By Mr. Dan McGuire
Several weeks ago, the University of Chicago concluded a four-day Virtual Model United Nations Conference where our De La Salle students spent 25 hours in official Zoom conference-committee rooms—not counting the many more hours spent unofficially preparing.
What is not counted are the hours spent before and after committee as they continue to ply their trade in unmoderated negotiations to find resolution to their respective committee’s directive at solution.
While awards and public accolades are lovely, the real reward is the growth that is made manifest by these young people as they are placed alongside some of the most accomplished high school students in the country and the world.
What I saw during the conference was nothing short of spectacular where our students competed successfully against the best and brightest. I witnessed students adapting to a medium that while familiar to them on a daily basis (Zoom style learning) still formed an at-times intimidating obstacle that was met head-on and with success. I witnessed young people taking on real-time global issues in the same manner as the United Nations, and finding success.
I am confident that the personal growth that these students attained will continue to accrue exponentially in their personal and professional lives. It is an honor to be a teacher among great students at De La Salle Institute.
Congratulations to all the DLS delegates!!!
Special congratulations to Christian Meyer as he received ‘Outstanding Delegate’ status, one of only 45 delegates to receive this distinction from the approximately 1,250 students in attendance!!!
Lessons learned from Zoom Model United Nations Conference
Participating in a Zoom conference versus a live conference had many advantages, including:
- There was an intimacy between the Dais, Moderators and participants that couldn’t have been discovered through a live conference as Zoom allowed everybody to hear the arguments and debates that would normally have held in parts of room that not everybody could access.
- The advantage of seeing the percentage of voting on different topics allowed both moderators and participants to see how far away or how close a vote finished.
- No masks were necessary so it was so refreshing to actually see student’s faces and see facial expressions of both frustration and exultation.
- The actual of the pace of the conference moved infinitely faster as there was no need for physical transition. As a result, far more content was covered.