The 21st Century Social and Cross-Cultural Skills can be explored through some of the web's best interactive tools. Share your experiences with resources such as Skype, Toxbox, Adobe Connect and other VOIP tools. Give examples of how you have communicated and shared ideas, and resources with other classrooms within your district, state or in other states or countries. Let’s make this a truly cross-cultural exchange and see what we can all learn from each other. We are hoping this networking opportunity will open doors for collaboration and communication among Intel Teach educators.
All contributions to this thread will be entered in a drawing for a Go Pro- Digital Camera. Unfortunately, for legal reasons, we can only ship prizes within the U.S.,but the contents of this discussion are applicable to every Intel Teach educator worldwide, so please help build a solid set of tips and resources for everyone. We look forward to your contributions.
If you didn't get a change to attend the live webinar, check on the link to view a recorded session of the webinar.
Dyane and Vanessa
As an enrichment activity for one of my dual identified Gifted and Talented/Special Education 1st grade students we used TokBox.com. He was extremely interested in Thailand and had many questions about the culture, history, etc... As an assignment, he wrote down all of the questions that he had about Thailand. Then, we went on Tokbox and we ussed the video chat option to create a video asking a friend of mine who was living there his questions. My friend actually created short videos to answer each of his questions and sent them to us. He was thrilled to learn the answers to his questions and to see the videos she took. Our next step would have been to have a live chat with her, but due to the time difference and our schedules we were unable to do it. I would love to do something like that again!
Here is a link to my friend's blog, our video message, and the videos she made to respond to us.
My Middle School Science Students collaborated with a Middle School in Alabama. This collaboration began with a discussion between the other teacher and I on Twitter. We advanced to sharing ideas via email (so we could go beyond 140 characters .) Our collaboration continued as we used Google Docs to plan labs. Part of this work involved creating a Form for all of our students to enter lab data into. We used Oovoo instead of Skype because that was his district's preferred communication tool. Students collaborated in creating a wiki (I even saw Middle School students edit the grammar of each other's posts!). A final tool used in our collaboration was Visual Ranking by our own Intel(R) Teach! My counterpart in Alabama was unfamiliar with several of these tools (including Visual Ranking). He, however, was VERY willing to learn. I think the best advice and encouragement for exchanges is to have teachers who are willing to share and not afraid to learn if needed.
I'm sorry I missed the event - it would have been fun to hear other ideas on how to do exchanges!
The webinar on Nov. 30th was full of great information. The early childhood examples were very useful. In fact, all the presentations were filled with great information. I have used Skype for planning sessions with Deborah Goodman and Jane Milner. We are in different parts of the state and using Skype and google docs has been beneficial for planning. Smoke and I have skyped to share information with teachers in North Carolina from our Kansas connection.
My district has active directory which controls all the computers in our schools. I have e-mailed the technology department to ask that Skype and Toxbox be added to my computer menu and also to a friend's computer in another school. We are going to work out the obstacles and then seek out a classroom farther away. Toxbox will be new to me and stretch my learning. I am excited about using these resources with my kindergarten students. The examples used in Austin were great. One of the comments in the webinar was that this will not be technology to our students just part of living, learning and sharing with others. And sharing is a great way to learn. That is one reason I enjoy the webinars on engage community.
Skype in the K-12 Classroom
Tips for Using Skype in the Classroom
Langwitches Skype in the Classroom Video (24 minutes)
Using Skype at School Slideshare
List of other classrooms willing to Skype into your school
This was truly a cross cultual learning exchang. Attached is a presentation from Sadia Syed from Pakistan.
This was a wonderful webinar! As Linda said, she, Jane and I use Skype and google docs to plan training sessions. We also use Skype to conference with Mary Lou at times. I know I've spoke of this before but, our 5th grade students used Skype a couple years ago to visit with Linda Lowery and husband Richard Keep to discuss their books. They were living in Mexico at the time and shared pictures and videos of San Miguel de Allende. The students learned about the culture of Mexico through the books that Linda and Richard wrote as well as the virtual tours they were given. We then used a VoiceThread to talk about the books we were reading. It was an awesome experience.
We've skyped classes and other educators across the US for various reasons. We skyped a meteorologist this year to discuss weather related events. He gave them a tour of his weather room. The students were totally engaged. Another class interviewed the town manager while they were studying community. The students usually prepare questions ahead of time to make good use of time and to make the virtual visit relevant.
My goal this year is to reach beyond the states to bring cultural awareness to students and to expose them to others' way of life.
I really hope everybody enjoyed this presentation as much as I enjoyed preparing it.
I have used Skype mostly to bring in experts into my classroom and so that m y students can learn about other cultures as well. We have talked to family members that still live in Bolivia and friends of mine from when I was in school there so my students can learn about our culture as well. I was introduced to TokBox over the summer and have used it only a couple of times with a group of people in different cities in Texas. We have used it mostly to plan and organize our group. I really like that TokBox allows you to video conference with multiple people at the same time. I will let you know how it goes when I start using it with my kids as well.
Skype is a wonderful tool for every age group and is easy to use with the youngest children. My kindergarten class made a Skype call to another class in our district (Mrs. Laubenthal's Ladybugs) so that we could compare our findings after both classes participated in the CiESE Square of Life project. The children were not only exposed to the technology of Skype, but they learned Skype protocol for the classroom. As a language arts activity, we focused on the difference between questions and statements. Children dictated their questions to me and I wrote them on notecards. Individual children practiced reading their questions so they could present during the Skype call. When we make Skype calls later in the year, chidren are able to write and read their own questions. Another benefit of this type of activity is the opportunity to communicate with others to compare information!
Through the CIESE program I am able to find other teachers in the US who use Skype. We make Skype calls to other states in the late winter and compare weather. This is very interesting and enlightening. Through these types of activities I see that my students have grown to be very curious and interested in geography.
I too have only had experience with the innovation station training. However, our first grade team does a cultural enrichment lesson that we rotate our classes on how we celebrate holidays by Native Americans, Jewish, Mexican Holidays. I decided to take it a step further this year and include parents that volunteer in my computer class to teach us how they celebrate the holidays in Puerto Rico and Ireland. These parents are from there and have personal knowledge of the culture and traditions. It is scheduled for Monday and I can't wait. It will be the first time I endeavor beyond my comfort zone. It is such a great way to break the barriers and include parents that have a wealth of knowledge to teach and share with us. I am thinking that I am going to start a read Aloud Program for parents to participate via skype for those parents that may not able to take off from work but can take a break to participate in their child's classroom by reading to the class. I would be interested in your thoughts or if anyone has done this before.
I have not yet done this, but am extremely interested in starting a pen pal program between my 4th grade class and another class in another country. I would love to do this, but need to figure out how to get started. I am so excited to expose them with other cultures. I have considered asking about putting together a Cultural Night at our school. Each grade level can represent a different country (maybe choosing the countries of students we have in our school - Vietnam, Togo, Africa, Mexico, etc.) We can share food, cultures, and other interesting information. Just exposing our students to the other cultures will be something completely new and fun for them. Anyone have ideas of how to get pen pals from class to class?
When I was in elementary school, I got to do this after school program called "Taste the World." Each week, our teacher would tell us all about a specific country and then we'd get to make a meal from that country. I LOVED it! I think that may have began my lifelong curiousity of other cultures. I think our students would love tasting things they've never heard of, as well as learn how life is outside of Greensboro, North Carolina, and even the USA. I know I have 6 ESOL students : 3 from Mexico, 2 from Vietnam, and 1 from West Africa. I think it would be so much fun to have our school see what some of our ESOL students' lives were like before they moved here.
I had mentioned it to R. Lee earlier in the year and she seemed interested as well. Maybe after the new year starts, we can plan this. Would it be possible to use a little technology in the 'Culture Fair' and have engaging visuals and interactives dealing with each country?? Hmmm....
Just think... what if we had people on Skype from those countries ready to answer questions from people who were here for the cultural fair. (Picture a booth representing Vietnam, with someone who is actually in Vietnam, and can answer student questions as they stand in front of the computer). I'm sure this can be done. The question will be HOW can we do this?
The webinar had many useful tips, pointers, and suggestions, and I'm also very glad to see all the helpful information here too. Great!
I have used Skype with a former student. I looped with my Kindergarten class onto First Grade last year. A student who moved from Austin to Germany during our First Grade year was able to Skype w/us while at home with his family. It was a truly, truly wonderful experience. The only issues that came up were that we didn't get to continue the exchange throughout the schoolyear as we had planned due to several, unrelated to our process issues that arose. Still, the Skype call was amazing it that it gave me some time to think about and practice how we could utilize Skype w/in the classroom.
Always plan for good, quality engagment with your class. Find ways to include all students, and give them a chance to have lots of input about the process (i.e., what gets asked, what they want to know...etc.). Have a good plan in place for what you want to get out of the experience, etc. Follow-through, and, of course, make sure the technology is already to go each time you're going to communicate.
Working for a large school district has advantages and disadvantages. Skype falls into the disadvantage category as the technology department has blocked this application. Previously, I was able to skype from my very urban classroom to a very rural classroom in Iowa. My students discussed their ideas of what life in a farming community would be like. We then called the classroom in Iowa and were able to ask our questions. It was a spectacular exchange of ideas. Cross cultural exchanges through skype, wimba, toxbox, etc. are a great way to expand the understanding our students have of the world around them.
The fourth grade team hosts a Culture Fair every year. I'm perusing ways to extend this beyond the classroom. I may start with video clips that I mash up to highlight unique cultural aspects as well as similarities that cut across cultures. Also, a friend of mine who teaches at another school loves presenting at the culture fair, but may not to physically make it to our school. We are contemplating a skype session.
I have some students in an undergraduate education class from Turkey and I am hoping to use skype and elluminate to connect my class with some of the teachers in Turkey to share some educational practices and maybe it will give some of these preservice students connections so that when they are in the classroom they will have a connection with some people in Turkey to work with and share ideas. At the college level it is a little easier because you don't have as many of the software and firewall issues than in K-12 education.
I used freebinar http://freebinar.com with a high school Spanish class to explain a project, to teach them how to use the tool and to share with them a free tool that they could use to communicate with me while in Spain. The students will use a wiki to create an everything you want to know about Spain page. They will then create podcasts to serve as tutorials to teach me Spanish and basic communication phrases.