"A dream you dream lonely, is just a dream... A dream we dream together is reality..."

Thank you, Adri

"We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open".
Harry Edwards

Thank you, Mahenaz

Aiea school slogan

"Let's feed our dreams and give strength to our connections!!! We can do it!!!"

Mahenaz Mahmud from Pakistan has now joined our discussion.

Adri: Hello, Mahenaz!!!
Your name sounds different here... I like it!!! I am very happy on being together with so special people, with so different habits and cultures. This kind of experience makes us more and more excited about learning each day.

As different people and countries, I would like to hear more from you and your experiences, mostly the ones whith computers... Could you talk about it, please???

Um beijo (A kiss)

Adri: (to Marilyn) It's night here... I arrived now from a long, long day... Patti knows how difficulties I face at school, from lack of vacancies, through lack of teachers and social problems inside the community. But the show must go on...

And it is funny how things become bigger than we could imagine because of the words we type, but mostly because of the feelings we have behind each one of them...

As the director of the school, I have my teacher as a team... not only a group... A group you can create just putting people together... A team you create by sharing objectives and thoughts, conquests and difficulties... A team is something much more exciting...

So, dear Marilyn, if my words coming from so far could achieve your mind and soul, by changing your humor, I feel myself very happy. It only happened because we understand the meaning of a team...

Patti knows it and that's why she is inviting each one to be here... Building bridges and making things happen...

Obrigada, amiga ("thank you, friend" in Portuguese) Um beijo ("a kiss")

Joy: Hello to Patti, Adriana, Mahenaz, Lars-Erik, and the Aiea complex team!

I am amazed that it was just last week when Darrel volunteered to start the discussion with Patti on our behalf. Today, we have friends from around the globe who are interested in helping us plan our summer adventure.

Patti, I must say, you are so dynamic. And this is just what I've learned from reading your e-mail. I can't wait to meet you; I'm sure your enthusiasm is contagious and you will "infect" our teachers and inspire them to reach out beyond their individual schools via the Internet. Thank you for spending your time to put our plans on the web for easy access for everyone. 8)

As Darrel and Marilyn have explained, technology coordinators fill various roles from teaching to trouble shooting to planning for the growth of technology at the school. This school year the complex technology coordinators have been meeting regularly to work on moving forward as a complex as well as in our individual schools. As we have seen from a week of e-mail dialogue collaboation in powerful.

We will be meeting face to face today to continue to plan our summer. I look forward to hearing all the ideas that have been generated due to the e-mail conversation that has been taking place.

Have a good Monday!
Joy Saito
Webling Elementary School

Mahenaz: Hello All!! "Asalam Alaikum"

I too am really excited about being able to talk to so many wonderful people around the globe. Its like a dream come true. Only I haven't really talked to you all yet. I am a bit overwhelmed and apprehensive about how I can contribute.

Perhaps I can start right here and tell you about what I do in Karachi, Pakistan. I work in a NGO called Teachers' Resource Centre (TRC). We run in-service teacher training workshops. We work with both private and public sector schools. Our mission is to change the learning experiences of children in the classroom. Most teachers in our schools teach children through lecture/rote methods. Quite painful!!

I have worked on small scale projects with teachers who work in our public sector schools which serve our low-income population. This work has been very rewarding.

Last year I got in touch with Patti. Eight girls from a govt. run school (with no electricity) began writing to her girls. Most of them had never seen a computer, learn only very stilted English from a text book which makes no sense to them. They used to write in Urdu, I'd translate, type and send. Soon we had them coming to our office and learning about computers, English and differences (through their correspondence). Their English reading and understanding improved remarkably when the interaction became meaningful.

One day I asked them "what do you think your friends in the U.S. must be doing right now?" They were surprised at my question. "they must be in school!" they replied matter of factly. "They must be asleep right now" I said. You should have seen their faces. I pointed out this learning opportunity to their teacher who accompanies them. I could go on. But I remember reading about long e-mail messages being impolite ;-)

I read about the AIEA (I still don't know what that stands for) slogans "where dreams come true" and it reminds me of a quote by Harry Edwards "We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open".

Khuda Hafiz

Patti: Mahenaz, tell us about these workshops. What kinds of topics do you cover with the teachers?

Mahenaz: We run workshops primarily for the pre-primary and primary levels. Topics range from Subject content to pedagogy. A few examples are Writing without tears, How children learn, Lets draw and paint, teachers are friends (this one was about child abuse), textbook -based activities for maths, classroom organisation. We also run workshops for school managements and offer workshop leaders training.

Patti:I think your mission is the same as ours. What strategies are your giving to your teachers? How does technology play a role.

Mahenaz: Mainly project work, group discussions for kids, the use of manipulatives. No, technology does not play a part as yet. :-(

Patti: Would you tell us about some of these projects?

Mahenaz: I worked with 30 teachers from 10 schools. Ran workshops for them and then used to visit each teacher in her school to support her in implementing the ideas, activities explored during the workshops. I could write an entire document on this, have been aiming to for a long time. I will try and get something more to you all if you like.

A lot of our public schools do not have proper toilet facilities or drinking water. You will be amazed at how we even function.

Patti: You took a computer (or maybe just the keyboard? I can't remember) toshow them what one looks like, didn't you?

Mahenaz: Yes, that's right. And then I had them coming to TRC to work on their own. However, it used to take too long the time issue again. New skills, translating from Urdu to English, spellings etc. We did not have enough computers for all to work simultaneously and they had to get back to their schools in about 1 hour.

Patti: You sent their messages to my girls yourself, didn't you? You still do, yes?

Mahenaz: Yes, we don't have Internet facilities at TRC yet. We are an NGO (non-profit) and manage on international donor agency funds and private donations. We are however exploring this avenue now. So yes, I do all this from home. Sometimes late at night or early in the morning like today. Only it isn't so early anymore and I must rush to do my remaining morning chores.

Khuda Hafiz, Abracos e beijos, Shalom, Mahalo Nui Loa, and God Bless. mahenaz

Patti: When we apply for grant money we usually need to include parents in the overall scheme of things.

Mahenaz: Aloha, Asalam Alaikum, Shalom, Bom dia, Hej to All

In Karachi, only a fraction of the privately run schools have computers. These are unfortunately used very formally, and that too mainly at the secondary level. I know of only one school that has Internet and am thinking of getting them interested in Kidlink.We certainly need some workshops here for parents and teachers to "show" them the real learning that takes places via the Net. So no, parents are not really included.

Patti: What strategies do you use to help teachers find their curriculum objectives in projects where you might not think they are?

Mahenaz: I can just hear our teachers talking about "time". During our workshops for teachers just talking about projects and integrated learning sets them off on the time issue. How will we complete our syllabus if we get involved in all this activity!! It is not easy changing one's conceptual framework, teachers will take time to get comfortable with new ideas. But that is not a good enough reason not to try.

Teachers here would perhaps see involvement in projects as extra-curricular; not as something that meets their curriculum objectives. My stance would be, Fine, lets get started, treat them as extra-curricular and gradually help them see how these projects are part of the REAL learning. Its learning by doing for us teachers too.

Good Luck,

Joy: Greetings to everyone in the discussion!

Yesterday, when the Aiea Complex tech cadre met to plan the summer experience with Patti we had a great sharing of ideas and made a few decisions. Here is a summary:

  1. The workshop will be called ACES (Aiea Complex Electronic Solutions) - featuring Patti Weeg of KIDLINK.
  2. The workshop will run Monday through Friday 8 am - 4 pm.
  3. We'd like participants to have daily contact with Patti. Perhaps 2 hours in the morning. Longer on Monday since this is the first day. We know Patti will infect everyone with her enthusiasm and positive attitude and energize them for the day ahead! 8) We have topics we would like Patti to address during her morning sessions:
    1. What is Kidlink?
    2. How do teachers make global connections?
    3. What is ThinkQuest?
    4. How to manage with just 1 computer.
    5. How to include parents.
    6. Examples of interdisciplinary projects.
  4. Tuesday through Thursday after the morning with Patti, participants would work independently or in teams on projects or units that they brought with them.
  5. Visitations of the SummerQuest schools would be one way participants could spend their independent study time.
  6. Assignments would be given throughout the week to keep the participants online and active. For example, participants would be required to log-in daily to the ACES listserv. Online time would be a workshop requirement.
  7. On Friday, participants would work independently in the morning. The total group would gather for lunch and for a sharing session. Each school participating would share something from their independent study time. For example, schools might share a bookmark list or a unit plan with online connections.
  8. A listserv for ACES would be started prior to the start of the workshop. This would allow easy access to Patti and help participants keep in touch with what is happening. It would also allow us to poll participants about their needs.
  9. The cost to participants would be $15.00 - a non-refundable payment for administrative costs.
  10. Joy will get a master of the registration flyer to all school tech coordinators by Wednesday 3/11 so distribution to teachers could occur Thursday and Friday 3/12 - 13.
Aiea Complex, if I forgot to mention anything please add.

Have a good Tuesday!

Joy Saito
Webling Elementary School
Aiea Complex

Adri: Hello, Joy!!! It's not easy, mostly when we have good ideas and strenght to go on and on... I am as unlucky as you, but I didn't give up. I work with pairs, trying to make the first ones to be capable on helping me later. It's because I have other things to do, as the director of the school. Wher these 4 children are OK, they become my "young teachers" and help the others. We create other pairs, with one who knows and the other who don't. They become more independent and can use the machines even if I can't stay there all the time.

But I will cry, showt, pray... and the authorities will send us more machines... Yes, they will!!! What about your chances of crying too???

Patti: In what ways are parents included in your school technology plans?

Adri: No. They aren't. They are inside other parts of our work. They participate and have space on meetings and decisions, but technology isn't somethinf official yet at my school, so we had no time and opportunity of sharing it with parentes. Unfortunately...

Patti: When we apply for grant money we usually need to include parents in the overall scheme of things.

Adri: Parents? Money??? No... one thing doesn't belong with the other here...

Patti: What strategies do you use to help teachers find their curriculum objectives in projects where you might not think they are?

Adri: Interdisciplinarity. This is the key. It happened with me this week. I decided to participate on Math Puzzles, but our school is studying (together) the new rules of transit... So, we joined both... Sometimes, it's easy... others not... But, if the teachers trust on you and with a few of creativity, you link things. It makes things easier to children. They understand things better...

I hope I could help you.

Uma beijoca