I walked the Camino de Santiago de Compestella from the French border to Santiago in Spain with my fifteen-year daughter this summer.
We took thirty-four days. Wifi was available freely everywhere we went – even the Benedictine Monastery in Leon has robust internet despite the lack of points to charge any device, whether camera or phone!
Having less access than ever to a device, meant that I spent more time observing others as they made connections.
Some people were a long way from home, others had elderly parents or younger children…
Skype, Face-time and Google video all came into their own. Every night there was a babble of languages as people called home.
What was different though, was that in some cases they happily showed their friends on video – the Camino family extended into the natural family and language was enhanced by the live image…
There have been many initiatives in schools using live online-video but I wonder do we need to try harder.
There must be lots of fun and interesting ways to incorporate face-to-face communications with strangers (whether teachers or students) in language learning and beyond.
I know there have been projects with eTwinning and that Skype has a space for education but I have not see a lot from Ireland about this approach to teaching and learning.
Surely it has to have potential for engagement and for enhancing the student and teacher experience?
Any thoughts out there?
Photo-credit: Donal O’ Mahony