This month, we are getting ready for our biggest global exchange of the semester! PenPal-A-Palooza starts January 29 and includes one of our most popular projects, World Explorer.
To get excited for this 6 week project that explores communities around the world, we’re celebrating Rawaz D. from Iraq who recently participated in World Explorer.
Rawaz participated with PenPals from Turkey and the USA, and he stood out because he demonstrated a lot of empathy and respect in his responses to his PenPals. By the end of the project, he was surprised to discover how much he and his PenPals had in common. “I thought that people is so different from each other. But I realized from my PenPals friends (Yavuz and Justin), that people all around the world are more similar from all parts of life especially (Foods, Art and Literature, and even somehow History). In my opinion human should live together to make this beautiful world, more beautiful. Because no one is more than any one. People are equal, should work together to Improve humanity, civilization, and so many more.”
When reflecting on technology’s influence on his community, Rawaz demonstrated thoughtfulness in his response as he reflected on the different reasons why people use technology. He told his PenPals, “Many people around the world use technology and international influences. Technology is very helpful and useful and it makes many people’s life easier.
In my country most people use technology to communicate and socialize. To communicate with others in another country, people use Skype,viber. To socialize people use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. People who have children use computers or tablets to let their children play when they are bored. Students use technology like computers to do research on homework or project.Also many people use T.V for humanitarian things to help people and the viewer like those T.V programs which talk about helping people.
And about music we celebrate many musician's concert like (Halwest). We also have many pro players in my country they plays in european club like (Hawar mala mahmud ) and so many more....
As I said before about movie and television we have many great short film ,movie , clip.....
for example on october this year the (Sulaimani International Film Festival) which ended with distributing prizes for the winning films 7 days after the opening of the festival with the attendance of technicians and a large audience. The festival was attended by 170 films from 62 countries.”
When we asked Rawaz what his favorite part of his PenPal exchange was, he told us, “The most important part to me was DAILY LIFE. Because you will learn how cities are growing, the growth of cities. And you will learn about people, their lifestyles. What are they doing? How they spend their times? And are they learning new stuff everyday? Or they repeating the day before (yesterday)? In other word you will learn are people similar or different? I learned many things from PenPal. And I want thank my teacher again Ms. Zim.”
Congratulations, Rawaz, and thanks for being a great PenPal!
Read more from other students who have participated in World Explorer:
PBL Example: Marija Loves Exploring the World with PenPals
Students Explore the World with PenPals
PBL Example: Student in Argentina Discovers a World of Similarities
A PenPal Led Tour of Springfield, Missouri
Meet our PenPal of the Week from Bulgaria
You can read more of Rawaz’s responses from World Explorer here:
How to Make Social and Emotional Learning Authentic
How to Improve Reading Comprehension Through Global Connections