Reflections on Cultural Considerations, or, lessons I learned from distance students in Chevak this spring

1.  It isn’t enough to ask about bandwidth — ask about where they are getting internet and are there restrictions on it. It turned out that the local public school where half the Chevak students were accessing internet did not allow them to access Youtubes or Facebook! I needed to call the IT director for the school district (several emails and calls) to get him to allow one computer in the library to have access to Youtubes after school hours.

2. Even though the village is relatively small and several students are related to each other, their access to internet is vastly different for various reasons.

3. Family comes first. When the students are mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, they have multiple responsibilities toward extended family members suffering health issues, or going through major life transitions (births, marriages, etc.)

4. Subsistence foods are (yay!) very, very important!

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