After 2 days of struggling with the computer center, we decided not to go there. Instead, we worked in the room and had a very productive day. Since we knew that we would Skype with SAWP teachers today, we spent journal time writing questions that we had for the teachers in America and describing the teaching situation in The Limpopo Region of South Africa. This led to quite a discussion about the difficulty of teaching 21st century literacies when you don't have computers or the Internet in your classroom. They wondered if the teachers could help them get computers. When I explained that many classrooms in San Antonio don't have computers for every student or even a few in each classroom, they were shocked. They imagined that every classroom in San Antonio had a computer for every student.
We looked at the google-site and read every introduction from the SAWP teachers. Then we looked at their pictures, and I helped them associate the writings with their faces. At lunch we took several group pictures that we will put on the google site tomorrow. We held up our name tags so the SAWP teachers will know who we are. We are hoping to connect every South African teacher with a SAWP participant. The challenge will be how to keep in contact without computers and email to rely on. We want all the learners in the teacher's classrooms to connect with American students through writing.
As we prepared for SAWP to contact us on Skype, my Mother and Father Skyped us. We only had a minute before the SAWP call came in, but the teachers were glad to meet my parents and amazed that they were so computer proficient.
We were very excited to Skype with SAWP and this time we knew each other better and had more questions to ask. Barry from SAWP was amazed that the SA teachers meet for 12 hours a day and he promised to help SAWP look for technology grants for the Limpopo teachers. Shannon gave us a tour of the SAWP room. The SA teachers encouraged Dr. Hanlie Dippenaar to return to SA soon and lead the Writing Project with them. But the funniest moment of the day was when one SA teacher asked for Justin to come to the screen and told him that Roxanne has said that he was single and available and was that true? This caused teachers on both sides of the ocean to burst out laughing.