Returning slowly…another thought…

I walked the Camino de Santiago de Compestella from the French border to Santiago in Spain with my fifteen-year daughter this summer.

photoWe 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


  1. John Heffernan


    Have great ideas and contacts but not the history classes to do it with I am afraid. Sadly one of my best “storytellers” a US Airforce U2 pilot at the time of Cuban Missile crisis passed away last year. Was going to be the jewel in my crown for LC US history course – had planned to take it through first person narratives.

    Might start auctioning off my good ideas …….
    Bahamas here I come 😛