Some of the most satisfying sessions I’ve had as a Cloud Granny interacting with the Indian kids through the School in the Cloud program, have been when kids emerged as communicators and leaders and when kids engaged with kids.
So I loved the session yesterday in which my Grade 5 group in Phaltan (Maharashtra) connected with my Grade 6 group in Delhi, because I had accidentally double booked my sessions. Despite bandwidth issues, we managed a three-way connection, although I turned off my camera and only dipped in and out to observe now and again. The two groups sang and danced for each other, they communicated by texting as well as talking and a good time was had by all (or so I thought.)
Both groups exploring art last week (separately)
Initially my impression of the big ideas from the session were:
- Step back and let the learning happen.
- Two groups of children in different places can figure things out together.
- It can be surprising which kids take the lead, when given the opportunity.
But at one point I got a text message from Phaltan saying ‘We want to talk to Edna Granny’ and later, Madhura, the coordinator, shared that when she looked in towards the end, the kids were getting bored because nothing was happening. So I need to add these messages:
- Students need a voice in deciding on the learning experience.
- Be prepared to abandon your plan in response to student needs.
- There is a fine line between letting go and knowing when to step in.
On reflection, watching the videos, I realise that when the Phaltan group became disengaged, the other group was searching for the music for their dance. So maybe I should add:
- Be careful of making assumptions.
- Communication is vital.
Not a session goes by with that doesn’t teach me something about the children, about their world, about learning or about myself. I just discovered these reflections from six years ago, when I first got involved in the magic…