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Field Placement Reflection (week 1)

meganholt's picture

            Last week my group had a Skype meeting with the co-director of Arise, to try to get a basic understanding of what our goals are for working with Arise.  It is a relatively new program and their website did not provide us with a significant amount of information about the formal structure or clear programs, goals, plans, and objectives of the company. So, we were hoping that talking with Mr. B. would provide us with that clarity that we were seeking. Some members of our group seemed to feel as though not much progress was made during the Skype call since he did not really provide us with any specific tasks or actions he wanted us to perform for him. However, I felt like this was an indicator in its own form; we are going to have to put just as much thought into generating projects and collaboration activities as Mr. B and his partner are. One of the things that we were able to get out of the Skype call was the importance of story telling in Ghanaian culture. So, we took this and ran with it when looking forwards and attempting to create a plan for our engagement in this exchange. We began brainstorming ways that we could use technology as a form of story telling and we played with the idea of that being the theme for one of Arise’s workshops. An idea that arose in Alice’s facebook conversation with Mr. B was the creation of introductory videos that could be shared between the participants in the workshops and us. We thought that this would be a perfect starting place that would tie in perfectly with our initial theme of story telling.

            I think that it is really easy to go into a situation like ours with the assumption that we, the American college students, are the educators that are looking to bring change to a culture or group of people who need our help in some way or another. However, I do not think that this is an appropriate approach. We have made sure to consider how we can learn from the Ghanaians in addition to how they can learn from us. Using the Ghanaian theme of story telling and applying our technology use, knowledge, and experience to it, is a perfect balance between these two ideas.

            We are all in the process of creating our introductory videos and hope to compile them together next week. Once the videos are complete, we will talk to Mr B about his visions for their use. We are hoping that the participants of the next workshop will have the chance to see the videos and possibly create their own in response to ours.