|Delfites of Class X, get face to face with students from The Hollins Technology College, UK. |
Discuss the global issues of environment and understand each others’ perspective on the issue.
Ms. Kristen Looney (Kristen Looney) Reflection
It was a pleasure facilitating your videoconference today. Thank you for preparing your students to discuss the complex issue of the environment. Our VC today covered several issues including air and water pollution, global warming, personal motivations to protect the environment, and school programs that are promoting stewardship. I hope your students enjoyed the VC and learned a great deal from one another. Following are my reflections from the VC, but the Face to Faith team is equally interested in knowing your thoughts. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey at the end of this email.
Highlights of the Video conference:
· Students began the VC by reflecting on a time when they experienced the beauty of nature. We heard a variety of experiences – from exploring the mountains in India to discovering untouched nature in Bulgaria, skiing in the pristine mountains in France, to wanting to protect a sapling from being trampled in the marketplace and enjoying the lovely breeze while walking in the park. Reflecting on these experiences set the stage for discussing the current environmental crises in each community.
· Students at DLPS talked about several issues facing their immediate community: water pollution, air pollution from the factories, litter and noise pollution. They also talked about the negative impact of these issues on the community: health problems, including asthma from air pollution and hepatitis from unclean water; and melting glaciers from global warming. Students at The Hollins talked about the impact of global warming – warmer weather has brought serious flooding to areas around the country. One student talked about the smell of garbage which impacts the community. Another student said that there are laws that make it illegal to pollute waterways, however, she believes that companies pay the fines instead of making changes to their policies and practices.
· Several students talked about the great work their schools are engaged in: eco council at school, recycling programs, educating the public through street plays and planting trees. One student said that despite all the things that they do, ‘I don’t think our school does enough.’
· Towards the end of the VC, I encouraged students to think about what inspires them to take care of the environment. Students offered a variety of motivations: One DLPS student talked about the sacredness of trees and how important it is to protect them. Another student said that she was inspired by watching Al Gore’s film. Another student said that seeing the changes in the environment year to year is enough to motivate him to work for change. One student at the Hollins said that he can’t imagine not having a world without some of the animals that are on the endangered species list. This motivates him to make sure other generations have the same opportunities that he has.
· At the end of the VC, students reflected on what they learned in the VC. One student said that he didn’t realize how series the environmental issues were until hearing about it first hand from students in India. Another student challenged her peers by saying…we need to be the change, we want to see in the world.
· There were great examples of sharing and telling throughout the VC. Students learned a great deal about what environmental issues are facing their communities, what their partner school is doing to protect the environment, and what motivates their peers to be engaged in protecting the environment.
· There were several areas which could have been explored at a deeper level: there was a good question about whether moving factories to another part of the city was solving the problem of pollution. A student responded by saying that the factories have been moved to protect the citizens, but the pollution still remains. It would have been interesting to find out what kind of action it would take to encourage factories to change their policies. Students in the UK could discuss this as well, as one student said that she believes the UK companies would rather pay the fine than change their policies. This would be a great discussion to continue on the online community. Another area which could be explored in more depth is the idea of the earth as sacred. A couple of students talked about the sacredness of the earth. Are there faith traditions that also talk about the earth in this way? Does this motivate people of different faiths around the world to be good stewards of the earth?
Suggestions for future VCs:
· Students asked some excellent response questions. I encourage you to help your students continue to hone the skills of listening deeply and responding with a question or comment, so many students can enter the dialogue about a topic before moving on. This is a skill that takes practice. The more it is practiced, the more sophisticated your students will become in engaging in dialogue.
As mentioned above, it is very important for us to collect feedback from teachers so that we can ensure that we are meeting your expectations and can develop what we offer to ensure that the experience is relevant and enriching for your students. Our short survey only takes a few minutes to complete and can be found by clicking here <http://www.surveymonkey.com/
It was wonderful working with your students today. I look forward to seeing them on another VC in 2014!
Delfites (Participants) share their experiences …
Aakriti Khare (X-A)
Sonali Garg (X-A)
I have had many VCs in the past, but the one that took place on the topic environment yesterday was the best one which I have ever had. The topic of discussion was itself very interesting and I was very happy with the spontaneous interaction that took place. The students in UK were very good listeners and provided us with some amazing facts about their culture and environment. I would definitely love to participate in similar VC sessions that would take place in the future.
Anushree Khanna (X-A)
It was quite an interesting VC although it was my first. We interacted with students of UK and learned something good about the environment.
Dhairya Khera (X-A)
It was a wonderful experience knowing the ideas of people from different culture. I enjoyed the discussion and would love to participate in the VCs that take place in the future.
Aditi Goenka (X-A)
It was my second VC with the other country. It was an experience wherein I got the reasons to work for the environment. The research I did on the topic too helped me in enhancing my knowledge. I even got to know about the problems in UK and the measures they’ve taken.
Mehak Gupta (X-E)
It was quite a memorable experience and I would surely love to go for another one. I learned many things and I would cherish this experience forever.
It was a learning experience and with the amount of exposure I got, I would definitely want to go for another one.
Ayaan Mudra (X-B)
Being in a VC is always a pleasurable experience and this one was no exception. The people were fun to interact with and it was good to exchange our opinion with people from another part if the world.
Simran Gupta (X-B)
It was a memorable experience, and it was very interactive. The students of UK were very good to exchange their opinions about the environment.
Raunaq Singh (X-C)
I think that whenever people of two different culture mutually exchange their views over something, a new kind of learning takes place. A new aura is created and similar thing happened in this VC. When we were talking to students in UK, our problem was same but the situations were different. If we could have been talking to Indians, our situations and opinions match but when we talk to other in another part of the world. It’s then only when we see two faces of the same coin and learn something new.
I had a great experience by attending this VC on the environmental issue. All the students were very actively participating in the conversation. We even got to know various methods to improve the condition of our environment. I have attended many VCS but this was the most interactive one.
Vishvesh Sheoran (X-B)
It was a good one. Nice experience about a different culture, people and country.