This week, our assignment for WEB TOOLS: GLOBAL LEARNING was to explore an example of online global collaboration taxonomy. We were looking at 4th level – communities of practice, which focus on fostering diverse online global collaboration practices. The class used an example from the text, “Out of Eden” which is about the journey that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek is making to retrace the steps of our ancestors’ global migration. The class took a look at his journey so far and spent time learning about some of the places he had been. My two children, who are “almost 8” and 9 were excited to sit with me and explore the entire journey. Here are some of our favorite places:
We started at milepost one – introduction and learned about Herto Bouri and its local resident Idoli Mohamed. Herto Bouri is the location where some of the oldest human fossils were found. We discovered that Mr. Mohamad was a pastoralist, which is a cattle or sheep farmer, and while he likes the job, he hopes his children can get an education and find other occupations. We thought it was sad that he didn’t know where he was from, since most of us here, in the United States, can not only easily tell you where we are from, but can also likely tell you where several generations of ancestors were also from.
An interesting side story that he posted after he started his journey was about how he got internet to continue posting throughout his journey. It made me think about how we hate being in Walmart for 10 minutes with a bad internet connection, but there are whole areas of the world that require specialized equipment to get online.
The next place we wanted to highlight was milepost 18 – displaced. This milepost was near Ghor Al Safi, Jordan. It is a Syrian refugee camp. The people from this country have faced such a sad plight, with their homes ravaged by war, Islamophobia a rampant world problem and they are desperate to find a place to call home and start over with their families. Anytime I hear people talking negatively about these displaced Syrians, I refer to a video produced by the UN.
It is a rhythmic poem called ”What They Took With Them” performed by Cate Blanchett alongside fellow actors: Keira Knightley, Juliet Stevenson, Peter Capaldi, Stanley Tucci, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kit Harington, Douglas Booth, Jesse Eisenberg, and Neil Gaiman. (Please give it a watch and think about it during the next refugee debate). Mr. Salopek interviews a young man here named Houssein Ali al Hajji a farmer who talks about wanting to just go home and how he dreams about it even though that home has been destroyed.
My little, feminist, 9 year old said this was one of the posts that she found most interesting: milepost 43 – no women (hyperlink ). At this point, he had made it 4200 miles from Ethiopia to Uzbekistan and he reflects, after being denied an interview, how difficult it has been to find women to talk to. I think the most powerful line in this post was “it is revealing that, at the dawn of the new millennium, I cannot easily conduct a conversation with half the species.” It is absolutely true and somewhat amazing that, globally, women are not yet considered equal to men anywhere. According to the Gender Gap Report, which includes 144 countries, the United States is not even in the top 50 countries and the countries that Salopek has visited have all been in the bottom 20 countries on that report.
I could go on and on telling you about this journey, but you should go to the site yourself and explore it. One thing I thought as I read through this journey, particularly in the beginning posts in Ethiopia, was how sad it is that while we have museums to protect and preserve humanities greatest accomplishments (National Geographic has an article about the top ten museums worldwide but not one of them are in the cradle of civilization; the place where humanity stayed and grew to bec0\ome what they are for 140,000 years. Gona, the place where man began cooking food and systematically butchering animals instead of just tearing them apart, is littered with first tools but they are, for the most part, considered trash. There is no museum, no monument, nothing to show its importance to history. .
How do you see something like this benefiting your classroom?
(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.org/projects/out-of-eden-walk/