Hi! My name is Shelly. I am an AP and honors Spanish teacher in New Jersey. My amazing experience with the LUV Global Connections pilot began in the fall with my students creating and exchanging videos with a school in the Tabasco region of Mexico. The topic of focus was discussing a typical, intermediate-level school day. Students were immediately interested in gathering their thoughts and perspectives to share with their new friends. Student engagement was very high! Oftentimes, they had to cut information from their videos because they would exceed the 90-second limit. They just wanted to share so much!
What surprised me most was how much detailed footage my students wanted to include. They videoed their classes, after-school errands, sports practice clips, dinner at home…it was amazing to see their interest in sharing their lives with another culture and society. I was also inspired by my students’, as well as our companion school’s students’, abilities to communicate effectively in the target language. All of this was made incredibly easy by the video portion, which created a digital space to drop off our videos and then see our friends’. If we were to try and communicate with another school in the world, time zones and many other factors would make it very difficult. This manner of communication changes all that in the best possible ways.
Language teachers would love this product since it easily allows for a meaningful global exchange between their students and another school anywhere in the world. As language teachers, we can stay in the target language all day long, and have amazing results from our students, but we cannot provide that crucial element of cultural immersion, no matter how much we teach about the history and society and cultural nuances.
Teaching cultural competence is extremely important these days, given the fact that we are increasingly more globalized. To nurture students into aware, global citizens, we need opportunities like this to engage students in conversations that share perspectives and firsthand experiences. I know after my students experienced their exchange, they talked about the ways in which they gained more insight about Mexico and their schooling system as well as the common interests and classes that they shared.
Overall, the LUV Global Connections pilot was an incredible experience, and I’m excited to engage my students with another group of peers this fall! I’m excited to continue to have this important and fun opportunity! LUV creates global learners for life in the comfort of your classroom—and all you have to do is press “record”!