Without any doubt these pandemic times have been hard, challenging, tiring for all of us. Amid this uncertanty, and tiredness great ideas arise which leave us away from the boredom and carry us back to hope and encourage us for more. This is what has happened in our school with a group of students of 11th grade C and 12th graders B and C, besides the Philosophy teacher Alejandro Perez and the English teacher David Chamorro, the ones who wanted to take advantage of screens, online platforms managed by teachers and students and to be able to go beyond our frontiers to meet young students from Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines . Indeed, just as you are reading now…. Manila in The Phillipines.18 thousand kilometres away and 12 time zones ahead ours.
How did this start? Well. It is about an online class exchange between Ingatian institutions, for just one week, with the main goal of setting up mutual undertanding and cooperation and generate projects of live exchanges of students and teachers. Teacher David Chamorro, head of international affairs Saint Ignatius A.O. explains; “The idea rises from the interest we have to build a global citizenship feeling among our students where limits no longer exist. Hence, we have foreseen that using technology we could stablish virtual conexions with other Jesuit schools and thus, further in the future, having the possibility to live real and traditional exchanges as they were intended before the pandemic.
And this is the way this project started and came to reality… Teacher David Chamorro contacted Ateneo de Manila, they immediatly engaged in the project and finally this week 17 Filipino students from the Ateneo, aged 14 to 17, online and voluntarily participated in the English and Philosophy classes in San Ingacio A.O. Santiago de Chile.
“The class was great. It all started with students introducing themselves. We talked about what they knew about Chile (Easter Island, penguins and the 33 miners’ movie) and we talked about the Philippines (Paquiao, and their love for pork meat). We talked about time difference (12 hours) and about the joy we had. We started classes in bilingual mode and we actively participated answering questions. In the end we took a picture.”
“The truth is that this experience I hope would be the beginning for other ones” commented Philosophy teacher Alejandro Perez who bravely accepted the invitation sent by David Chamorro, and he joined in this endeavour.
“It’s been great to see how The Ateneo de Manila students and teacher have sacrificed, from 12.45 to 1.25 am to attend to our class sessions, and above all knowing they had started vacations 3 weeks ago. It’s been the first virtual exchange experience, I hope we could have many more.I thank our San Ignacio A.O. students unconditional support, Alejandro Perez, Joel Falgui (Ateneo de Manila), David Moya and our school headship. But now we go furtherwith even more ambitious projects.”
In the following link you can learn more about this experience and its protagonists. https://flipgrid.com/+8mrdecf2