Do you know what an impact your comments on the Ghana student articles have made?
Yesterday was a big day. It was the first opportunity for the Ghanaian students in our Saturday Cross-Culture class to see their articles online and to read your comments!
Internet access in Ghana’s Volta Region is scarce, expensive, and slow, thus students rarely get online. For days, now, I’ve run into students in town and exclaimed: “I published your article five days ago! Have you had a chance to see it yet?” “No!” the student would always lament. “Will you help us to see it during class this Saturday?”
There is no internet in any Sogakope schools, and the two rickety internet cafes in town are too expensive for the average local. What a feeling it must be to know that an article you’ve written has been published online for an audience of over two hundred worldwide readers a day– yet not have any way to actually see it!
This Saturday, the Cross-Culture students arrived to class promptly at nine in the morning, if not earlier. We hooked up the large secondhand donated laptop to a USB modem, allowed the web pages of student articles to load for the ten minutes Ghana internet insists upon (what a diva Ghana internet is!), then crowded breathlessly around to read each of the articles and comments aloud!
Ninety minutes of uninterrupted reading and focus later, we finished, and the kids were positively glowing. During our subsequent discussion period, student after student gasped: “The people who left comments are really supporting us!” “They are proud of us and want us to continue to do well, even though most of them have never met us!”
It was astounding and miraculous to all of us that comments came in from nearly every continent on Earth. Truly: WOW. I even explained how one teacher in Tennessee has used these articles as a whole-class reading text, and set up a “Wiki” to collect hundreds of reactions from her students on what they read. We scheduled another time to read the Wiki comments in depth.
Readers, thank you again for reading and for interacting with this Ghana Student Life Stories Project. There are still dozens of articles more on their way, so if you want to do your daily good deed, keep checking back, and leave a note or two to make a Ghanaian student proud!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!