While exploring my concept map in an earlier blog, I began to ponder over the endless possibilities of how ICT can connect us to our surroundings. Not only our local surroundings but also global surroundings. I began to think of the ways I personally use ICT to connect me with others. As an adult, as with many others, I often use facebook and skype to connect with my family living in Japan. This has been a great tool for me as it continues to allow me to see my family, watch my niece and nephew grow up and see what is happening on the other side of the world.
I began to ponder about how children might like to engage with other people from around the world. I began thinking about the social and cultural benefits of engaging with other people from different countries, cultures, religions and backgrounds. When children are able to engage with people of different backgrounds from a young age, they are less likely to show discriminatory behaviours and are often more accepting and respectful of diversity. It suddenly dawned on me, what better way to connect children with people all over the world then through the use of ICT.
While exploring the different ways children could safely access ICT to connect with other, I came across an organisation called ArtLink Creative Connections. I was amazed at how this organisation brought together millions of children through showcasing their art throughout the world. This provided a platform for these children to learn about the social and cultural differences, discuss them in a positive manner and share their personal ideas through creative means.
Here is a short video about how this organisation has brought together children and allowed them to explore cultural differences in a positive and respectful manner.
I began to explore how amazing this type of creativity, connectedness and contribution would be for promoting the social and cultural diversity within my classroom and the wider world.
Child Professional Support Coordinator. Cultural Connections Booklet. Retrieved from https://childaustralia.org.au/Documents/IPSP-Section/Resource-Centre-Docs/cultural-book-complete-WEB.aspx
Steckler, A. (2014) ArtLink ArtReactions . Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xC7kbFA4no&feature=youtu.be