Back last towards the end of last year I saw a message on twitter asking for classes to collaborate in a project to increase the awareness of the plight of the Rhinoceros. This South African teacher, Karen S or @ICT_Integrator, and her class had 5 Rhinos made from traditional African fabric, gave them names and sent them out into the world to different classes. Now, almost 6 months later, Lesedi (Light in Setswana) arrived in the mail.
For the past week we have learned about Rhinos; facts and figures about their life and the sad facts and figures about their rapid move towards extinction. So with these issues in our mind we decided to try and do something to make a difference. Many ideas were raised about ways to raise money, but it was clear that money was not the issue – the issue was that people did not know that there was a problem.
Then a small child said “Why don’t we make a google form and get people to sign their name and we can put it on our blog for people to access.
Another added “…and we can tweet it out on the class Twitter and your Twitter Mr Dyer”.
Then lastly “…and Mum’s got FaceBook and she can like it on that and heaps of people will see it.”
So through social media we made a petition and shared it (as I type this blog post we have over 300 names on the petition). The class made a poster and shared it at assembly and we also used the school newsletter emailing list to get the link to the form out to all parents. Instantly we discovered that the local newspapers read our newsletters and we have had one reporter in already taking photos and recording the journey and another is coming in tomorrow morning.
Through participating in this project I have truly seen the power of modern technology in knocking down classroom walls and making global connections. Karen’s aim of the project was to raise awareness of the issues and I believe that in our small way, this small rural school in the middle of nowhere has made a difference. Technology removes the barriers of distance, knocks down the borders between countries and allows for global collaboration of epic proportions. This may be just one project, but there are many more out there and I urge you to look for one or begin your own.
If you have not added your name to the petition do so now and if you have thank you.