Friday, November 10, 2006

The Beauty of Flexibility and the wonder of technology

I have a routine at the beginning of each IT lesson to always have my laptop connected to the interactive whiteboard, data projector and internet whether I plan to use them or not. There have been many instances when we have been discussing something as a class where we have wondered about an issue or an idea and then quickly googled it or gone to Visual Thesaurus Googlemaps or Wikipedia to check something out immediately.
The other day we were just about to start our class when the students noticed the Skype icon pop up as one of my Skype friends logged in and naturally being curious they asked what it was.
Well I couldn't resist, so out the door went the lesson plan and in came a quick lesson on Skype. A minute or so later we were Skypeing with Chris Betcher and his daughter over in Canada. Chris had his webcam on so that added another excitement for the kids as they could see as well as hear Chris and Kate. It was fantastic and we had other teachers come into the room to see what was going on.
Chris has blogged about this as well on his blog. The wonderful thing as Chris said was that it took no time and was a really powerful opportunity to make links across the world. What I saw was total engagement, every student was totally engrossed. Many went home and checked out Skype for themselves. But I think the best thing was the chance to talk to Chris and Kate about their experiences in Canada and the opportunity for us to spontaneously (if only virtually) spread our wings into the big wide world. It's certainly something we will do again. In fact we are already planning another skype opportunity with some students in Phoenix, Arizona.


Michael C said...

Awesome Anne - love it! And I have been following what you and your students have been up to - it is great! :)

Anne said...

Thanks Michael,
I think its lots of fun and as I said the kids think it's awesome.
Are you in a position to do the same thing with your students? I presume you are a teacher. Have I asked you that before?

Chris said...

Kate says that next time I thrust her into the limelight I should at least give her a chance to wear some thing other than her pyjamas. :-)

It was good though Anne, and you're right, kids find it really engrossing to take part in a video chat to some other place.

Thanks for making it happen!