One of our school’s exciting connections this year was with Livingstone Kegode in Kenya, Africa. We met and spoke with some of his students as part of our parent information evening session for potential year 7 students in 2016. Michael Soskil from the USA was also visiting him.
Livingstone is a truly inspirational teacher who has connected his students from the biggest slum in Africa to the world with his laptop. In recognition of his amazing work, he was awarded a Microsoft Innovative Educator but was denied a visa to enter the USA for the conference earlier this year. Further ground work was made this year to ensure as far as humanly possible his visa would be accepted to attend ISTE 2015 – the big Technology Teachers Conference. He would only know the success of this application today….. and again it was denied! He informed us of this circumstance via our skype group chat.
To show the incredible spirit displayed by Livingstone, here is a follow up comment from him.
He received many messages of disappointment and sympathy from other members of the group. But then, the potential of proactiveness set in. Mike Soskil suggested that:-
but note that the twitter handle should be @rec54. Several of us tweeted out and almost immediately we got a response tweet back.
— Richard Culatta (@rec54) June 19, 2015
Richard Culatta is the head of the US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology.
Although we can only hope that there is still some hope in getting Livingstone to ISTE, this scenario shows that power of a global community in supporting its own. Let’s hope that the visa can be reversed! If not we will use other means of ensuring Livingstone is part of the conference.