Back in the Holyland- and the Laura Linkup

Well we are back in Israel for the summer after a rather weird journey back but first I want to pay my dues by writing up the wonderful linkup we did at the end of June between Danny’s Middle school kids and my friend Laura Shashua’s class of Middle school kids in Holon,Israel.It was Laura’s idea to do a joint lesson between the Chinese and Israeli students using Skype.So having discussed the content of such a class and preparing the kids for the meeting,the day arrived.It was logistically tricky due to the time difference and the original date was postponed because Laura’s class suddenly had their lesson cancelled,it finally took place in Danny’s last lesson ,before our trip to Chengdu.

Henry answers a question from Israel

We checked all the connections on the computer,had a dry run with no students and checked whether we could hear each other on the skype. The screens were not so clear,and the sound not so great but it was passable. WE had two Chinese English teachers with us, and there were twice as many Chinese students as Israelis. Never mind. When the bell rang we had two classes facing each other from across the globe. Laura had worked hard to prepare her kids,and they had a huge Israeli flag at the back of the room ,and the kids all had their names written on cards, in Hebrew and English.We quickly scrambled in Lin’an to find a Chinese flag and only found a small one,and made the kids name signs too.The plan was to have the kids ask each other questions about their lives,for the kids do demonstrate how to eat with chopsticks/knives and forks, and at the end to sing “My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean” together.

Danny and the students

The main thing that was clear was how shy the Chinese were compared to the Israelis.The Chinese kids were very reticent but we finally got a kid who was happy to ask and answer questions. We had the Israeli kids greet their friends with “Ni Hao!” and the Chinese respond with “Shalom!” there was plenty of waving and smiling, the food eating demonstration was partially marred by technical problems but the final rendition of “My Bonnie ” was a roaring success,and all in all we think it went pretty well.

Hopefully we can try this again in future.

Lin’an students show how to eat with chopsticks

7 thoughts on “Back in the Holyland- and the Laura Linkup

  1. The Israeli kids were thrilled with the lesson, despite all the technological hiccups. Where the Chinese kids were reticent, the Israelis all wanted to talk at once and were, well, Israeli! Great stuff, great fun!

  2. This seems like a very interesting and innovative concept to get students to get to know each others customs, lifestyles, ideas, etc. Hope you are able to arrange many more such Skype meets in the future!!! Both the students and the teachers would benefit from this exchange, I presume.

  3. looks wonderful! “kol hakavod” laura and danny and ruth! ( how do you say “kol hakavod” in chinese? someone should present this at ETAI

  4. Well we did it at 11am Israel time which was 4pm Xhina time. Danny’s class was an after school activity not a regular lesson.But you are right that the time factor prevented us from doing it with my university classes which were only in the morning.

  5. the 11a.m. = 4 p.m. connection sounds lucky! When we skyped the Eastern Coast, USA, we were tied to an 8a.m their time/ 3 p.m our time connection – something that was viable but needing maneuvering in order to ensure our students would be freed from other classes. With all the technical challenges, the experiments were frustrating at times, but so very worthwhile. The preparation and the final glimpses and sounds of the other students were highpoints in our year.- judih

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s