Wednesday, January 26, 2011

K12 Online Conference 2010 Echo: Seeds to Success with Skype - Reflection

Being faraway from home, it would only be natural that I use Skype almost everyday in order to see my family and friends, it brings us together and without that technology we might not get the chance to do so.

This being said, I thought it was a great idea that these two teachers were using it to bring their classrooms together to share a common learning environment. It gave the students in the classes a chance to share something with each other while they were both studying the same book. I liked how they took turns reading "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" a loud to one another, alternating pages so that each classroom got a chance to read.

I feel that these teachers did a great thing in introducing this technology into their classroom environment. The children then get the chance to show off their reading skills to other students in a classroom that could be anywhere in the world. Not only that, but they are also getting a valuable lesson in technology, they were learning while being engaged in the classroom which can be challenging for teachers to do in today's classroom environment. The students would more likely be excited about the upcoming lesson as well if this kind of technology was involved, because then they are not just sitting at their desks and learning it, they are learning it with other students who aren't in their class. Its something new and exciting for the students to experience, while still being educational. 

The teacher also used Skype for math lesson purposes, she had her fourth grade class Skype with a fifth grade class, and the fifth grade students would take turns quizzing her students on their multiplication. This was an amazing idea, I think because again it engages the students in the learning and makes them want to learn the material so they can impress the fifth graders with their knowledge. It would also be good for those students who were not that good at multiplication because the fifth grader would act almost as a tutor.

There were many other things that the teacher listed as use for Skype in the classroom such as, to conduct interviews with authors or other people, to gather information about another state, to see what is happening in another classroom, to read to younger students, to have another teacher read to your students, in learn about natural disasters, to include a student who is out of school for an extended period of time. But I think one of the best things that came out of this experience that the teacher had was that the students were so excited about using the technology that it extended past the classroom. They went home and showed their parents how to use it and now it has become part of their everyday lives.

It was great to see this teacher making such an impact on her students with the technology of Skype. The students were being educated and informed at the same time and it was great to see the students be excited about learning with other classrooms across the country. It was encouraging to see, because she was telling other teachers that they should use it too, because it is a great educational tool. It was also good to see a teacher who wasn't afraid to introduce this kind of technology into the classroom, it is what this generation of students needs and it was great to see her playing into that.

1 comment:

  1. Skype, and other tools like it, can be great to bring classrooms together and let students experience other cultures first hand! Good observation.