She shared how things are different now, after active duty overseas, missions that are pretty intense, or simply missing friends and family. Yet how she described it, all of it, I was right there with her. In her story, our friendship hadn't changed. It was the same it always had been, with her as my friend, a pop-music-loving, practical joker, that remains close no matter how far we are apart.
While Skype was a key technological feature and remains an awesome tool to connect, even more power is something more simple: her words. Her story. With technology, any scholar can share their story in his/her own way, using what works for them.
Sharing can be as easy as a Google Doc or Slide, an iMovie, a Book Creator, a Notability poster, or just a "shout-out" commercial via Garage Band. Allow your learners to share with you who and what they are - what makes them tick, what they're thankful for, and their goals for the future. If we are reflective and thoughtful in instructional design, a "Share Your Story" project can become goal-setting, community building, and a writing assessment using technological literacy all at once.
Both this friend and I have overcome a number of events in our adolescence and adult lives - both small and big, all meaningful in their own ways. Who are we today? Well, it changes...each and every morning, each and every challenge or triumph, we change as well. Yet the biggest takeaway for my friendship, is to share my story - both with her, and also in ways to motivate my scholars. How we can overcome many obstacles, as our servicemen and women do each day, and how we can be stronger and serve so many through our actions.