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.
3 thoughts on “Teacher as learner… Sole session#3”
Wow – what a wonderful experience you are having – even with the bumps in the road. Any kind of distance learning thrills me to the core, and this is exactly the type of experience that DL does best. How often do we get the opportunity to get to know people who aren’t in our immediate community. I love technology for this aspect – the opportunity and worlds it opens up.
I will be reading along with you as you learn and enjoy!
Thanks Paula. Looking forward to seeing how it develops…
Many of your lessons learned from this experience could be lessons learned in the regular classroom. I am still just amazed at this project and the ability to connect students and teachers from around the world. It may not always work the way that you plan but something ground breaking is happening. Barriers are falling down and soon the unreliability will also fall away. In the mean time you are building relationship through the common struggle to make things work. Well done!