"Creativity is contagious, pass it on." ~Albert Einstein

Monday, March 5, 2012

To the Ukraine, and Beyond!

A couple of weeks ago,  four of our fourth grade students at York Elementary were able to do something that wouldn't have been possible without a little help from modern day technology.  Well,  I guess they could have sent a letter via snail mail, but I just can't imagine that being as engaging as the Skype session that we had with Alexander Tsepko.  Who is Alexander Tsepko?  Alexander is the head of marketing at software company called macphun that created the Silent Film Director App.  Alex is from Ukraine....roughly 5,500 miles from York, Nebraska!

To make a long story short, we have been using the Silent Film Director app at York Elementary for the last three to four months.  Our students have created book trailers, funny movies, and our staff did a silent film and played it for our students the last day before Christmas break.

How did I meet Alex?  Alexander had read a blog post that I composed about the Silent Film Director app before Christmas break. He emailed me, we chatted back and forth, and I thought it would be a great experience if he would Skype into our classroom and tell our students about what goes into the creation of an app.

What fourth grader doesn't have about a gazillion apps on their iPod?  To think that we could actually pose questions to someone that has created an app that has sold over a million times!  Alexander and his marketing manager,  Natalie Kinn, were amazing during our Skype.  Our fourth graders had created and shared with each other a Google Doc in which they listed several, actually three pages worth, of questions that they had for Natalie and Alex.   The Skype lasted only twenty minutes, but the authentic learning that happened in the media center that day was amazing!

Have you tried using Skype in your classroom this year?  If not, I would highly recommend it!  My contact list has grown substantially this year! Try Skype.  It's engaging, it's authentic, and most importantly, it's a tool that your students WILL be using in their future!

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