National Geographic Connects Kovler Family Library to India

Some 5th grade students participated in a live Google Hangout hosted by National Geographic this week as one of three global classrooms to use technology to chat with storyteller and multimedia journalist Paul Salopek as he checked in live from India on the 1,791st day of his 21,000-mile odyssey.
Salopek is in the fifth year of his decade-long experiment in slow journalism, walking one of the routes of human migration and telling stories of the people he meets as part of National Geographic’s Out of Eden Walk project.
Moving at human speed, Salopek is retracing the footsteps of the first humans who migrated out of Africa back in the Stone Age and covering contemporary topics from climate change to technological innovation, from mass migration to cultural survival, by giving voice to the people who inhabit these places every day. Using his talents as a storyteller, photographer, videographer and audio engineer, Salopek is creating a new record of human life as told by everyday people, providing a unique vantage point for all to rediscover our world.
For the past two years, 5th grade teacher Mike McPharlin and Integrated Learning and Information Sciences teacher Mary Catherine Coleman have been using the Out of Eden Learn online system, created by researchers at the Harvards School of Education to connect McPharlin’s 5th grade classroom with Salopek’s ongoing work.
This teaching duo was more than excited to use technology to connect their students with peers from Parma, Michigan and Tunisia, North Africa to share in a firsthand field report from Paul Salopek in northern India.
Participating students also posed their own questions to their virtual visitor, querying him on topics ranging from the types of currency he has carried while traveling, the types of food he has eaten along the way, whether he has ever had problems with authorities, how he has learned to be more sustainable and repurpose belonging while abroad and more.
This opportunity presented an amazing way to bring dynamic learning from around the globe for the benefit of our students!
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.