I’m really a fan of using Skype in the classroom. Skype brings the outside world into my classroom. With Skype, there seems to be no limit to learning. I usually use Skype as part of my class, especially on special days like International Women’s Day, Earth Day, etc. Skype is an integral part of my students to experience these special events.
This year, Earth Day is special to my 5th graders. Indeed, Earth Day is quite straight to Vietnamese students because they do not have much experience of the meaning of this day. Although the environment is an important topic is taught in many schools. However, teachers are less interested in getting students involved in day-to-day activities. At the beginning of April, I was wondering, “Why do I myself not use Skype to bring students out into the world today?” Saying is doing, I planned to help my students get a special experience for Earth Day.
I have to thank Microsoft Innovative Educator (MEC) community, where millions of teachers are available to connect and share. I started by connecting with Skype Master Teacher Ana from Serbia on the MEC site. After sending a Skype request on the topic about types of snakes, we agreed each other on the connection date and my students started to prepare a presentation about snakes in Vietnam. This is a really interesting topic so they are very excited. My students were heard Ana’s 6th grade students presenting about snakes in Serbia. My students also shared about snakes in Vietnam. The atmosphere was really fun. My students were not only learning but also sharing their knowledge. In addition, they also practice their English speaking skills. The connection with Ana made the day for my students and me.
After that connection, my students continued with the question, “Mr Nam, when do we connect again on the topic of Earth Day?”. That question made me really excited. I decided to hold a connection by inviting speaker to my classroom.I was really fortunate to receive approval from wonderful Skype Master Teacher, Tammy Dunbar from the USA. In addition, she also invited her husband to participate in the conversation with my students. My students had the opportunity to share their knowledge about the natural world in Vietnam including: river, forest, animals … They were really excited when Tammy and her husband marvel at themselves. After that, my students asked many questions about Earth Day such as: “How does your school celebrate Earth Day?”… The questions and answers were given repeatedly until the ringing bell for lunch started. We really had “aha” moments in that exciting connection. For myself, I am proud to have developed a passion for learning and confidence for students through using of Skype in the classroom.
If you also want to give your students a fun experience, visit this website right now. I’m sure you will have wonderful moments as well.