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

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Kinder Skypes

One of the best things about my job as the pK-12 Integration Specialist for the #aurorahuskies is that I get to start every Monday in Mrs. Arndt's Kindergarten classroom.  Plain and simple, kindergarteners ROCK!  Mrs Arndt is doing some amazing things in regards to technology integration and I love being along for the ride.  To see some of the things her students are doing with technology, I know that they will be well prepared for their futures!

An interesting thing happened a couple of weeks before Christmas break.   I received a tweet from Melissa Scott (@mmreesescott) an awesome Integration Specialist in Northern Virginia.  She wanted to do a #mysteryskype with some of our kinders.  Mystery Skypes are an amazing event, but I knew that there were some skills that the kindergarteners would struggle with so I suggested we modify our Skype sessions into something very basic for Kindergarteners. 

I created a Google Doc to plan our Kinder Skypes and away we went!  I had three of our teachers sign up to do the Kinder Skypes and Melissa did some great organizing and planning on her end.  Before you knew it, we were ready to press the " Video Call" button. 

Before we Skyped, I had the opportunity to teach our students about the tool that we were using and even showed them where the other students were located by using Google Earth.   We talked about how to effectively use the tool and then made our call.  The students were SO excited!  Each student was able to introduce themselves and then each class took turns sharing interesting facts about our respective states.  We learned some pretty cool things about Virginia! We wrapped up our Skypes by singing a class song and then gave a "tour" of what our classrooms looked like by simply holding up and turning our devices. 
I know it might not sound like much, but what an amazing experience for these kindergarten students!  Many had never used Skype before, let alone heard of it.  We modeled and utilized a great tool with our students. 

Teach your students how to effectively use the tools that you are integrating into your curriculum.  Empower them with a skill set that will engage, inspire, and teach.

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