If you have been following my blog regularly, you know one point I consistently make is that we, the early childhood professionals and parents, are fortunate to live in a digital time. We can connect with others through online and technologies not only to improve our interactions and work with our children and students of diverse backgrounds, but we can also build our cultural knowledge and awareness from multiple sources.
To make use of these tools in a meaningful and interesting way, I am inviting you to join me and others for a series of live Uncomfortable Conversations on culture, technology, media, and early childhood. In my posts, I stress the importance of building relationships with people of various cultures to deepen our understanding and knowledge. Holding Uncomfortable Conversations online will enhance the work of the blog and become a way for us to share resources, present our stories, and discover practical solutions. These online sessions are designed to help us all learn from each other so we can create appropriate and constructive experiences for young children to support culture and diversity in our early learning settings and the home.
Each Uncomfortable Conversation will last for an hour on an online platform and will be hosted by a facilitator. Therefore, reliable internet connection is needed. There will be one session per month with 5 – 10 participants discussing a new topic. Participants are expected to read 1 – 2 resources beforehand, which will the first topic of the conversation. After sharing responses and thoughts about the reading(s), there will be opportunities for people to talk about their experiences and resources and brainstorm effective strategies. While participants will be encouraged to freely express themselves, these online sessions should be a trusted place, where people feel comfortable offering their perspective. To make this a safe online place, each participant will be expected to read, review, and agree to a code of ethics.
The first session will be held next month. If you’re interested or know others that would like to participate, be sure to complete the Google form at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OzbRWCyct_Qg6VWkkQigkb0bNqwrkp3papwsVlNZdmo/viewform?usp=send_form
I’m excited to host the first online Uncomfortable Conversation in September. Feel free to distribute this information with early childhood professionals and parents that you think would be interested in having these small group dialogues. These sessions are designed to be professional and personal growth opportunities that help us become more conscious of the role technology and media can play in disempowering and empowering young children of different cultures.
It is my hope that these conversations lead to more authentic, appropriate, and meaningful experiences for children that celebrate diversity and include multiple cultures and help us become better digital and global citizens around technology, media, and culture. I’m looking forward to conversing with you soon.