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10/02 Field Placement Reflection

mkasahun's picture

After speaking with Mr. B, the primary contact for Arise, Alice, and the rest of the group, we've been able to finally solidify some main ideas for our collaboration. In the beginning, it was evident that there needed to be some more conversations about finding a common ground between Mr B's vision for Arise and the group's vision for what we'd like to gain from the experience after the termination of the semester.

Google docs has made it easy for the group members to add, edit, or make suggestions for new ideas at the same time or during our personal time outside of class. We have also shared the document with Mr B to keep him updated on where we stand on the placement. It also gives him the opportunity to comment on our ideas which I believe will be very useful in the future.

Something that I've realized in group collaborations such as this one, it's important to have clear deadlines for nearly everything so that all participants can always be on the same page. With this in mind, we've added a "Weekly Goals" at the top of the page to add our placement homework. During conversations with Alice, Mr B revealed that he would like each of us to make a video introducing ourselves and our interests in Arise and education. We thought this was an efficient and easy way to share a bit more about ourselves, so we decided that the videos should be finished by Tuesday of next week.

As far as what our collaborations will look like throughout the semester, Mr B would like each of us to work with 4-5 students (24-30 students in the Ghana group total) and work on a digital storytelling type of workshop. He said that he will be having students sign up within the next week and should be able to give us solid numbers by sometime next week. Between now and then, it is important that we continue the Arise conversation going between Mr B and us to get some more concrete, practical ideas for the workshop he'd like us to participate in. Just within the group, we've talked about adding different kinds of social networking technologies that allow us to share stories such as Tumblr, Prezi, and WordPress. 

I think it would be lovely to work with the Ghanaian students' stories and be able to archive them online on a blog or something similar to that. I envision a Tumblr where we can share our stories as American (or international students studying in America) students and they can as Ghanaian students. It would be interesting to see the similarities and differences between our lives and theirs and vice versa. I think it would be a wonderful cultural experience to have; sharing stories and experiences through the Internet.

We had a bit of a rocky start in the beginning since there didn't seem to be much stability and structure but after having the conversations we had in the last week, things seem to be shaping up. I hope that we will be able to continue this pace as the semester progresses. 


SMarrie's picture

field reflection for week 2?

It has been two weeks now, and our group still has not actually started anything yet. I think this start has been slower than I anticipated. Apparently a plan was made on October 25th to set up a four-week workshop for bi-co and hop-in students to start communicating online through google docs and brainstorming, but I have not seen any collaboration or activity yet on our main google doc. I am not in the know regarding any change of plans, so if there is something I missed, then I'd love to catch up. Otherwise, I'm not sure what to reflect on if nothing has happened yet. I wonder when we will start discussing photo stories in class, because it seems like we are focusing on Minecraft at the moment. I wonder how we will be able to balance out our main class with this field work business if the field work keeps getting shafted until later and later. I'm still not sure when to communicate with those from Hop-in...

edtech2's picture

reflection on our fieldwork

      In the beginning we had a bit of a slow start until we made the initial contact with McCarthy via Skype. This initial contact was very important for we had many questions that needed clarifications from McCarthy. We wanted to understand what were their goals and needs and in what way are fitted in with our class objectives. My group and I had a few discussions about the form of the collaboration and the logistics of it, and also a few questions for Mr. McCarthy about Hopin academy. Mr. McCarthy talking to Alice suggested creating individual videos of ourselves with a small biography.  Finally we decided that we are going to help with their digital story telling workshop using some type of the social networking technology such as Prezi. Down the road we hope this collaboration to be efficient and very useful for both parties. Although we still need some solid ideas from McCarthy we are excited for the project and the different cultural exchanges between us.  I know that each one from the group is supposed to work with 4-5 students and that the Hopin academy has around 30 students who McCarthy hopes that they will sign up for the workshop. We will keep talking to McCarthy until we have something solid. Although I am not really adept with social networks and I am a bit fearful about my capabilities in using digital technology it is exciting to work with the Ghanaian students, to exchange stories and to teach each other.

alesnick's picture

respecting vulnerability

Thanks so much for this honest, thoughful post!  I am so appreciative of your willingness to try something new and make that into a learning experience not only for yourself as a learner but for yourself as a co-learner!  Negotiating issues of risk as well as opportunity online is important for each of us.  Let's stay in close touch as the process unfolds.  One thing to point out is that while Hopin might be obscure, the Web makes it less so.

SMarrie's picture

about our fieldwork

I wonder if I had contributed to that rocky start that you mentioned, since I was the only one who did not have a google account to join a google doc. Because of that, I asked if our leader could share the document in a way that I could still contribute. It worked for awhile, but then when I had to upload an introduction video for C, I could not do so unless I had a gmail account. Now I understand that in order to fully participate in this class, I HAVE to adapt to the technology that this curriculum employs. I did not want to start a gmail account, partly because I thought it was troublesome to have to make another email when I could just stick to my school email, and partly because I had a irrational fear of being traced by some anonymous stalker or the government if I had to give google my personal information (my mother warned me about such things). Though our leader commented that google did not ask for too much personal stuff, I still was afraid that using my real name and gender would put me in a vulnerable position on the internet (vulnerable to ads, to strangers, etc though there are systems put in place to prevent that). Though I don't plan to contact anyone outside of my group, it still somehow triggers a reaction within me-fear. I've read many articles about how scary it is to be a woman on the internet, and several prominent writers have gotten hate-mail/rape threats into their emails if they said something that the majority readership did not agree with (on certain issues like social justice/humanity). But I realize how silly my fear is, since we are only communicating with one obscure person from an obscure school for an obscure project. I am not some online journalist or anything. However, I can try to write and share stories with these Ghanaian students on a blog/video and experience what it is to exchange ideas and foster educational growth on our modern society. Anyway, I want to come to know and understand C and his own group through a series of communications online. Though it has been a slow start, I want to contribute and participate as much as I can, especially now that I have a gmail account. I don't want to feel vulnerable, and I wonder if the Ghanaian students have the same apprehension as I do for some internet uses. I'd love to hear their own stories and discuss our similarities and differences in a meaningful way. This experience as a whole will help me out of my comfort zone and my life will feel less like a bubble. I'm not much of a leader, so I'll follow whatever you or R says when we meet as a group. Whatever task that I am given, I'll always do it. I'm good at following directions.