Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Can We Skype You?

Recently, one of the schools within our district had a memorable experience.... they were able to talk one-on-one with a local TV celebrity. How did it happen? Did the students visit the TV station? Nope. Did the TV personality come to the school? Well... not exactly. Technology brought the two together using a computer, a web cam, a projector and Skype.

Skype is definitely not new to the tech scene. But, the experience it brings is always a new feeling, especially when you are a student sitting face-to-face with someone you wouldn't normally have a direct conversation with. So, what did the students ask Leigh Brock, a local meteorologist from WFMY? The normal questions we all have about the weather, our climate, and of course... the famous green screen!

The hosting school has a major goal for all of their teachers this year... make at least one global connection by the end of the year. Awesome task - and great for the students. Tons of benefits... exposure, change of pace, and learning right within the 21st Century Skills initiative. The school has defined the word "global" as simply any connection made outside of the normal classroom walls. Hmmmm.... classrooms without walls - that is what Skype can easily provide.

Where do you even find connections to Skype with? Couple of ways... there are various published lists of ideas you can find just by searching the web. Check out some of these resources.

Skype Virtual Guest Speakers
Skype in Schools Directory
Skype an Author
Cool Cat Teacher: Tips to Skype
See Me, Hear Me

Or... you can try the old-fashioned way... Call or email the person and simply invite them to Skype!

If you want to know more about the featured skyper from last week's class... Leigh Brock or WFMY - check them out online. BTW, Thanks Leigh!! We really appreciate you taking the time to help our students experience a prime example of what 21st Century Skills/Learning looks like!

Reading this blog and you want to get in on the Skype experience? Post a message here and you will be well on your way to communication on a whole new level...

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