This past week at Barnett Shoals Elementary School Mrs. Lara Williams’ kindergarten class had the wonderful opportunity to speak with one of their favorite authors Melissa Conroy. Ms. Conroy’s popular children’s book Poppy’s Pants is one of Mrs. Williams’ students’ favorite books and to their delight, they were able to interact with the puppets of the characters as they Skyped with Ms. Conroy from her home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Skype and other video chat applications allow the teacher and students to travel outside their classroom and interact with people and places anywhere across the world in a matter of minutes. Google has created the World Wonders Project to allow any user to visit historical landmarks such as the “Archaeological Areas of Pompei” or natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef.
An example of my favorite use of video conferencing comes from Mrs. Andrea Rowe’s 1st grade at Whit Davis Elementary. Her father, now retired, Skype’s in periodically just to see the classes progress and have the students tell him what they have learned. Video chatting doesn’t always need to be a detailed plan. Students love interacting with any screen especially when a screen interacts back.
This “Touch Screen Generation” is learning in a new way and will have more opportunities to explore the world than ever before.
“And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!