Because of schools being closed in Palestine we can’t do any of our regular link HUP ups via zoom so, until the situation changes, we’re doing 3 Facebook live sessions a day from our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/handsupproject/ ) The sessions are for Palestinian kids and they can access them from their own homes while they can’t go to school.
Here’s the timetable.
|All times in Palestine time||10 am||12pm||4pm|
|Sundays||Story based session for 12 and under aged kids||English for Palestine sessions – Grade 9||Story based session for 12 and over aged kids|
|Mondays||Story based session for 12 and under aged kids||English for Palestine sessions – Grade 5||Story based session for 12 and over aged kids|
|Tuesdays||Story based session for 12 and under aged kids||English for Palestine sessions – Grade 6||Story based session for 12 and over aged kids|
|Wednesdays||Story based session for 12 and under aged kids||English for Palestine sessions – Grade 7||Story based session for 12 and over aged kids|
|Thursdays||Story based session for 12 and under aged kids||English for Palestine sessions – Grade 8||Story based session for 12 and over aged kids|
There are a few drawbacks to using Facebook live instead of zoom. We can’t see the kids or hear them, and we have no virtual background (green screen) facility, screen sharing, or easy options to record and edit the video and publish it to youtube (though the recording does get published on our Facebook page of course).
However there are also some great things about working in this way.
- Since the sessions are open to everyone we can access a greater number of kids in each session, and there is even scope for kids from other parts of the world to participate too and interact in the comments with kids in Palestine. I like to think that kids are doing it with family members present too so they can help each other and learn from each other.
- The ability to post comments easily is great. It means that the volunteer can ask a question or set a task and can see lots of examples from different people. The volunteer can then then read out and (perhaps reformulate) what students say, even writing it down on a mini whiteboard for display. The only slight problem is that there is a bit of a delay between when the volunteer asks the question and when the comments are visible to him or her, so I’ve found that it’s best to have something else to do while you are waiting for responses.
- Lots of teachers are participating in the sessions too. Initially I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing, but I’m finding it’s really useful to have them there to provide supportive written feedback to the learners’ comments, as there isn’t time for the volunteer to do this while they are doing the session. There is also teacher development going on as activities are being demonstrated that could be adapted for the teachers’ own classrooms later.