Cross Post: Sometimes the best connections are the ones you already have #coetail


Image by the author

My Year 4 class is currently inquiring into sharing the planet. ‘The opportunities in communities can be changed by the actions of others.’  The children go to an international school in Singapore. They live within the bubble of school and also within the bubble of Singapore. One of the challenges in planning this unit is that the children’s perspective of lives different from their own is somewhat limited.

As a result, I asked the class if they wanted to get in touch with my friend Kate. Who lives in Malawi and is working in development.

“Can’t we just skype her…”

One of the first challenges that we faced was that internet access in Malawi is not the same as Singapore. Already the children are wondering the need for asking question questions via text to be emailed. The children researched about Malawi online to ensure they were asking questions that were ungoogleable, ones that would lead to rich discussions rather than ones they could quickly find the answer.

“Wow they didn’t have water for 2 days.”

It is small things like this that we take for granted in the developed water that are clearly not the same in the developing world.


“Hey can we send her some letters?”

Oh mail service isn’t so good.

Would the learning have been as rich if they had not been able to ask questions?

Would the engagement have been the same if they just watched a video on youtube?

Connectivisim starts at the base level from the premise that children need to interact with content, it’s an active process not a passive one.

from Teaching the Teacher

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