Your Name and Title: Using ePals and Skype to Reach the World
School, Library, or Organization Name: Bill L. Williams Elementary School (PBVUSD)
Co-Presenter Name(s): N/A
Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Western United States (California)
Language in Which You Will Present: English
Target Audience(s): K-12
Short Session Description (one line) A discussion about my experiences with, and safe use of, ePals and Skype in the classroom.
Full Session Description (as long as you would like):
I would like to present some of my more meaningful experiences with both ePals and Skype in my classroom. I include both in this presentation because I use them in tandem to enrich classroom experiences. I will discuss specific collaborations with Iceland, Norway, England, Antarctica, and the United States. With Iceland, the discussion will involve experiences with my students and Aslandskolli students during the recent volcanic eruptions. While we shared folktales and community images, we learned firsthand of the horrors that the community faced as the volcano melted the local glacier and ruined their town. I call it "unintended" learning. Iceland/USA Collaboration uses ePals and Skype. I will add Singapore interactions (Skype specific) that included cultural exchanges and technology projects that included parent participation. This collaboration is featured on Skype's site. They sent cameramen to both sides to videotape our interactions. The website is located at http://about.skype.com/media-library/videos.html Look for the GLOBAL LEARNING EXCHANGE Case Study. Norway was a student to student class interaction that taught poetry (ePals only). We also used mail service. The school in Binde, Norway was rural and had a severe lack of technology. England is Skype-only. It is an interaction between my students and the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. We study ancient civilizations and the mummies on display are a nice touch to our text-based learning. Our United States collaborative is with Mexico Middle School in New York. It is an ancient coin project (Skype) that has us , excavating, cleaning, and identifying ancient coins from the Roman Empire. It's a lot of fun on both coasts! Finally, via Skype, we work with researchers at McMurdo Research Station on their penguin research. Every year, Jean Pennycook Skypes in from her outpost and talks to the kids about penguin adaptations (one of our Science standards). I have a lot to share about successes and failures. I am also looking for new experiences with students and teachers/administrators across the globe.
Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:
I love using ePals and Skype. ePals provides a safe environment for connecting classrooms from around the world. The projects they have set up are extremely well organized and the resources are excellent. The partnership with National Geographic has enhanced the program. Of course, you can then Skype with your ePals!
Yes! It works very well. We have found that initiating contact with ePals, and then supplementing live, real-time connections with Skype are both a recipe for an amazing time. With Skype, we have had what I call "unintended" outcomes (in a positive way). I hope to share this if I present.
My students were so excited when we spoke with our ePals in Argentina via Skype video chat at the end of our project time. Best wishes! Carole
Great. We worked briefly with a teacher named Maria Bossa down in Argentina. My favorite moment on Skype (via ePals) is when we worked with a school in Iceland during the recent volcanic eruptions. It was eye-opening, saddening, and exhilarating all at once.
Hello Troy Tenhet,
I looked through your discussion. ePals was new for me, I've heard the name for the first time. Then I searched through google find info about it. Iam learning smth from these discussions. Thank u for the disscussion
I love using ePals and Skype....
Troy--this looks great. I'd love some more detail in the full description on what kid of collaborations you do--for instance, they seem from the comments below to be student-student? Be sure to let me know if/when you update, so I can put back into the accepted group (your editing it will bump it back to a pending submission).
I updated the description.