At the inception of my Traveling Teacher project, a core motivation was to see just how far mobile technologies could reach. If an iPad2 can hold a battery charge for 10 hours, is it possible to conduct iPad video workshops in remote villages where there was no electricity? Could the iPad and a little technology education be all that was needed to provide people living in remote regions of the world an opportunity to tell their own stories to the world, to add their voices to the Global Discussion? In late March, I was given the opportunity to find out: I was invited to travel to the far north of Thailand to the Mae La Oon Burmese refugee camp. After a week of preparations, I had secured a camp pass, hired a driver, and found myself staring out the dusty window of a Toyota 4WD, looking out at the scrub covered dry earth, pondering, once again, how many different experiences people in this world have. And how many different stories they have to tell…. Continue reading
Any long term traveler will tell you: Skype is a Lifeline to Home. Long gone are the days of expensive, barely audible overseas phone calls. Now, most travelers carry laptops with built-in cameras through which they can see and hear and laugh with their friends and family 1/2 way around the world. But, I was shocked recently by just exactly HOW FAR Skype could reach, and how effortlessly Second Graders born AFTER the invention of Skype could involve themselves in the process…
GUEST BLOG POST:
Rodrigo Solórzano, international writer and music composer, joined the Traveling Teacher for a 5-day Tell Your Own Story Project at Burmese Refugee Primary School 42 near Mae Sot, Thailand. He led 8 students in a unique musical and digital photography project. He shares his experience with us…
It appears as a natural pact, an unbreakable edict: the bigger the pain, the bigger the appreciation for the simplest experience. Continue reading
When I was a young girl, my father used to tell me that even the Queen of England had to sit on the toilet. It wasn’t meant to teach me about the bodily needs of the Queen, but rather to impress upon me that regardless of outer appearances, we are all much more similar than we are different. This thinking has remained with me and been a guiding principle as a traveler, and has in part been the emphasis for a new YouTube video collection Continue reading
While in a minivan taxi to the Malaysian border back in January, I met a fellow traveler from Spain. After sharing my experiences of teaching video production to students in Cambodia, Jose told me about a Spanish organization that collaborates with Burmese refugee schools in northern Thailand. Perhaps they might be interested in having some of their students participate in a similar project, he suggested. Several emails and two months later, I arrived in the border town of Mae Sot, home to an estimated 200,000 refugees, to meet with Mery Viladecas Pascua and Javier Garcia from Colabora Birmania about offering a ‘Tell Your Own Story Project” video workshop to students at School 42KM.
Recently, I wrote about the power of music to bring students together around the globe. I had just visited with Marching Band Students at the St. Xavier Institution in Penang, Malaysia. During my visit, the students treated me to a performance of the traditional Malaysian Angklung. It seems to have started an Angklung Playing Craze during the past few months…
It inspired Sparta Alpine School Band teacher Patricia Curtis to introduce her students to the Angklung.
Months ago, I was telling my friend Charla about my trip and my desire to collaborate with teachers and students worldwide with the goal of bridging the growing Digital Divide. She gave me the contact info for Lori Carlson in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Last week, I arrived in Cambodia and fished Lori’s email address out of my backpack. After a brief email exchange, I tracked her down at the Ponheary Ly Foundation house to learn about her work with the local schools… Continue reading
I stood in front of Tsentuya’s English class at School 23 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia as she explained that I was a teacher visiting from the United States. After the quick introduction, I asked the students if they had any questions. A boy seated at the back of the room raised his hand, tilted his head, and inquired: “Before you came to Mongolia, what did you know about Mongolia?”
I laughed. He knew my story… Continue reading