This evening I took a rare trip out of my office to St. Joseph High School to watch them connect to Kuo Kwang High School in Taiwan, yet another Read Around the Planet connection. St. Joseph High School is one of my newly independent schools. This year they are coordinating, testing and connecting all of their own RAP connections. I’m so proud of them, but letting go is hard! 🙂
The connection began with laughter and waves between the classes. St. Joseph High School started by showing a music video of the snow and ice on the beach of Lake Michigan. Each student introduced themselves and told a little about their interests.
It’s highly entertaining to watch kids interact with each other. Lots of nervous laughter.
After introductions, the students asked each other questions.
- How old are you?
- Do you have a school band?
- Do you have boyfriends?
- Do you like to go shopping?
- What languages do you learn in your school?
- Do you have school uniforms?
- How long is your school day?
- What kind of classes do you take?
Even high school students need coaching in the types of questions to ask to get an interesting answer other than yes or no. With international connections, learning to frame questions without colloquialisms or local jargon is also important.
Next the Taiwan students shared their video explaining Taiwan. They took a camera out on the town and taped shots of their school, shrines and temples, waterways, shopping, and more. Each video clip featured a teddy bear dressed up taking the tour. The video clips also included text at the bottom to make it easier to understand the students. While videos don’t always come through clearly on videoconferencing, it is one of the best ways for the other school to see what it’s like to live in your area.
The students in Taiwan are part of a videoconferencing club. Isn’t that a cool idea?
After watching their video, the students here had more thoughtful questions. Here’s an example:
- When we watched the movie, we noticed a lot of scenery is along the water. How do you value water?
The classes are going to write articles about their experience and then share them via email.
Unfortunately for you, this connection wasn’t on my bridge, so I couldn’t get any pictures. It was a real treat! Hope your RAP connections are going really well too!