One of the best things living in the digital age is being able to connect across the globe to other students, professionals, and cultural organizations who can show unique perspectives from their corner of the world. Nothing beats the real-life experience of going on actual field trips, but savvy schools and teachers have long been taking advantage of sites like Skype to give students from San Diego to New Zealand the opportunity to interact with people from all the world and to stamp their virtual field trip passports. Here are just a few examples.
- In what EdTech Digest called the “the best use of Skype ever,” Virginia Tech geography professor John Boyer, played host to a Skype interview with Aung Sun Suu Kyi, the Burmese resistance leader who was under house arrest for 30 years. Boyer and his students created YouTube videos asking Suu Kyi for an interview, which she granted in on Dec. 5. The interview was broadcast to 3,000 students in an auditorium on campus.
- At Penn Elementary School in Iowa City, teacher Andrew Fenstermaker is using Skype to escort his first-grade students on a road trip some retirees dream about taking in RVs — a tour of all 50 states. According to an article last month in the Iowa City Press Citizen, Fenstermaker has made contact with 22 classrooms in 17 states. The class’ most recent Skype session took place with a school in New Jersey, where students on both ends practices their English and Spanish skills. And they are not just video meet and greets. After the sessions, Fenstermaker and his class make Venn diagrams to chart the classes’ similarities and differences.
- Scholastic’s Web site is offering teachers the chance to take students on a virtual tour of Museum on Natural History in New York, hosted by children’s book author Brian Selznick. Selznick, who set his latest work, “Wonderstruck” at the museum, offers a guided tour of Continue reading