The Kothari International School in New Delhi, India is half a world away from Westminster Academy for International Studies (WAIS), but thanks to technology and a commitment from both schools to embrace other cultures, the students are virtual friends.
The connection began when teacher Michael Moore used a website called www.epals.comto reach out to classrooms around the globe looking for pen pals. At the same time in India, Resham Anand Sharma was looking for pen pals for her students as well. After exchanging letters, the two schools decided to linkup on Google Hangout so the students could interact in real time. Monitors and speakers were set up in both classrooms with students stepping forward to introduce themselves and ask questions.
No matter where they are from, kids are kids, so there was no shortage of things to talk about.
“They talked about favorite holidays, sports, foods and a whole lot more,” said Moore. ”The Indian students dressed in traditional Indian clothing and one of the girls had a surprise for us, which turned out to be a traditional dance to Indian music.”
Because of the time difference, the students in New Delhi arranged to come to school in the evening and the students at WAIS came in a little bit early. It was more than worth the effort.
“It was a real treat for our students and something I'm sure they'll remember for a long time,” said Moore.