Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Skype with Schools from Around the World

Now that August is right around the corner, my mind is starting to wander to what this upcoming school year might look like.  Last year, I signed up to be part of a program called "Around the School with 80 Schools." This all started in 2009 by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano. By the way she has an excellent blog!
We started with a lot trepidation as truly we had no idea what we were doing.  Luckily our first Skype was with Brian Crosby from Nevada.  He patiently guided us through the process and gave helpful hints for our next Skype.  Since then, my class Skyped with maybe 6-8 different schools throughout the world.  My intent was to teach geography through the various places that we visited over the school year but the students got so much more than "geography."  It's hard to put a grade or measure this type of learning on a standardized test, but students talking about what their life is like in their state/country, what we have in common, where we have differences, what we worry about, what we like to do in and out of school!  An awareness and a bond begins to happen very quickly and soon the students are keenly aware of areas around the globe where their new friends are located.  At the end of last year, my students all mentioned that their Skype experiences were a big highlight of sixth grade! I can hardly wait to again make new connections as I get just as excited, ok sometimes even more than the students.  We can learn so much from each other!

1 comment:

  1. I think the blog looks good. Are you doing the skype thing again this year?