We invited a visitor from India into the classroom. This was our first attempt at a Skype video interview and it was really successful! It has created a buzz in the school and encouraged us to think of more possibilities for meaningful collaboration.
Our Year 6’s are doing a unit of inquiry about Asian countries. They are exploring how achieving an understanding of Australia’s geographical neighbors can help us develop a more global perspective. We invited Raj, a software designer from Chennai in Southern India (who we met through using ToonDoo), to answer students’ questions about India. Questions ranged from day-to-day life to complex issues such as overpopulation and poverty. Students and teachers alike agreed that interacting with a real person in another country, listening to his descriptions, opinions and insights was really beneficial.
Here are some student comments after the session:
“If you hear something on the news or somewhere, it might not be true, but it was good to speak to someone who actually lives there.” (Ronit)
“It teaches us to be tolerant of someone who’s different” (David)
“It’s a primary source. Instead of reading it in a book which may or may not be true, he is telling us himself” (Emily)
“When you read about it in a book, you are learning facts, but listening to him, we are learning facts from someone’s perspective” (Abby)
Let’s think of more ways to take learning outside the four walls and into the world. Or of bringing the world into the classroom!!