SKYPE: A Way To Connect, Enrich and Engage

Skype has been a fun, easy way for my students to say hello, have conversations about what we are learning, ask questions, listen to a story, connect and learn new things. Earlier this year a friend, Cathy, I met in an online course thanks to the #plpnetwork that we were both participating in last spring offered to be a guest speaker for my students. I discovered that she was very interested in and had a lot of knowledge about the Monarch Butterfly.  So this Fall when I was exploring this unique animal I was able to use Skype as a way to connect my students with an expert and ask her questions about the life of a Monarch.  My students had great questions and were very comfortable using this synchronous tool because we have had many opportunities earlier with different parents who were willing to call us and say hello and ask us about our learning.  Through this type of modeling and explicit exploration of this tool my students were able to experience what it might be like as well as explore what online etiquette is and how this tool can help support our learning, learning as digital citizens.

Last week another friend and colleague, Brianna Laue, I met at Vermont Fest 2 years ago used Skype to have a few of her students read a couple of wonderful stories aloud to us!  This type of experience gave my students a chance to enjoy a read aloud, but also make connections and other noticings about the story and some of the strategies that the readers were using. Some of the strategies that my students noticed were: *read nicely, good readers, read with expression and they showed us pictures.* This is the beginning of reader’s workshop for my students.  They had an opportunity to be a part of a read aloud where other students were teaching us and through their modeling I can now build on this experience to further my students understanding.photo 3

6 weeks into Kindergarten and all is grand!  I am very grateful for the connections I have made over the years.  My connections are an important part of my PLN.  I continue to be inspired and supported through my connections. They challenge my thinking and broaden my perspective.

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9 responses to “SKYPE: A Way To Connect, Enrich and Engage

  1. Being able to use your connections with people who have the same interest as you is always a wonderful way to further support to the students that blogging, and other social media is a wonderful device to use. They allow students or teachers to develop connections all throughout the world and further build our PLNs.

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  2. Hi Sharon, My name is Emily and i’m a student in EDM310, and I found your post about Skype very interesting. My professor has been trying to stress the importance of building a personal learning network for ourselves, but I have yet to hear of teachers using these in real-world situations. I think having the students learn about Skype and other video programs at a young age is a great idea, so that they will be comfortable using it in the future. I hope that when I become a teacher, I will be able to have a greater PLN and use these connections to benefit my students and to help them practice with these new technology tools available.
    Emily,
    http://parmeremilyedm310.blogspot.com/

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  3. Hi I feel that using Skype can help in so many ways with the students. I am a student at the University of South Alabama. When I graduate I plan to try and incorporate this in my classroom. Thank you and this was a great blog post.

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  4. Hi, my name is Marie and I am a student at the University of South Alabama and in the class EDM310. I think Skype is a great way for students to get connected with people all over the world. I think it is wonderful that you are so interested in meeting new people and getting connected to people all over the world. It’s great that you are teaching your kids this as well!

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  5. Skype is such a great tool! I love that you got other students to read to yours over skype and brought professionals into the classroom using it! I will definitely be using skype in my future classroom.

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  6. Hello Sharon,
    My name is Julie and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your blog about Skype. I use Skype at least 4 times a week to talk to my niece and nephew who live in Hawaii. I think it is great how you are using this wonderful tool in your classroom. That was a great idea to have to guest speaker talk to the students through Skype. I can only imagine how excited they were for that part of the lesson. Thanks for the great idea!
    Julie Jones

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