EDM 310 Class Blog

Saturday, March 26, 2011


This week I have been keeping up with the class blog of Room 8 of Melville Intermediate School in New Zealand. Their teacher is...and they are grade..
Some of the projects posted on the blog chronicle the students learning experiences with new cultures, music, art,...
The students follow a class blog of the Vonsklid School in Denmark. They posted things like a presentation that compared and contrasted their two different countries and cultures. They noticed that one of their favorite school-yard games, handball, is the national sport of Denmark. The game is played a bit differently in both countries but they posted a video demonstrating how they play the game. 
They also hosted a school from Japan as part of a cultural exchange program and put together a traditional ceremony for them.  I would love to be the type of teacher that advocates this kind of interaction between different cultures and learning experiences through being part of such an event.  There is no better way to experience another culture than through first-hand experience! I can remember my summer in Europe as a student-ambassador in high school and, being the nerd that I am, realizing that I was experiencing "the ultimate head-fake" as the late professor Randy Pausch would say.  I was learning but in such a real, up-close way, and through such interaction with the world around me that I was immersed.  I didn't even know I was learning until I was asked for my journal or to answer questions or things like that.
So this week I had to comment on Room 8's class blog. I commented on the video on handball.  To me, this was also an "ultimate head fake".  This school posts videos, pictures, etc. of tons of their projects so these kids are becoming familiar with the use and creation of such things.  They also already enjoy handball.  To combine technology and a familiar aspect of what you are learning is sheer genius! The kids seem to be having fun playing handball and thinking about the other school in Denmark, and how they might play the game. Do they even notice that they are learning to make social comparisons? I commented on how great it was that were following the class blog of the Vonsklid school in Denmark and how much I would have enjoyed such an assignment in my younger days. I pointed out how, back then we used to have to write letters to students from other cultures. I bet some of you reading this can remember having pen pals and being so impatient for their letters to come in the mail to your school. I asked how many of them still wrote letters and then moved on to talk more about our different cultures before concluding with a thank you for the experiences they have shared in their blog.  I think I would still like to follow Class 8 of Melville Intermediate School's Blog even though my assignment to comment on their blog and keep up with what they are learning is now accomplished for this week. I would like to keep learning with them and I pray their knowledge of the world grow because they may one day be the very ones who can change it.  :)

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