Last week was Microsoft’s Skype-a-Thon. The Skype-a-Thon was a two day event aimed at bringing awareness to a teacher’s ability to connect with experts and educators all over the world and virtually bring them into their classroom for engaging lessons and collaboration. After everything was said and done, educators from all over the world traveled more than three million virtual miles during the Skype-a-Thon, which shattered Skype’s goal of a million virtual miles. Our district was responsible for about 20,000 of those virtual miles.
The highlight of our district’s Skype-a-Thon was when one of our third grade classes Skyped with Skype! We were lucky to have Ross Smith, Director of Customer Engineering at Skype, and Amrita Ray, Senior Data Scientist at Skype, talk to our students about what they do and the important role technology will play in their futures. It was one of the most enjoyable Skypes I’ve ever taken part in.
I made sure I captured this Skype for our latest installment of Kid Vision, the project where we take a look at engaging lessons through the eyes of our students. Enjoy the latest Kid Vision!
A couple weeks ago, the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program stopped by our schools. Students in both our schools, a few hundred in grades first through eighth grade, got to try out Google Expeditions and give feedback on their experience.
I first tried Google Expeditions about six months ago and thought it was cool, but didn’t see the big classroom appeal. After seeing the updates and watching my kids and teachers use Expeditions, I’m sold on the concept. Google Expeditions isn’t and shouldn’t be thought of as a replacement for real class trips or career day, but I think it is a great way to enhance a lesson and expose students to careers and places they may never get to “see.”
Educators have shadowed students through the school day, but when was the last time we actually saw school through a students’ eyes? I think we can learn a lot if we could see what they see. So when I was invited by two of Fair Haven’s rock star teachers, Mrs. Raibick and Ms. Piotrowski, to join their third grade class for a Mystery Skype I thought it would be fun to see the lesson from a student’s perspective, so I strapped a GoPro on one of their kids head and off we went!