Building bridges for the future through collaborative projects
I don’t believe my learning was that “flat” until I started my sociology class. Before that, I just stayed in the classroom and spoke to the teacher and the students there. We stayed in the school for the full 8 hours, and didn’t often get to go out into the world. What we did online was with the other students in the class, and never with another school.
Honestly, nothing was that “new and exciting” for this project, at least for me. Despite my limited experience with in-class international interactions, I have met and chatted with quite a few people around the world. I have my friend Adéla in the Czech Republic, and Jen in Germany. I have Ruqaiyah in Maryland and Taryn in Australia. The only thing new was the website we used and what we did, and the fact that I was doing it in school, with school obligations and grades.
Going into the website, it drastically effects how we interact. The teachers are all about keeping our information private, but with these restrictions it also limits how we can speak and if we can befriend these people that we’re working with. It’s also fairly frustrating because you know that everyone is doing everything because they are being graded on it, so there’s really no genuine interactions between people. I don’t know who I’m working with beyond their names and the country they come from. What kind of connection is that?
I feel like all schools should be more open and willing to interact with each other, but I also think that there shouldn’t be so restrictive. They go into why we can’t do one thing or another, but then are confused as to why we don’t make actual connections. I make friends with authentic people, and not those who go along with every single rule. By High School, most if not all of us are aware what is safe online behavior. Not only does these types of interactions need to be more lenient, but they should also make use of what’s already out there in the ways of technology, instead of using a dated website with Comic Sans titles and a strange navigation. (No offense to whomever made this website, in my eye as someone who has worked with website building, it's really dated.) Use sites that are already up and allow people to easily connect and chat.