A couple of weeks ago I joined a group in skype. This group is made up of a number of teachers from across the globe. Interesting conversations flow amongst the group. These include the sharing of online sites, culture, experiences etc. The great advantages of having the group is that members will just ask “Is anyone about?” and if someone is they will skype into a global classroom and talk to students for 5 to 10 mins or more.
Tonight, just prior to our evening meal, which we call tea (rather than dinner), a skype message came up from Kathryn “Is anyone about?” I replied saying I have 10 mins before tea. Within seconds I was videoconferenced into an Austrian classroom and spoke to some capable English speaking students.
One of the first questions was: “What tea are you drinking?” When I responded that it was my evening meal, the reaction was one of astonishment. When questioned further I explained that we were having baked chicken, potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potato with broccoli/carrots/cauliflower, the reaction was:- “Oh that is not healthy!”
That comment astonished me. This is our way of life. We eat our main meal in the evening as most of us work in the daytime or attend school. I had never even thought of it being unhealthy. We often eat a sandwich for lunch. The Austrian students then told me that lunch is their main meal consisting of four or five courses! Below is one of the pics that I sent through skpye once I had dished up our tea! (It nearly burnt due to my longer conversations with Austria!) However, it was tasty.
Why I am I posting this? I had assumed that European and American cultures were very similar, if not the same, as ours but now realise that there are differences. There is so much to learn from each other, no matter what country we live in, whether we speak the same language or not. From Kathryn came the following comment “thank you Anne, we heard a lot of new things again, thank you”.
Technology allows us to learn NOW from each other! Skype is an amazing tool that can instantly connect people together.
It has been decided to form a group for students to connect and share conversations. Permission forms have been sent home to parents to allow senior students to take part in this trial project. One of my goals in teaching is for my students to develop a learning network. This will make an interesting start. I wonder what they will discover about each other!