Last week was disappointing, as the SOLE wasn’t online. I think it was a festival in Hyderabad, but no-one lets you know, you just turn up and hope you get a connection with kids!
If you haven’t been following my posts, this is part of the SOLES and SOMES project in India, where self organised learning environments have been set up for kids to access computers and the internet as well as to interact with mediators from other countries. See sessions one and two.
Today the kids were back. Rehana, Saniya, Nusrath, Salma, Gazanfer and the rest. Plus a few new ones as well this time! They were excited to come online and see me, waved enthusiastically, shoving each other out the way to get a spot in front of the camera. Then came the crunch… while they could see and hear me, there was no sound from their end. I have read on the SOLES wiki that these sorts of things happen often. One mediator has struggled for weeks to connect with her group. Unfortunately, there’s nothing one can do about the unreliable connection, but make the best of it.
This is what I learned today…
- The fact that I can be in Australia interacting live with less advantaged children in India is a miracle in itself.
- I have to come to terms with the fact that connections won’t always be perfect, if we do connect.
- Apparently these kids will be excited to see me and talk to me even if I can’t hear them!
- It’s difficult to gauge responses when you can’t see faces. (a by product of screen-sharing on Skype to show things)
- Calling people by their names creates an instant personal connection.
- No matter what I prepare for each session, it never goes as planned.
- I can gain just as much from these interactions as the kids I am interacting with.
- Take nothing for granted.