Today, my religion students participated in their first Face to Faith video conference. It was part of the organization's celebration of International Women's Day. Betty Anne Donnelly, who has worked with Catholic organizations all over the world in the areas of education, social justice and lay ministry, discussed womens' rights within the Catholic Church. She talked about working in the slums of Lima Peru and about conversations with cardinals, one of whom told her that the biggest role for women was in the home. She challenged my students to think about the importance of service, maybe for a year after college. She also asked them to think about their female heroes and why they were significant.
The discussion took place through Skype and a bridging software called Bluejeans. Ms. Donnelly was in Massachusetts, the conference's facilitator was in England, and the technical specialist, who joined us at the beginning to make sure all systems were working, was in India.
I think the students enjoyed the discussion and some, I think, were as amazed as I was, at how easy it is to bring interesting people from around the world into your classroom.