Monday, November 07, 2005

Student reflections on Social Issue discussion:

HS students from Tremper HS, Kenosha WI & Plainedge HS in NY met via videoconference and discussed social issues (see previous posting). Mr. McKim asked students the following question:

What was the value of the videoconference with Massapequa? What was good about it? What would you change next time?

The following are comments received:

I learned we were very much alike… It was great to interact with them and see how our schools were the same and to see how they were different. Next time, I would want it to be longer, or do this more often. Christine

… no matter where you are, things are pretty much the same everywhere. I think it was a really cool experience. It was like were were right there with them even though we were a few hundred miles away. Leah

I thought it was great to learn about another school, to interact with kids our age from somewhere I’ve never heard of before in my whole life.

It seemed like they had a little more flexibility over there. As the conference went on, I noticed how both sets of students were really quite alike. If I could change anything- I’d like smaller groups … to know each other better. Joe

I got to see how teenagers from a different living style acted and behaved. I think we should have done it more to build up relations and become more open about subjects. The facilitator interjected too much. Karl

… we could talk to other students across the country and discuss things. It was interesting to see how we are different and alike and in what ways.

I wish it could have been longer. Michelle

It showed that although we’re from a different part of the country, we still are generally the same. Nikki

I wouldn’t change anything-

It wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would be. Tremper is lucky to be able to afford all the activities that are paid for. Rachel
*** Note: Plainedge HS has had ALL extra-curricular activities cut due to budget constraints. Only athletics are available.

I think the videoconference was a good idea- but nothing got done. It should have been up to the students and what we wanted to talk about- I didn’t like the facilitator’s comments.
I actually liked the videoconference. They are similar to us. It was interesting that a lot of them don’t have jobs but have cars because their parents gave them money. Emily

I think it was an awesome experience. It was kind of cool to be sitting in our classroom and talk to others in a totally different state. I’d change how we had to watch what we said and not have to be so careful with noises that were made in the background.

I really enjoyed the videoconference with the kids from New York. It gave us a sense of their lifestyles and it gave them a sense of ours. I wish more teachers would do more of this but I guess only a teacher as cool as Mr. McKim can do something as sweet as that.

I wouldn’t change anything- Paul

Next time (per STUDENT requests):

more outlined topic
arrange chairs better
don’t give the remote to a student
more prepared
ask more questions
make it more scripted. Assign different people to answer questions and stick to it.
more time
Don’t have teachers in the room so we can talk about whatever we wanted
could have been more organized

Live and learn! This was a great group with lots of energy and unafraid to dive in. Thanks to both Mr. McKim & Mr. Abrams for your interest and dedication to your students!

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