I am very excited about this unique opportunity that LINEglobal is providing me and the teachers at my school. We all fall prey to stereotypes. I became most aware of this when I viewed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s must-see TED Talk, The Danger of a Single Story. Through her talk, I realized that some of my understandings about world cultures were through the lens that history books, news stories and some personal accounts provided me. I have done some traveling but mostly to Europe. South America and Africa are “foreign” to me. My view, much like a lot of people, was limited. This is why LINEglobal is so invaluable to an educator’s growth on India. LINEglobal raises cultural awareness by connecting American educators with schools in India for an authentic learning opportunity. LINEglobal believes that part of that authentic learning experience is through actually experiencing India and visiting schools. Last year, LINEglobal’s founder, Rekha Puri, took teachers and administrators on a 2 week trip to India to visit different kinds of schools. While there, teachers and administrators at The Oberoi International School hosted the first ever Ed Camp Mumbai, organized by Karen Blumberg and LINEglobal with a keynote by Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer at Museum of Metropolitan Art. Amani Reed, TSC’s Head of School, also attended this very special professional development and currently serves on LINEglobal’s Advisory Board.
Our education begins with the curricular activities TSC and Oberoi IS teachers design. What will make this exchange more authentic? Connections to school around the world sometimes look like this: students Skype with other classes in other countries and usually say hello and ask a few questions about demographics. We are going to expand on this trend and create a deeper, richer, understanding by creating curricular activities that allow students to learn together. Students in Kindergarten and 1st Grade will be developing understandings about each other’s lives through identified integrated curricular activities. The first learning exchange is through a math unit on Venn Diagrams. Students in both schools are learning how to collect data and plot the data into a Venn diagram. The students at Oberoi International School are using their study on sustainability to collect data and create Venn Diagrams to classify the data it receives from home and TSC. TSC students will have an opportunity to do the same. In addition, teachers are collaborating to design the culminating product: an ebook made together that will be shared internationally! We look forward to blogging about our experiences here. Teachers are discussing over Skype which online tools like Skype, Google Hangout, email, and announcement posts on a shared website, will allow for the most genuine learning platform. Also, our teachers will have the unique life-changing professional development of going to India in March 2015 to create lasting relationships through LINEglobal. And we will share our process and stories right here. So please come back often!