Lycée Louise Michel & Manchester Craftsmen's Guild: GigaPan Education Partnership

We recently had the pleasure of working to help organize a cultural exchange through GigaPan between Lycée Louise Michel in Grenoble, France and Manchester Craftsmen's Guild Youth & Arts here in Pittsburgh, PA.  

The partnership between these classrooms was born of a shot in the dark, an e-mail sent to Manchester Bidwell Corporation after watching an especially moving TED talk by Bill Strickland. After a discussion between Paolo Nzambi and Dave Deily in Pittsburgh, and Rebecca Clark in Grenoble, we decided a virtual exchange could be set up between two schools across the Atlantic. The project is being led by Rebecca and Justin Mazzei of the Manchester Craftmen's Guild.

Their one aim for this collaboration is for the world to get a little smaller for our students, and for them to understand themselves, their surroundings and empathize with others, their environments, surroundings, and cultures. Their aim is to help teens see that the world is just a village, to be shared by all, so that we can learn to appreciate each other and the wealth of our diversity.

The project began by a first videoconference, which took place on March 27th, 2014. In order to accommodate both groups, they met at 6:00pm for the French students and 12:00 for the Americans!

Says Rebecca, it was really great to be able to talk to students on the other side of the world about school and studies. The French students did a great job speaking English and the Americans had set up a great videoconferencing theater.

Justin Mazzei, teaching artist coordinator from MCG Youth and Arts, proposed using CREATE Lab and their Gigapan project as a way for students to share pictures and talk about their lives. Below are some of their images.