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Por Educate Magis
Jul 31st, 2019

After last year’s amazing experience of celebrating St. Ignatius Day together as a global community we decided to open, for the second consecutive year, an invitation to all schools from our global network to participate in this year’s St. Ignatius Day celebration.

The virtual celebration, as expected, resulted in a unique, inspiring experience for all of us. The students who joined the connected classroom asked St. Ignatius questions as if he was still alive today and other students answered imagining how St. Ignatius would have answered. The clever and ingenious questions and answers the students came up with made the two virtual connections an enjoyable and educational experience.

We had two video connections, one in the morning with students from:

  • St. Lawrence’s High School (Kolkata, India)
  • St. Stanislaus High School (Mumbai, India)
  • Campion School (Mumbai, India)
  • St. Paul’s High School (Belgaum, India)
  • Wah Yan College (Kowloon, Hong Kong)
  • Colégio Mateus Ricci (Macau)
  • Loyola Jesuit College (Abuja, Nigeria)

And in the afternoon another connection with students from:

  • Unidad Educativa Particular Javier (Guayaquil, Ecuador)
  • Colegio Cristo Rey (Tacna, Peru)
  • Colégio Antonio Vieira (Salvador, Brazil)

Here is a video preview of these Connected Classrooms:

Afterwards the students shared their wishes for the Global Network of Jesuit Schools in celebration of the Feast of St. Ignatius.

Both connections were facilitated by Regent Carlos Chuquihuara SJ we would like to thank Carlos for his generous support and participation.

These connections showed an amazing level of faith, depth, curiosity and understanding by the students who participated.

Below, one of the teachers whose students participated, shares his reflections on the experience.

My name is Ricardo Penido and I work as Leadership Project Coordinator at Colégio Antônio Vieira in Brazil. I would like to say that participating in a connected classroom was a wonderful experience. It is really special to know that, all over the world, there are people who share the same mission, purpose and feelings about life. I was glad to see that all the answers for questions to Saint Ignatius were full of meaning and wisdom. It was amazing when, for example, a student asked “If Saint Ignatius was alive, where would he live?” And everyone in the connected classroom agreed that he would be in as many places as possible helping people to find their own spirituality and life path. It shows a great syntony with the mission of the Society of Jesus.

Besides that, participating in a connected classroom helped me to understand how important and significant it is to embrace our schools around the world with a community feeling,  promoting the exchange of experiences where students from different realities can talk about their lives, objectives, culture and dreams. I am sure these kinds of experiences would help students to have a different perspective about today’s society and foster empathy, citizenship and kindness. It was great to see that our students felt the same way too. Some days after the connected classroom, one of our students wrote to me: “Dear Ricardo, participating in the videoconference in celebration of Saint Ignatius day was a unique experience that will surely be marked in my memories as a student in a Jesuit School. Throughout the conversation, very interesting and inspiring questions were made for Ignatius about the best ways to deal with problems in contemporary society such as violence, xenophobia, lack of empathy and lack of love. And, the most interesting of all this is to realize that these questions were answered by us, students, who, even though we were the ones questioning, understood the relevance of finding answers to the situations pointed out.” Her words sounded like a gift to me!

I think Educate Magis is a brilliant platform. To feel how amazing it is to be part of a global network you have got to live a real connection experience such as this one which students from Colégio Antônio Vieira  would describe as “ An incredible moment of exchanging experiences.”

Lastly, i would like to give many thanks in the name of Colégio Antônio Vieira because being part of this global community is really important to us!”

 

Additionally we had Yoelina Ferrer from Colegio Maria Augusta Urrutia de Escudero, Fe y Alegría in Ecuador joining one of the Connected Classrooms. She invited the leadership team in her school to observe how the Educate Magis virtual connection developed and how students interacted across classrooms from different parts of the world. Here are some comments on the experience:

“Our first experience of seeing how a virtual classroom works generated curiosity as well as awareness of the possibility of generating virtual spaces for dialogue and shared learning. At the moment we are working on an Innovation Project for social transformation with an Educational Center in Colombia and Spain and we have started to think about some classes within this Porject where we could organize a shared virtual space like this with common themes that make the participation of young people tangible. We we also thinking about the fact that this could help students to practice their English since we dream of being certified as a bilingual school.” Yoelina Ferrer, Teacher

“The experience could also provide us with an opportunity to learn from other teachers, including their strategies, and could provide our students with an opportunity to share their questions and doubts in order to broaden their knowledge and reflections.” Martha Silva, Chemistry Teacher

“The experience would be great because we would all benefit from learning from each other, the learning would be great because different cultures teach us about the different educational environments around the world which teaches us to see the different types of methodologies and helps us to apply them in the classroom. But most importantly we could learn a lot from each other!!! Jonathan Guallpa, Philosophy Teacher