Recently, second-grade teacher Mrs. Cagle took her students to an aquarium in North Carolina. Soon after, while learning about presidents, they visited Abraham Lincoln’s home. How? By using a tool called Skype in the Classroom. “It is so exciting! You can do virtual field trips without leaving your classroom.” At the aquarium in North Carolina, the class was Skyping with the docent where she showed the kids a sea turtle and talked about the turtle’s life cycle. “It was this 45-minute explanation and she was talking straight to them. She could see my class and my class could see her,” says a very excited Mrs. Cagle.
Mrs. Cagle enjoys listening to podcasts and follows social media to discover what new things teachers doing, other resources available, and ways to make learning fun for kids. “I heard about Skype in the Classroom while listening to a podcast. There are many different types of Skype options: you can go to Yellowstone, you can Skype with people in Africa, you can Skype with people in England– and it’s all live–in real time. You can interact, ask questions, it’s just like you are there.”
Her next planned adventure? A Mystery Skype. After her class learns about geography they will be paired up with other teachers all around the world. “My class will have to guess where they are and the other class we Skype with, will have to guess where we are from too.” This exercise helps students with geography, and speaking and listening skills. “The students have to consider how to ask an appropriate question, and how to listen,” Mrs. Cagle explained.
If you would like to hear more about Skype in the Classroom, find one of Mrs. Cagle’s second grade students, ask them about where in the world they went – you might discover a very enthusiastic kid telling you about their most recent adventure someplace in the world.