Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Skyping in Grades 1, 2 and 3
Our Grade 1 students have been looking at different ways of communicating - it's part of our Where We Are in Place and Time unit of inquiry and students are inquiring into different methods of communication that depend on the purpose, the audience and the resources. Our students already used email to send questions to students in other classes in Italy, the USA, Ghana, Singapore, South Africa and Tanzania. Now they are skyping with those students to find out their answers. Students are responsible for introducing themselves and asking their question of another student. The fact that we have already sent the questions means that each student in our buddy classes has had time to think about and maybe research the answers for us, and has a little idea about the person they are going to talk to. Each Grade 1 class therefore connects with one other class, and each students asks and receives one answer from a student in that class.
Moving on from learning about poetry and what it is to be a poet, the students are now starting to become poets themselves. They know the process Kenn Nesbitt goes through when writing his poems and now it's time for them to write their own. They have composed music using GarageBand so that they see the connection between poetry and song, and they are about to start taking photos to go with their music that they will then write poems about. The idea is that the music, photos and poems will be used in an Animoto slideshow (and we already have a few experts in the class who can teach the others how to do this as they learned how to do this already after the skype call) and students' artwork will be put with other poems they have written in VoiceThread so that all the students in the class can listen to each other's work, view each other's art and make their own comments. In order to do this, students have all used Bitstrips to design their own avatar to use in VoiceThread.
I have loved the way that skype has been used to bring the world into our classrooms during the past couple of months and am excited to see how rich the learning has become.