Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Global Partnerships

Today we had an opportunity to meet with Sister Patricia, SSMN, who has been very active at the Dallas Peace Center in Dallas, TX. Sr. has been a great activist for many social justice issues and has spent some time in jail as a result of her activism which I applaude her for. The Sisters of St. Mary of Namur were the founders of BDHS which actually started out as Our Lady of Good Counsel.

While we try to be a very ed-tech oriented school trying to infuse technology throughout our curriculum, we have also been working on global partnerships. We feel that it is important to get our students out of themselves so to speak so as to be more equipped to deal with local things by seeing global things. While we have taken many local oriented trips to places such as New Mexico to visit the Anasazi Ruins for geological and geographic studies, to Washington D. C. with Close Up, to Austin, TX the Capital for governmental education, we have also tried to reach farther than the coasts of North America. We have a relationship in Honduras which is four years old that some of the other Catholic High Schools have joined, we have had a group of students go to Ghana, a group of our students just returned from Costa Rica where they did GIS work and explored the country side as well as spent time learning the culture.

Our meeting today with Sr. Patricia was to continue working toward a plan to go to Rwanda. The Sisters have a great history of mission and education that has spanned the globe and we want to make sure we can help to connect the dots. Our desire is to eventually create this partnership with a couple of schools in Rwanda that the Sisters run and hopefully learn things that are similar to us like getting along with different cultures in the same areas, making do with what we have and using the resources and tools that we have all been given to make a difference in the global community and not just in our own back yards.

In reflecting on this meeting today I felt as if the communities that I belong to online are about the same thing, making differences as a result of the connectedness from a network of caring people who also want to make a difference. I can see the possibilities of using some of the things I have learned from this vast network with Google Earth, Flickr, Ustream and many of the other tools available. I hope the forces that have brought this Rwanda group together will continue to drive us toward a full fledged visit. Then along with learning I hope to teach though the use of the tools I have come to know with this electronic global partnership that I am a part of today.

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