We just got done Skyping with a class of fourth and fifth graders in Louisiana. Their teacher contacted me a few weeks back about making a Skype connection because she had read about us somewhere. The class had never Skyped and they couldn’t think of a way to find other classrooms that did to try it out with so we were their choice.
We showed them a few of the systems we designed and built to live on Mars, and they shared about the State of Louisiana. They told us about alligators, hurricanes and craw fish. They had a live craw fish which they held up to the camera so we could see. One of her students told a personal story of Hurricane Rita, and we shared about the earthquake swarm we have been experiencing the last month (a 3.2 last night BTW). We reveled in hearing their southern accents and “ya’lls”. They were impressed by how many of my students speak 2 languages.
Five minutes before we were supposed to connect, it was announced that technicians had just taken down the network at my school for maintenance. Never fear! My Verizon wireless card was quickly put to use and made the connection until we had the network back about halfway through our meet-up.
It was very low key … just a conversation between 2 groups of students 1,500 miles apart.
I could do this every day, … well or maybe once a week or something just to learn about other places and people. Maybe we should set up a network like that. A wiki where schools could make contact to share about where they live … customs, animals, plants, places, etc. Hmmmm.
Learning is messy!