Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Technology Tuesday: Skyping

Another item checked off my professional bucket list!  Been scared to do it until now.

I finally connected with another class via skype!  Well, actually we tried skype and my sound settings were messed up so we switched real quick over to a google hangout video chat, because you always have a plan B for technology, right?

Back at the beginning of February, I saw a tweet about ConnectED Bingo by Brad Gustafson.  I loved the idea and since I don't have a class of my own, I sent an email out to all my teachers telling them about it.  I suggested they could do it whole class, send it home for kids that wanted to do it at home or have students do it during our whole school intervention time in the morning.  I even threw in $5 gift certificates for the book fair for students who completed a bingo and a $25 if a class completed a bingo.  I have loved watching the tweets of my teachers as they post the student completed squares.

One of the squares is to hold a book talk with another class to discuss a book or author using skype or google hangouts.  One of my 4th grade students wanted to discuss Rump by Liesl Shurtliff.  So through the power of twitter, Ms. Melissa Guerrette in Maine replied back to my tweet searching for some students who would like to talk Rump.

Yesterday, we connected Texas to Maine.  They laughed when we said we were having a cold front and it was 30 degrees.  My 4th grade student had a list of questions that Ms. Guerrette's students graciously answered as they talked about their favorite part or the book, which character they would like to be, what they would have done differently if they were Rump and so on.  We even found out their class had skyped with Liesl Shurtliff!  How cool is that!

It was such an awesome experience. I am not sure who was more excited me or my 4th grader.  I can really see the power of classrooms connecting and hope I can convince more of my teachers to try it.  

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