Lorraine and I shared our classes on Friday. Well, myyear 9/10 class was on Friday but for Lorraine Leo it was still Thursday. Then I taught heryear 5 class later that day it was Friday for both of us but it soon became Saturday before my lesson ended. Confused! Welcome to global learning and teaching! Where time zones, days of the week can all become complicated.
Over the last three years, Lorraine, from Boston, USA and I have maintained communication and connected regularly. Lorraine has been a great colleague to me, as she has willingly shared her amazing network with me and my students. Year 11 students were able to follow the volunteer work of her nephew and niece, Jen, in the wake of the Haiti earthquake. Together with her students, mine asked questions on a google doc re the aftermath, experiences of and opinions of these two volunteers. This was an engaging activity, as students spent time locating Haiti, researching the size and impact of the earthquake and then asked thoughtful questions. Lorraine share the following links with us:-
Thanks to Lorraine’s niece, Jen, for so promptly answering the questions. This is even more special in that, Jen is still in Haiti, with limited internet access and put herself out to see out the access and respond. The students enjoyed reading the responses. Here are some of the questions they asked her:-
- from Dhugan. I’m really interested in what you are doing at the moment and was wondering, what would you do on a daily basis? Also what prompted you to become part of the disaster relief project? Did you have to take time off work or do this in your holidays or …?
- Hi this is George. I would like to know what did you think when you seen what happened to Haiti on the TV then what did u think when u seen it right in real life? :)
- Hello, my name is Tara. I would really like to do what you have done when I get older. Do you think your life back in America has changed since you have been working at Haiti? If so how?
- Hi, I’m Olivia, and I was wondering What was your typical day while you were there? Were you there for the opening of the school?,What was it like seeing the smiles on kids faces when the school was finished?
- Hi there, my name is Melissa. With all the destruction around, were did you stay, how did you get food and were you sponsored at all? How long were you over there for?
- Hey, I’m Chris. How long after the disaster did you arrive in Haiti? What was the feeling like in Haiti when you arrived? What was the most rewarding part of your trip?
- Hey, I am Flick, after the disaster, what did the people of Haiti do for an occupation ? and now , how do they fill their days in ?
On Friday, October 8th (for me), swapped classes virtually. Lorraine shared images of her school, class, Boston etc with my year 9/10 IT class. Lorraine used the interactive features of discoverE to encourage students to fully take part in the learning. Our bandwidth, kept me helpless, 1 minute or so behind my students, who were each on individual desktops. This meant that Lorraine was totally in control of my class and that my students had to work with her to keep her updated, answer her questions etc without any prompts from me. (Next time, we would take the video off whilst sharing the photos, as initially the video transmission was erratic and the voice cut in and out. However, that settled as we progressed through class. )
I created an online ietherpad document for my students to ask Lorraine further questions, and Lorraine promptly answered them, much to the delight of the students. That night it was my turn to share with her students my farm, family, school and Hawkesdale (where I live). Again there were issues with bandwidth. However, despite this Lorraine’s class was able to work out my conversation, and many of her students came up to the webcamera and asked me some great questions.
Next collaborative project between year 5 and year 9/10 will be a voicethread between our two schools.
Photos per courteousy of Lorraine Leo