Friday, November 20, 2009

Asynchronous Global Connections

The classroom of today does not have walls. Through the use of Skype, teachers can connect with other classrooms around the world! Which do you think would be more memorable for your students, learning about how children live in a far away country from a book or seeing and talking to these children through Skype. The opportunities through these global connections are exciting and endless. You could have your students talk to the author of the book they are reading in class. You can take your students on a field trip without ever leaving the classroom. You could have your students learn foreign language from students their age in other countries. You could include a classroom student with a long term illness in your lessons so that he or she still feels like they are part of the group. You could let a parent see their child give a speech or present their project to the class. You would score some major points for that one! The possibilities could go on and on.

The steps to take are one, create a Skype account, two, find the connections and three, setup a time that works for both parties to connect. This is what my blog is about. These connections can be anywhere in the world. This is a great thing. However, there are 24 time zones around our magnificent planet. The time to meet may be your biggest challenge. If they are asleep when you and your students are in school, this puts a damper on this whole exciting adventure. No worries, you can meet asynchronously. You can record your students either through video or audio and place it out on the web. Your connection from that far away land can watch it or listen to it and record their response and send it to you. This is called an asynchronous connection.

The recording or podcast if it is audio, can be done with Audacity, a free audio editing program. If you are recording a video, or in other words, creating a vodcast, this can be done through Movie maker. This is an exciting way for your class to learn. Make it happen!

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