1 in technology education, then why are we manufacturing relevance for these topics in our curriculum? I'm the first to admit that these issues should BE in our curriculum, but they're just not at our school. I suppose I should admit that participating in the program would help to integrate those discussions into our programs, to introduce a context for the discussions. At the heart of it, I still feel that the conversations like that will be richer once our schools have a relationship in place. Those issues seem like second year topics for discussion.

Either way, I'm thrilled that my school is taking steps towards forming these partnerships. This is the way. This is how we will help kids incorporate both sides of their technological axis.

1 comment:

alexragone said...

Hi Alecia,

With all you're doing, I think you should be presenting at AIMS in the fall. Sounds very exciting.

Looking forward to reading your blog.

- Alex