Thursday, July 22, 2010

Global Fluency

This past week, I had many opportunities to converse with others about the globalization of education. Many of our conversations, especially those with colleagues Silvia Tolisano and Shari Albright, focused on not only making connections but being fluent with those connections.

Specifically, Silvia and I discussed the importance of fluency, and how that goes beyond just making connections and collaborating on a project or two. It means natural--an integrated flow--

This morning, Silvia posted a video called HOW TO LISTEN TO GLOBAL VOICES

We talked about all the different perspectives and voices and cultures and considerations for participating in a global conversation, and how often we invite that into our own worlds.

In the last 24 hours, I've had conversations with multiple people in several states through skype, blogs, and twitter. I've talked with a friend in England, and skyped with a new colleague in Australia--who was in Holland last week when I skyped her in by video into my session on assessment.

The video and conversations from last week made me think about the ease with which I participate in the global conversation. It dawned on me that I've been doing this for awhile. When I was in high school, I regularly talked with peers in Denmark and Germany. As I got older and with better technology, we followed friends that trekked around the world through blogs and photo sharing sites. When I visited England, Scotland, and Holland, (before the internet...) I sent postcards back to friends and family. I've waited hours on the phone and sent multiple emails to the Chinese consulate in our country and the Chinese government helping a friend bring his mother to the United States.

I'm seeing a couple of things evolve here. First, my experiences (and hopefully future travel!) help me to understand that my perspective is not fixed. I'm not just a U.S. Citizen, I'm a global citizen, with a multitude of responsibilities to continue engaging in conversations. And two, I need to do more. Except for a couple of countries, I deal mostly with English Speakers. I wonder what rich things I'm missing out on?

This is just sort of a "thinking out loud" blog post this morning. I'm hoping my daughter, who is sitting here beside me, doesn't think this way when she's my age. I hope this is just the way of world, where global conversation is as easy as breathing, and engagement is as necessary as water.


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