Friday, April 13, 2007

Intercontinental Chat

This morning we used the first half-hour of class time to chat in my office at Tapped In, an online educational community. We were fortunate that one of the Webheads, Ibrahim Rustamov, joined us from Tajikistan, where he is Educational Coordinator for Relief International Online Schools.

Here is a picture of Ibrahim and me at the TESOL Convention in Seattle, Washington in March--our first face-to-face meeting!

Here are two excerpts from the chat:

NinaTL: Ibrahamjon, why don't you tell the class about your job?
IbrahimjoR: In 2002 I graduated from the department of foreign language of Khujans State University in Tajikistan, where I studied English and Farsi, so then I went to my home town, Isfara, to teach English at secondary school.
JennifeGst1: It's very interesting.
IbrahimjoR: and later in 2004 I joined Relief International Schools Online, where I worked as an educator at an Internet Learning Center, teaching students to use computers and partnering with US schools. In March 2007 I attended the TESOL Convention in Seattle.
NinaTL: How did you first become interested in educational technology, Ibrahimjon?
IbrahimjoR: In 2003, I got my first computer, and for the first time I used Windows Start button, though I had been using email since 1997. In April 2004 I began using computers with students, and the whole day I had to use my computer, learning and creating materials. Later I became interested in creating web projects with my students.

And later...

NinaTL: Can you please tell Ibrahim what you are studying here at the U of Maryland?
FelixGst3: I'm studying Plant Science.
NasserGst5: I’m studying fire protection engineering.
MacakinGst8: I'm studying Civil Engineering.
HsingchGst13: I’m studying dietetics.
FeitianGst6: I major in Animal Science.
NazaninGst4: I'm studying French literature.
KashishGst10: I am studying computer science.
JennifeGst1: My major is Library & Information Science, and I am minoring in children’s libraries.
IbrahimjoR: so different!
NinaTL: Most of the students are in graduate school,...
MohammeGst9: fire protection engineering
AzizGst7: I’m studying Electrical Engineering
GreivisGst14: I'm undecided because I need a major that won't take all my time, so I can play basketball at the same time.
MohamedGst2: I'm studying Entomology.
NinaTL: but we have some freshmen and a couple of transfer students as well.
MakotoGst15: I am studying semiconductors.
NinaTL: Is that in the dept. of Electrical Engineering, Makoto?
MakotoGst15: Yes, it is
NinaTL: For the graduate students, this class may be their only opportunity to meet students who are not studying the same thing they are.
IbrahimjoR: I'm impressed to learn about what you are all studying. Well done; good job! ;)

I think everyone enjoyed this intercontinental chat! You can learn more about RISO's Internet Learning Centers in Tajikistan here. Thanks, Ibrahimjon, for visiting us at Tapped In today!


Ibrahim said...

I would like to thank Nina and her students for such nice chat. I would be happy to have chats in the future.

If you wish to know more about how students learn English here check this site


Jennifer Ho said...

It's a very different experience that chat with people who come from other countries.