Reading Around the Planet with Taiwan

This evening I took a rare trip out of my office to St. Joseph High School to watch them connect to Kuo Kwang High School in Taiwan, yet another Read Around the Planet connection. St. Joseph High School is one of my newly independent schools. This year they are coordinating, testing and connecting all of their own RAP connections. I’m so proud of them, but letting go is hard! 🙂

The connection began with laughter and waves between the classes. St. Joseph High School started by showing a music video of the snow and ice on the beach of Lake Michigan. Each student introduced themselves and told a little about their interests.

It’s highly entertaining to watch kids interact with each other. Lots of nervous laughter.

After introductions, the students asked each other questions.

  • How old are you?
  • Do you have a school band?
  • Do you have boyfriends?
  • Do you like to go shopping?
  • What languages do you learn in your school?
  • Do you have school uniforms?
  • How long is your school day?
  • What kind of classes do you take?

Even high school students need coaching in the types of questions to ask to get an interesting answer other than yes or no. With international connections, learning to frame questions without colloquialisms or local jargon is also important.

Next the Taiwan students shared their video explaining Taiwan. They took a camera out on the town and taped shots of their school, shrines and temples, waterways, shopping, and more. Each video clip featured a teddy bear dressed up taking the tour. The video clips also included text at the bottom to make it easier to understand the students. While videos don’t always come through clearly on videoconferencing, it is one of the best ways for the other school to see what it’s like to live in your area.

The students in Taiwan are part of a videoconferencing club. Isn’t that a cool idea?

After watching their video, the students here had more thoughtful questions. Here’s an example:

  • When we watched the movie, we noticed a lot of scenery is along the water. How do you value water?

The classes are going to write articles about their experience and then share them via email.

Unfortunately for you, this connection wasn’t on my bridge, so I couldn’t get any pictures. It was a real treat! Hope your RAP connections are going really well too!

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About Janine Lim

Janine Lim is an Instructional Technology Consultant at the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency in Berrien Springs, MI. Her main focus is on distance learning via videoconferencing and online learning. She also trains teachers in technology integration in the classroom and maintains the SouthwestNet Distance Learning web site. Janine is a past President of TWICE, a Michigan K12 videoconferencing organization, and maintains the TWICE website. She is also the TWICE Read Around the Planet Verification Coordinator for 2007. She also writes a regular column for the MACUL newsletter and was a member of the MACUL board of directors 2001-2003.
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2 Responses to Reading Around the Planet with Taiwan

  1. Video Conference(Jordan Taiwan) says:

    Dear Sir/Madam;‎
    My name is Mohammad Hamdaqa I’m working as the IT manager in The School of life – ‎Jordan an international school of Her Highness Princess Areej Ghazi. We are interested to ‎have a video conference with students from Taiwan if you can help us achieving this goal.‎
    The School of Life – Jordan is a new international school founded in 2005 in Jordan and ‎managed directly by Her Royal Highness Princess Areej Ghazi. The School of Life – Jordan ‎is an idealist/realist private school, which cultivates reason and develops children’s ‎intellectual abilities. It has two major bodies of interest: ethical interests, based on Islamic ‎sciences, presented in an exciting method that emphasizes active student participation; and ‎knowledge interests, involving empirical data, factual information, speculative ideas, ‎mathematics, sciences, literatures, languages, and social sciences
    We prepare every child to meet the challenges of life beyond the classroom. One of our ‎programs in the school is “country of the week” we celebrate a country every week; by ‎contacting embassies here in Jordan, bringing flags and food from different countries, ‎representatives speak if available and trying to find schools from that county and contact ‎them via video conference. Every day in the assembly one of our teachers present a side of ‎the life in that country and at the end of the week we have a big party were our students ‎perform dances and give presentations about what they have learned, dressing that country’s ‎cultural dress and eating their traditional food and so on.‎
    This week we are celebrating Taiwan as the country of the week. We will be grateful if you ‎can help us making our students dream come true by meeting people form Taiwan.‎

    Also we want to celebrate the Pie (Math symbol) day with students from Taiwan if that ‎possible too so if we can make it two meeting this will be great.‎

    ‎ ‎
    Our students age between 6 and 11.‎
    And we are looking to make this video conference as soon as possible. Hopefully at the end ‎of this week.‎
    We are using Polycom VSX7000 through IP‎

    That’s all ‎
    Looking forward to hear from you soon…‎
    Sincerely Yours ‎
    Mohammad Hamdaqa

    My school email address: support@theschooloflife-jordan.com
    My personal email address: Mohammad_Hamdaqa@hotmail.com
    My mobile Number: +962777300586‎

  2. Janine Lim says:

    Hi Mr. Hamdaqa,

    I sent your contact information and this note to my contact in Taiwan. I’ll let them contact you to work this out.

    -Janine

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