Skype is just amazing! Now for those of you who have travelled extensively or lived abroad, Skype might be nothing new. I am, however referring to it in an educational context. It is truly amazing. If you are keen on flattening your classroom walls and making your students true global citizens, then Skype is for you. Let me elaborate…
Today one of our Grade 6 classes had a Skype session with a Grade 6 class from Vonsild Skole in Kolding, Denmark. As an extension of their Grade 3 Stories project, they got to read their stories aloud to their Danish peers who listened attentively and applauded each story after it was read. Albeit that we had poor video quality, the sound was good enough to get the message across and the whole experience was great fun. There was a short question/answer session at the end and this is where the learning happened, where the interest became apparent and where the realisation that they were talking to children elsewhere on the globe sank in. This is really powerful and can lead to great collaboration across the miles. We look forward to meeting up with this class again later in the year, after their long summer holiday, when they have promised to share a project with us.
Read the Vonsild Skole blog post here: http://vonsildskole.blogspot.com/2012/06/6b-listening-to-elkanah-stories.html
In the past two weeks I have also spoken via Skype to a dear Twitter friend Vijay Krishnan aka @bucharesttutor, all the way in Romania, (In fact, my own children got to “meet” him too), as well as a surprise Skype call from a contact from the Global Classroom project, Govinda Prasad Panthy who is in Nepal of all places! This man has a story to tell – he started a school in his village and his only form of internet contact is via his mobile SIM card, and he says that bandwidth is extremely expensive in Nepal. I have much respect for him as he dreams of starting an IT Centre in his village. Powerful stuff.
Karen Stadler (@ICT_Integrator)
Cross-posted from http://karenstadler.wordpress.com