Guest post by Year 6 students, Liat, Isabella, Rebekah and Talia. For more details, see my post ‘More similar than different…’
We spoke on Skype to kids in India!
At the beginning there were only three of them but near the end, the room gradually filled up and they were all very interested.
We found out that they love soccer, sweet food and fire-crackers. (for Diwali). We asked them what they eat and they said they eat Laddu which is made of rice powder and other things. They said they mainly eat dried food. We think this could be because they may not have fridges.
We showed them our currency and they showed us theirs, which has Mahatma Gandhi on it. They said the paper is special paper imported from Europe.
We mentioned that Liat likes singing they asked us to sing, so we sang them a song and they sang us one! We asked them if they play musical instruments and they said they play harmonium and drums. Rebekah plays the guitar and they said they have the sitar and they want Rebekah to bring her guitar next time we speak.
Next session: Today we played two songs for them on Rebekah’s guitar and sang, which they said that they enjoyed. One even asked us how much a guitar costs. They taught us some words in Marathi, which is their home language.
I thought that this was an awe inspiring experience because when you think of Indian kids you think of starving children wearing rags, but once we got to know them we found that we were similar to each other in a lot of ways and I found myself connecting with them on a deeper level. I also found that once I had talked to them for a while I felt that my whole opinion on how they acted had changed from ‘they are sad’ to ‘they are happy’.
I thought it was a really interesting thing to do. I found that they had really good English when you wouldn’t think they would be able to speak to us at all. We had so many things in common like what music we like and what games we play. They all like to speak to us and they all want to tell us different things and they scream out to tell the boy who speaks the most English what to type and then he translates what we reply.
I enjoyed talking to the Indian kids, not particularly to learn our differences but mainly to discover all the similarities. Most of them can speak a lot more English than we thought and understand everything we say. What was very interesting was how they knew some of our songs and we didn’t know any of theirs. They were very positive about everything and never told us they disagreed. Talking to them was great because while knowing that we could understand each other, we still had enough differences to keep up our conversation.
I think it’s great that we (Australians) can talk to people in India. I find it even better that it’s led by children, because it can help us with our inquiry. It’s a good idea that we can interact with children of a different culture and find out about them in this way.
21 thoughts on “Connecting with kids in India…”
Thank you for following up the other post. It’s great to read the comments. We can’t legislate for this sort of learning can we?!
Wow! You really make wish I was there to watch too. You managed to capture the enthusiasm on both sides of the world. Congratulations and well done. It really is a small world these days isn’t it?
I really love the reflections shared by your students, particually Isabella’s comment: “I enjoyed talking to the Indian kids, not particularly to learn our differences but mainly to discover all the similarities”. Some very powerful learning and the breaking down of prejudice going on here.
VERY COOL! I teach 6th graders also and would love to do something similar. Would you be willing to share contact info or help with getting in contact with someone who may be willing to Skype with my class? Thanks.
Wow, this is so interesting. Such fun for the children to intereact with each other. It certainly stimulates their curiosity.
Neat reflections and responses from the students. I am amazed at the way technology is constantly breaking down cultural barriers and helping us to realize our shared humanity. Your students experienced that in a beautiful way. Thanks for making us all a part of it!
What a fabulous experience for your students!
Hello Rebecca, Liat, Isabella, and Talia! Good to know that you’ve been talking to kids from India. I’m even more glad to observe that you have been able to identify many similarities and got to dispel some of your misconceptions.
Learning can happen at its full potential only when the learners are able to visualize things. You have just realized this in your experience. Today’s technology has enabled us to break physical barriers and connnect with our peers at a global level. Such connections will lead to a scenario of global collaboration and mutual understanding, which is the key for a brighter tomorrow. Keep up the conversation and you won’t believe how much is in store for you!
Hi Rebekah, Liat, Isabella, and Talia! I’m amazed by the maturity of your observations. I think you have learned a lot from this enquiry and have had fun too!
What I wondered was if you think you are typical of all Australian children and are the Indian children you spoke to typical of their country? In what ways might you or they be representative or not representative?
I do not think that I am a typical Australian because I go to a private school and the majority of Australian children go to a public school.
I think we are representative through our culutre. Currently they are in the Diwali festival, and they would tell us about it or we would ask them questions about it, because some things they do are not what we would do. And if we have to leave the session, we would explain why and it might be different to them because of our different cultures.
Thank you for your replies, Talia and Rebekah. So what you are saying is that in some ways you are typical of Australian students and in other ways you are quite different. I think you are right. It will be the same in India. It is important not to assume that the children you connect with, with their good level of English and access to technology, are typical of all Indian children.
I am writing in Marathi langvge
अप्रतिम जग आता एका क्लिक वर आले देशा देशातील दूरी ही नवीन पिढी या माहीती तंत्रद्यानाच्या मदतीने नक्की दुर करेल याची मला खात्री आहे. तसेच मोठी माणास ही संकुचित व्रुत्तीची असतात लहानाना त्याची पुसटही कल्पना नसते मित्रा सताना माझ्या खुप खुप शुभेच्छा ! की हा सोल त्यांच्या कल्पनेतून साकारत आहे
I just received a translation…
Its a wonderful, incomparable world. at one click the new generation is doing away with the barriers between nations with the help of new technology. older people have more limited attitudes, that youngsters don’t even have an idea of [the barriers]. Best wishes to Mitra Sir that the SOLEs are coming into play through his vision
Suneeta Kulkarni: By the way, this comment was put in by the school teacher who is most involved, Attar… he’s the computer and Maths teacher…. became the computer whiz at school thanks to Sugata’s Hole in the Wall and the interest he showed in it that Sugata reinforced.
I’ m from india and most people have fridges. Just to clear that. 🙂 We eat dry fruits like almonds , cashew nuts , dates, figs which are quite expensive really. Indian mothers do not keep packets of crisps in the cupboards! I am ready to skyp but being in Africa, find it hard to connect with most schools during school hours.
Epals is agreat place to find other schools to skype with!
Yes, we do know that 🙂
But these children are discovering and uncovering learning for themselves and breaking down misconceptions through their interactions.
This interaction is part of the SOLES project which you can see more about here, if you’re interested http://bit.ly/94Zc6r
Twelve year olds, members of eBalajanasakhyam (www.ebalajanasakhyam.com) teach English online. They earn while they learn too. Technology today is empowering even the marginalized.