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YLIP Week 1

edtech14's picture


One of our group's goals for this week was to learn how and where our pen pals were accessing technologies in order to have our conversations each week. My partner said that he currently borrows his friend's computer to talk, but his friend will be going to Denmark soon and Adam will have to then pay to use internet at an internet cafe in nearby Tamale. Our group also was hoping for each of us to set personal goals with our pen pals as well as expectations. Adam and I established that we would both like to learn more about each other's cultures and education systems. I told him that in America, we usually graduate high school around 17 or 18 years old. He informed me that there in Ghana, due to lack of funds, one can push back their high school graduation until their mid to late 20s. In fact, he graduated a few months ago at the age of 27, took his examinations to get into college, and says he will get the results by December or January. He has been working as an administrator for a local youth association for the past few years and wants to study government.

so what:

Now that we have started our back and forth, I feel that the ice is broken more than before and I have a clearer idea of his day to day life and the timeline of his education so far. 

now what:

Now that we have established goals and gotten to know each other better, next time, we can get straight into his plans for getting into tertiary education and how comfortable he feels about the journey. Also, I plan on opening up the floor to have him ask me more about American culture and education so that it is an equal exchange. I would have liked to have done this when we talked this morning, but the internet stopped working suddenly!

Although I have established goals with Adam, I feel that they are still quite open. Any advice for a more defined project that we could work on together?


alesnick's picture

Continue to focus on relationship-building!

This is a thoughtful post.  I urge you to slow down, though, and not "get straight into his plans."  You are just getting started.  Being too task or goal oriented too soon will not enable learning and trust to develop.  I wonder where your sense of haste is coming from.  What can we learn from this?