Monday, June 25, 2012

Brazil Meets Red Bank

In addition to learning about Brazilian culture and its education system, all teachers in our 11 member cohort gave presentations to their host schools regarding their schools and respective towns in the U.S. I presented this video to the students and educators I met while in Brazil to provide a glimpse into an American school. In general, Brazilian students were transfixed by it. They were especially fascinated by my 4th graders, who are building VEX robots in the video (in addition to goofing off). My host teacher, Eduardo also had to explain to his students what a fire drill is (one occurs in the video), as they do not have these in Brazil. According to him, if a fire ever did break out, it would be mass hysteria.

A day in the life at the Red Bank Middle School.

Eduardo's students learning about life in an American school.

I also presented my host, Eduardo and some other educators with gifts from the Jersey Shore - salt water taffy, what else? I gave the students I met bookmarks from the Red Bank Public Library, which were created by Red Bank students from Pre-K through high school. They were a big hit, as you can see in these pics:

Students in Eduardo's private language school in Nova Iguacu.

Public school students at city-based school, Escola Municipal Cyro Monteiro, situated in Anchieta, a neighborhood in the city of Rio. Eduardo also works here. In Brazil, it is not uncommon for teachers to work at multiple schools.

Happy student with a new Red Bank bookmark.

On many occasions, I had the pleasure of presenting a video that my students and I produced to Eduardo's students. A few years ago, as an interdisciplinary project, our school's music, technology and art classes put together a music video called, "2048: A Rock Opera," which placed 3rd in Sony's Technology in Motion contest. The students (and teachers) in Brazil were very impressed with it and had many questions regarding its production. In all of the schools we visited I never saw any technologies or facilities that could be used for high-end media production. The only place that came close was a project-based learning lab in a private school called Marista, in Brasilia. Otherwise, public schools in Brazil seem to face major challenges regarding the implementation of technology, including theft, vandalism, inconsistent IT support, outdated hardware and intermittent internet access.

"2048" makes its premiere in Brazil.

2048: A Rock Opera

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