Preparing them for tomorrow

What kinds of jobs await these 6 year olds? How can we prepare them for technologies that aren't even a dream yet? ...We cultivate "problem solvers."
Darrel: Adriana, Thank you for joining our discussion and sharing the inspiring things that you are doing with your teachers and students. As I follow and try to contribute to or discussion, I feel the need to pinch myself to make sure I'm not in some wonderful dream where we have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with outstanding educators from around the world!

Mahalo Nui Loa (Thank you very much!)

Darrel Galera
Aiea Elementary

Adri: About dreaming... I understand your thoughts... Sometimes it seems we are fighting against everybody, trying to offer the best conditions, the real structure that Education needs... Sometimes the authorities close their eyes and forget that the future isn't something hidden anywhere. The future we build today... Sometimes we feel no strength inside and we almost give up... But children's smiles, their eyes shining and our souls makes things different... And we go on and on...

That's why we are here... That's why we do not give up. That's why we look for partners so far away... To try to find ourselves, to share our hopes and pains...

I am happy because we are not alone!!! Muito obrigada! (Thank you very much!)
Uma beijoca! (A little kiss)

...and we are not alone...

Patti: Darrel summarized some of our ideas and one of them is the concept of global collaboration:

Sharing opportunities for making connections with many others around the world - I think this should be a requirement of our summer training - each teacher would have to make specific connections with another classroom or teacher that they would have to follow up with throughout the school year - interactivity and communication and collaborative problem solving are "must have" activities that we need to bring into all of our classrooms.

We now have with us Adri from Brazil and Mahenaz from Pakistan. With your permission I will continue to invite colleagues from other parts of the world to share ideas with us. In a real sense our planning is a true model of what we want the teachers in the Aiea Complex to do. Even our web page models the value of making a resource available for all.

While engaging in dialogue with friends from around the world there are so many, many learning opportunities. As "instructional designers" (Judi Harris's words) we can choose to grab these opportunities and use them to enrich everyone. Since Adri and Mahenaz are here I will use examples that involve them and their location in our round world.

I wrote to Adri and mentioned that I will be in Hawaii this summer. ;-) She reminded me that it is *my* summer. Of course, of course. I *do* know better. Seasons mean very little in our world of two hemispheres. Terms such as "next school year" are vague because Adri just started her school year again in Brazil. When planning projects we need to take this into consideration. What is the best time frame for all involved?

When Mahenaz first wrote and asked if my students would write to hers she also asked that only my girls write - not the boys. It is not culturally appropriate in Pakistan for my boys to write to her girls. Of course we understood (I did but my students asked questions - learning opportunity!) Her students didn't write to us during Ramadan and my girls were sad. Another learning opportunity. I'll let Mahenaz tell you about that one. It is more involved than simply a religious observation. It also has to do with how technology can divide as well as bring together. Who gets to use the computers in your school?

Pam: Team, I have been reading the dialogue that has been going on between Adri, Mahenaz, Patti, Darrel and our Aiea Complex teachers. As I lurk in the shadows still unsure of whether the "waters are safe to swim" I see now what I could not see before. I understood in concept what you were describing as the potential of "linking ideas", but to see it in action is a whole 'nother story.

I love the real learning opportunities that develop from the cultural differences. I see how the experiences are so much richer when you understand different prospectives and yet work for the same end! I am excited you have already enriched my learning. Look forward to working with you all.