Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tyrone’s Perspective

At the invitation of teacher Cathy McDonald, from Lovejoy Technology Academy (IL, USA), I agreed to create a Tapped In account to enable our students to Interact through this site. Since last March we have been using this site as an awesome pedagogical tool. The first topic discussed on Tapped In had to do with the movie, "Freedom Writers".

Through this site, Lovejoy (USA) and Escola Parque (Brazil) students could share opinions about that movie. In addition, they could compare their own lives to Freedom Writers’ characters. Their points of view sometimes were consensual, sometimes not. But the most important thing was that students could talk about themselves in a formal way. We found a perfect excuse to make them write in a formal writing language--Cathy’s, by avoiding slang as they needed to be understood by their Brazilian classmates who had to translate American comments; mine, when they needed to write in a formal Portuguese so that their texts could also be translated satisfactorily into English and posted at TappedIn.

The use of the site TappedIn has been very useful pedagogically speaking. It is excellent because it allows teachers to know what comments students have made during Tapped In usage. This possibility makes us teachers able to check whether students have given a satisfactory contribution to the proposed activity or not.

Working with the Tapped In site has been an important way to make students discuss about not only general subjects but also about their own lives. What has made the usage of Tapped more special for us Brazilians is that students here have been able to not only Interact with themselves but also to discuss their thoughts with their American colleagues. It has been very special to see that no matter how far they are from each other, both high school Brazilian and American boys and girls have lots of things in common: fears, hopes and dreams. We teachers have only to thank Tapped In staff for allowing us teachers to use this fantastic site to make our classes more pleasant and up-to-date, no matter where we are in this world!!! Thank you all for that!!!

Tyrone Braga Santiago
CECR – Escola Parque
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

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