For the last two months or so I’ve been working with 4 students from Ramapo Technology Club. These students are participating in an after school club at Suffern Middle School in NY, and have volunteered to be part of GK’s D.I.D.I. Initiative. We meet every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, virtually, in TSL. Over the past weeks I’ve gotten to know each teen, and the dynamic of the group. I’ve learned who the quiet thinker is, which one is the natural leader, and which one is the ‘class clown.’
It’s been interesting working so consistently with a group - in a virtual setting. There are some things I was beginning to question, though. Despite reiteration of our GK guideline of ‘safe space’, I noticed a continued banter among the group, different from what I would accept in a classroom. Sometimes I would step in and remind them. Other times, they’d remind each other. I also noticed occasional long lags in response time during conversations and tasks. “Are they there?” I’d wonder. “Are they bored?” Sometimes they tell us they are bored. That’s helpful.
Despite my concerns, the Ramapo group has been most impressive with their dedication to the DIDI Venture. Attendance is great, and once we get going, participation is never an issue. This group has begun to think deeply about their community, and how they can make a difference.