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Christchurch kids beam live to Japanese City

Christchurch kids beam live to Japanese Sister City

What they eat for breakfast, watch on TV and like to do after school will be some of the hot topics shared by Somerfield Primary School year 4 and 5 students with children in Japan, during the first live international video conference between Christchurch and a sister city.

The video conference, at 5.45pm on Tuesday 15 February, will connect Christchurch City Libraries' South Learning Centre in Beckenham with Nakashima Elementary School in Kurashiki, Christchurch's Japanese sister city. The event will offer a unique learning experience for both groups of students, giving them the chance to find out more about each other's culture and everyday life during the 45-minute live exchange.

Somerfield teacher Serena Holm says the link-up will offer "a wonderful opportunity for the children to forge links with students in another country. It will help them develop presentation skills and a better understanding of the global family, and the technology involved in making the link possible". The school hopes students will keep in touch with the Kurashiki children and develop ongoing friendships as a result of the video conference.

To overcome any language barriers, students from both schools have prepared pictures and are ready to use lots of body language. The groups will also share songs and music, and will take part in a quiz to show off their knowledge of each other's country. Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore will get the conference underway, and while the students are hooked up, their parents, teachers, other children and guests will be able to watch the live link on a big screen next door.

South Learning Centre's Dorothy Haywood says the video conference will also be seen live throughout Kurashiki city: "We originally thought we were just connecting up two schools, but now students at schools all over Kurashiki will be able to watch. It should be an amazing experience, and is exactly what South Learning Centre was designed to do."

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