Marhaba and Ahalan wa Sahlan ( greeting and welcome to my blog),
Gently and quietly I have slipped into the life here in Jordan. No splashes, no waves, no announcements! Not that I was hoping for more; it just happens to be a time in my life where I wish to just ‘slip in’. However, by no means does it mean that I want to be unproductive. On the contrary I have, as paradoxical as it sounds, been extremely busy weaving lives together.
You see, I am here in Jordan to update the Educational Technology Standards at a school which is on its journey towards 21st Century learning. I have the wonderful and exciting job of introducing them to Moodle, helping them shift from textbooks to iBook Author and go online with their course material. Somewhere in there fits in the need to revamp the website, help with the project proposal to fundraise using social media, and putting in comfortable green chairs:). I work with Third Culture Kids(TCK’s) and help them make sense of technology in the world they live in.
Which brings me to the other thread that is being woven into my life at the moment. The context of where I am at demographically is important; both for the children I work with and the influx of the refugees that are flooding into the country. The Syrian crises is snowballing into a massive catastrophe and the ramifications of it is felt in waves throughout the communities here. My desire is to provide a handful of children with a hope and a future through innovative and fun learning in a faith based setting. The children who have, reach out to the ones that don’t have much , and the symphony that is created is magical. We can’t change the world but we can make a difference, one starfish at a time!
I also lead a team of people from diverse nationalities, to help support the locals to minister to the myriad of needs the Syrian children have. We put absolutely no restrains on ourselves and use all kinds of media and innovative tools. We hope to soon bring in iPads and tablets so that the learning is interactive and we can provide a fun and safe environment for them to just be. Providing a hope and a future is what the goal is, of course interspersed with lots of hugs and love.
The fabric of my life is rich; the shuttle of the weaver moves back and forth with rigour, but softened by the yarn, it hardly utters a sound. As the pattern emerges, it tells its own story. The threads reveal the richness of the people and children I interact with and I learn on a daily basis. I learn that it is marvellous to take someone’s hand and weave in my life with theirs; then it becomes ours. I realise that learning can happen in any situation; provided I am willing to make the time and the space for it to happen. I also learn that the children that have walked away with just the shirt on their backs, are just as eager to learn as the ones that have all the blessings of a home and the hearth.
Even though I wax poetic, I see the realities of working in two different environments. I hope that in the next few weeks I can help get clarity on which area of educational technology I would like to focus on for my research; the international school setting or the developmental aspect in the the slums. I am hoping that I will be able to glean some thoughts and ideas from you.