The biggest challenge I have ever faced in teaching was in learning to apply technology to my teaching methods. 8 years ago, I was afraid of integrating technology, although I knew that technology would enhance the effectiveness of my lessons.
I was lucky to be a part of Microsoft’s Innovative Educator Expert program, where I had a great opportunity to learn new and innovative technologies from the global teaching community. After that, I gained the confidence to implement technology in my classes. I realized that technology could exceed the limit of a regular class and help to expand the space of education internationally, and allows my students to discover more issues they cared about. Moreover, information technology is such a powerful tool that helps me to empower my students. I always create activities so that students feel that every day is a happy day. One of the activities that children are very fond of is the use of Skype in the classroom. Skype has become an integral part of implementing global projects. It helps to bridge the gap between the classroom and real life. Skype has taken my students to new places and has given them opportunities to make friends from around the world. With Skype, the classroom walls extend to the entire world and students realize that learning can take place anytime and virtually anywhere.
Simple but wonderful start with Skype
In 2015, I first used Skype in my classroom while doing the project We are little volunteers. My students got chances to work on projects with friends coming from the Philippines, Serbia, Israel, India, etc. They used Skype to have the opportunity to exchange personal ideas and knowledge that they are interested in from other countries. This has become a wonderful experience that they have not had before.
After the first great experience with Skype, both my students and I did not want to stop. I started looking for more ways to apply Skype to my classroom. I realized that you just need having creative and passionate, Skype will help open more doors to your classroom. With me, Skype is now one free and infinitely useful tool that educators should know. It brings joy, wonder, and intrigue to my students.
#1: To collaborate with other classrooms:: When conducting a lesson, I don’t want to limit my students’ knowledge in four the walls. So, I widen beyond classroom when doing some more project such as I am future Environmental Science, Capturing Christmas across the Globe,…
When conducting a lesson, I dont want to limit my students’ knowledge in four the
#2: To interview expert (guest speaker): As you know, we can not be good at any fields. So, I invite experts into the classroom, no matter where they are in the world. They will share their knowledge with my class. My students also love this way to learn new things from strange people. I am so happy to see them ask lots of question with the experts.
#3: To exchange culture: To help students to learn a new culture, I use Skype to connect my class with other classes around the world to share our own culture and learn new one from other classes. It’s amazing way to learn a new thing!
To help students to learn a new culture, I use Skype to connect my class with other
classes around the world to share our own culture and learn new one from other
#4: To conduct a Mystery Skype: My students really love this game. This kind of using Skype helps to change type of learning which connects my class with a class from another city, state or country and give my students with the task of guessing where the Skype class is located.
My students really love this game. This kind of using Skype helps to change type of
learning which connects my class with a class from another city, state or country
#5: Combining Skype with Kahoot to take classroom engagement to a new level
Skype and Kahoot are two of my favorite tools that help me disrupt traditional ways of teaching and make learning fun. I’ve been consistently using them both over the past few years. Both Kahoot! and Skype made my students more engaged and active than any other class format.
#6: Joining Virtual Field Trip
I love having my students participate in learning activities outside the classroom. However, sometimes I can not do this often due to a number of reasons such as bad weather, geographical distances, budget limitations, etc. To overcome these limitations, I’ve organized Skype Virtual Field Trip in my classroom. For example, to commemorate the Earth Day event, I connected my classroom with a staff at the National Park in the United States to learn about the Joshua Tree; or on the occasion of “Oceans Month” I let my students visit the turtle hospital without leaving the classroom,…
Becoming Guest Speaker is a new challenge: I am fortunate to receive the sharing of many other teachers around the globe for my classroom. One day, I received an invitation to become Guest Speaker for Arti Chopra, India. I’m a bit nervous because I have not done this before but I think sharing will help me grow up.
Getting Skype Master Teacher tittle is a super honor
Being a member of Skype Master Teacher is an honor for me. Having this title has helped me to have opportunity to help other teachers to use Skype to transform education. I also have had opportunities to learn, to share and to collaborate with amazing educators around the world who are passionate about teaching and inspiring students by breaking up “the wall” of classroom. Being Skype Master Teacher has made me better myself before day by day.
To be an inspired teacher
As a Microsoft Teacher Ambassador and Microsoft Learning Consultant, I have the opportunity to meet and share the love of applying information technology in general and Skype in particular in my classroom with many teachers in Vietnam. Currently, our group has nearly 2000 teachers with many meaningful activities for education. I’m really happy that every day I see teachers in my group use Skype as part of daily work in their classroom. This has helped me to feel the meaning of the work I am doing.
Mr. Nam Thanh (@mrnamvas) is a primary school teacher in Vinschool in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He has authored multiple articles, and he has been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into his teaching. Nam is the founder of the global project Five Safe Finger: https://mrnamvas.wixsite.com/fivesafefingers. In 2015, he was presented with the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Award, and in the same year he represented Vietnam at the Microsoft Global Forum. He is Microsoft Master Trainer, Skype Master Teacher, and Microsoft Learning Consultant. Mr. Nam has authored multiple articles, and been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into his teaching. He is the winner of Educator of the Year Asia 2017 and Top 50 Global Teacher Prize Finalist 2018.