Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Skype in the Classroom - Connecting "Across the Pond"

"Picture a large can. Just before you kick it, your toe pops out of the front of your shoe to "peek" at the can. Can = Kansas. Toe + peek = Topeka. The capital city and state is Topeka, Kansas!" This Mnemonic device paired with a hand drawn picture was used to help instruct students in the United Kingdom who were studying the states and capitals of the USA.  (Here is the list of mnemonic states & capitals we used from mrsjonesroom.com)

Right before the holiday break, my grade 4 classroom connected via Skype with Mrs. Stone's class across "the Pond" just outside London, England. Each class was placed in three groups. Using 2 iPads and a laptop, the classes were able to connect simultaneously through Skype (we used 3 different accounts).  Each student in my class shared a state and capital with their overseas counterparts.  Visuals that further depicted the statement were displayed.  Mrs. Stone's students took notes and asked questions about the state and capital.

This month the learning/sharing will be reversed as Mrs. Stone's American students in the UK will teach the my students the remaining states & capitals using the same format.

A third connection is planned where the students in the UK will shared geographical information about Great Britain such as borders, climate, bodies of water, resources, landforms, major cities, famous people, attractions and animals found in nature.

Using video conferencing tools in our schools with programs such as Skype or Google Hangouts changes the way our students learn and helps them become Global Learners.


(pictures edited using befunky.com underpainting)

1 comment:

  1. Talk about your "small world".

    What a great opportunity and exciting learning experience for a group of students to learn directly from those in another country. Imagine the long term effect this could have on our future if this was used more frequently and with more countries.

    We just might become more tolerant and understanding of our world neighbors! Good job Mrs. Carroll!

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