Today I sneaked back into my classroom to grab my school computer (PC). While there I took a quick glance through a few of my students' books... namely their reflective journals (these records of their learning are often shared and are not private).
This short piece of reflective writing stood out to me:
"Today I learned that a class can talk to another class in New Zealand or in a different country using a computer."
See... a 7 year old can understand the power of Skype to enable communication with others within New Zealand, or indeed worldwide!
We have been using Skype to communicate with our Auckland buddies who are our EXPERTS on reducing, reusing and recycling which is the topic we are learning about.
We have had many 'dry run' Skype calls with our buddies during lunchtimes over the past 2 weeks (in preparation and sorting tech probs) and many students have enjoyed dropping in to have a quick chat and to check out the action.
Our first "official" Skype call took place last week (our last week of Term 2) and proved a bit of a technical nightmare. Skype was thoroughly overloaded and neither party could place a call all morning long. Marnie and I even had to resort to cell phone calls to each other to see what the problems were!
The afternoon proved better (probably the rest of the world was asleep) but the connection was still not great and our buddies couldn't hear everything- so we just had to do an "introductions" session. Bless these students who are so adaptable... they threw away their pre-planned questions and found something to talk about!
We are looking forwards next term to asking our experts all of our questions we have about reducing, reusing and recycling... their school is Gold Enviro Award winners and definitely EXPERTS on this. We have lots to learn!
It seems in NZ the afternoon is the best time to use Skype due to less people being online. Has anyone else found this?
Enjoy this video if you're interested - highlights of the "introductions" between our classes of 6 & 7 year olds!
Thanks Marnie for all your patience... I look forwards to linking up again and hope Skype will cooperate this time :)