Friday, November 21, 2014

Around the World in One Day

It still amazes me sometimes how easy it is to connect with other classrooms as far away as the opposite end of the Earth with simply a click of a button.  On Tuesday, our students had the chance to travel the world using Skype.  Within hours Mrs. Berglund's students connected with schools in France and Spain.  Fifth grade Integrated Technology students also did a Mystery Skype with a class from St. Angela School in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Our day began with a planned Mystery Skype with students located in Lyon, France.  Technical difficulties in France forced us change our plan to a simple question-and-answer session.  This turned out to be even more exciting for students in both locations as they were very anxious to learn more about one another and their respective cultures.  The students in France were especially surprised to learn that students here were allowed to chew gum at school and carry cell phones.

Our next stop took us to Cuenca, Spain.  This time Mrs. Berglund's 7th graders engaged in a traditional Mystery Skype.  It took us awhile to figure out the other class's location, but our students' diligence using Google Maps paid off with a successful ending.

Our final tour took my 5th grade Integrated Technology class to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  My students quickly guessed our partner's location, but the extra time allowed for us to ask Mr. Wasik's class questions about what life was like there.  The -5 below zero temperature and the snow piled up on the ground did not slow this class down! (Thanks, Mr. Wasik for a peek outside of your window).

In today's world students can do more than just read about other cultures.  Skype, and Skype in the Classroom in particular, has made it possible for students to easily virtually connect with someone living in a different country.  The connections that we experienced on this day gave all students a peek into daily life that no textbook could give.

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