Rajat, Gouri, Ashkay, Sameer, Amol, Ankar, Sanket, Vikrant and Laxman are students at a rural school in Shiragon 100kms from Goa in Maharashtra, India. They have gathered today at the SOLE near their school.
Isabella, Liat, Talia and Rebecca are Year 6 private school students in Melbourne, Australia.
Differences: language, environment, culture, economic background, religion…
Question: Who cares?
They chatted on Skype for half an hour and began to get to know each other. This was the first time (due to the time difference) that there has been an opportunity for a genuine connection between kids at my school and one of the SOLES. One previous interaction between kids was a once-off set up by Suneeta with a group who didn’t speak English, so the chat was through her translation. I thought it was wonderful at the time, but this is going to be even better!
They were bubbling with enthusiasm and kept saying how exciting, how much fun, how cool…They learned each others’ names and asked about school and sports. They sang their national anthems to each other. Best of all they arranged to meet again the next day. The second time was more relaxed and natural and I left them to it. I know that among other things, they talked about musical instruments and Rebecca is bringing her guitar to the next interaction! But the girls will write the next post themselves…
Some comments from the Australian kids:
- They’re not that different from us! (R)
- All kids have fun and learn stuff! (L)
- Instead of learning about them, we talked to them. (I)
- It was fun to talk to people who we thought were completely different and find how similar they are to us. (L)
- We’ve done the introduction now, we’ll be able to talk about more things next time. (T)
- I thought it might be difficult to talk to them because of cultural difference and background but it wasn’t. (R)
- You get nervous meeting new people anyway, and they’re across the world, but it was easy and fun.(R)
- My impression of Indian children was that they were all starving… I didn’t think about how similar they might be to us. (I)
I’d love to get some from the Indian kids too…
9 thoughts on “More similar than different…”
Yes, Edna… This is what all of us have been dreaming of! Lets hope it will sustain in the face of the system constraints. I will be in Shirgaon and with the group that met the children from your school and will get more detailed information from them. As I speak to you, they are jotting down a few points via skype chat to share with you. 🙂
Please add the link to your blog on the FB page ‘Friends of SOLEs and SOMEs. I am sure many of the other mediators as well as other friends would love to know what’s happening in the SOMEs!
Suneeta or Edna – what are the system constraints?
This is great! You have just realized what I had experienced personally all this time. Kids, irrespective of their origin, are similar and such interactions are indeed important in developing a global platform for communication and collaboration. Do share the posts of your students on this with me.
What a great happening! Maybe that’s where I’ll take my class blog commenting!! I’m off to investigate SOLEs & SOMEs on FB now!
I highlighted your post in my Daily Digest of Education related blogs today as I thought other teachers would find it of interest. You can see it here: http://bit.ly/aFxibR