Skyping Connections

Over the past two weeks we have Skyped with a class in Philadelphia and one in Hamilton. We were the school’s very first ever Skype call. Ms. Tavangar in Philadelphia wanted her primary division to see the power of Skype. We Skyped into their gym during an assembly and told them a little bit about Ontario. We also had two grade eight students join us for the call and they talked about Georgina Island. It was interesting to exchange information and learn about our similarities.

Our class Skyped with Ms. Dunsiger and a few of her grade six students. It was a follow up to our We Can See Project. This class designed books specifically for our our class. They were learning about point of view so they wrote Schoolyard books based on alternate points of view. Some books were written by a squirrel’s point of view and a bird’s perspective. Our students were fascinated by the books.

During the call, one of our students asked, “how did you know what the bird was saying?” I guess we have some work to do on point of view in a text. You can help at home by reading books aloud and discussing who is speaking in the story, discuss whose point of view it is in the book. Discuss how the story would be different if it was written in a different point of view. Skype calls always provide an opportunity for me to gain assessment information on our students’ understanding of their world around them. I usually have a next step for instruction following a Skype call.

I am always brimming with pride after a Skype call. Our students are very respectful during the call. They prepare for the call by determining questions prior to the call. They ask the questions, they listens responses and they always end with compliments for our Skype partners. The compliments are a very important process in the calls. Our students recognize that it feels good to give a compliment (fills a bucket). Our students also are learning how to be responsible digital citizens. They are learning how to be respectful in their online interactions. They understand that technology is used to connect people and we need to be respectful in these interactions. This is an important step forward in creating responsible digital citizens.

How do you reinforce digital citizenship with your child?

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About mrsharrisonlsps

I'm a Kindergarten teacher who is running a Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program. I am an Apple Distinguished Educator and a Discovery Educator Star.
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2 Responses to Skyping Connections

  1. Thank you so much for allowing us to Skype with you! My students really enjoyed answering your questions and sharing some of their books with you. It was great that we could write for a real audience.

    I really liked this blog post because you made a very important point that I never really thought of before: Skype can be great for assessment. The questions that the students ask and the information that they share tell us a lot about what they know and what they still need to learn. I often think about their comments after the Skype call, but have never really considered this as assessment before. Thank you for getting me to think about things differently!

    Aviva
    http://www.weinspirefutures.com

    • Thanks for your comment Aviva. You always approach each blog post as a time to reflect and improve on your own instruction. I admire that. Yes, we can learn so much from the questions the students ask. The Skype calls provide an authentic opportunity for our children to ask questions and ponder. I marvel at how much learning comes from a 15 minute call. Thanks so much for pushing our students in their thinking and learning. I see on your blog there are a few more stories posted. We will do our best to read and respond this week.

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