Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Almost Fell off the Flat World

On Feb 24, 2009, I believe I almost fell off an increasingly flat world.

It started late in the afternoon when students in our missionary society at
St. Christopher's School, were engaged in a video skype session with Toorak College in Australia about the bushfires in Victoria. However, before the session started, @jennyluca and I struggled to get our skype connection up and running. As we continued to try and get skype to function, we utilized Twitter to post our status to each other should the connection fail. Well, someone was looking out for us because right before our planned start time, skype started working.

So how did it go?

Words cannot describe what a wonderful opportunity it was for our boys to hear firsthand from our Aussie friends. All of the speakers from Toorak did such a fabulous job in conveying the situation in Victoria that I believe our boys were able to take in the true essence of the magnitude of the catastrophe.

On a purely educational slant, there were many cross curricular items that our boys were able to glean.
  • Word choice and spelling-English spelling versus American English taken from Australian Newpapers
  • Time zone differences-Toorak was a day ahead and we spoke to them at 8am to our 4pm
  • Use of the metric system: celsius for temp, km for distance, mm for rainfall. I used to teach science
  • Geography
  • Biomes
  • Wildlife: gotta love the question about comparing deer to kangaroos
  • Flora
Now what?

Our missionary society is now brainstorming all sorts of ideas on how they can best be a part of the global effort to help those in need. When their work is complete, I will follow up.

It really is a holy time of year in the christian calendar.
It was Ash Wednesday when we spoke to Toorak yesterday and today it is Ash Wednesday for us.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a valuable and exciting experience, Hiram. I suppose once you've made the connection with another school, it's more likely to continue. Connecting in person is different to reading about something, for sure. I'll be looking out for further developments, and wondering how and when I could jump in and make global connections here. Have to admit, I'm always worried about technical hitches, and what I would do if something went wrong.