Students are discovering that video chat connects students with the world. Teachers now check Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media not for relaxation, but for connecting classes via social media to others across the nation and around the world.
“The more voices I can bring to our experience in the classroom, the better quality of ideas we’ll have,” said Paul Carver, fifth-grade teacher at Eisenhower Elementary School in McPherson. “We can be so much more global and so much more aware of what’s past the surface level understanding of a thing. We can actually experience it through talking to these other people.”
By connecting students to people around the world, their understanding of topics only previously learned through books is increased and enhanced.
“As a teacher, I want to find these go-to connections to strengthen our conversations in class. You don’t need to ask someone to take off work and travel because these conversations are so quick,” Carver said. “We Skyped a pig farm when we were reading ‘Charlotte’s Web.’ Maybe we can talk to someone on the east coast for our 13 colonies conversation. We have Coronado Heights – we’ve been there and know that landmark’s history – so it would be really cool to hear about another person’s experience at a Revolutionary War landmark.”