After two years of blogging, and exchanging a plethora of comments with classes around the world from Canada, to New Zealand, to the heartland of America, we finally connected via Skype with a class in Connecticut, Mrs. Emerick’s 6th grade wave riders! This visit is the epitome, so far!, of our blogging adventure. We spent two half hour sessions chatting with our blogging buddies about summer reading books, sports, band, school uniforms, book trailers, brain teasers, Genius Hour, and of course, blogging!
We learned that we have a lot in common:
- The book we read for summer last year, A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park, is what Mrs. Emerick’s students will read this summer!
- We love to play sports and music.
- We love blogging and Skyping!
- We don’t love homework (teachers included).
We learned we have a few differences:
- In Connecticut, lacrosse is favorite sport; in Florida soccer reigns supreme.
- Mrs. Emerick’s class created book trailers on Animoto; Mrs. Donofrio’s class will learn how to create book trailers on Animoto.
- The Floridians are on summer vacation now! The New Englanders have to wait until June 23rd.
Next year we hope to Skype more often. In addition to our high tech pen pal system, i.e. blogging, we will put the Pony Express to work as well and send each other some postcards this summer. We are also hoping to share in each other’s curricula in new ways.
Participating in blogging and Skyping makes me think about all the ways education has changed since I was a middle school student in the early 1980s. We barely knew what schools around the block were doing, never mind across the country or around the world! The biggest technological advancements were erasable pens and dustless chalk. Grades came home on papers in schoolbags. Now we can visit schools around the world and engage with them through blogging, Vimeo, Skype, YouTube, and Educreations, among other technologies. Parents can much more actively participate in their children’s learning. Today I used my iPad to email a mom a video of her daughter participating in a Chinese tea and speaking Chinese. Another mom asked me to post my grammar lessons which we record on Educreations on the blog next year.
Here is a photo of a classroom, 1978, and another now 2014. I am in both photos! Can you find me?
What changes do you see in teaching and learning over the last 30 years? Ask your parents to comment also!
Thank you to Mrs. Emerick and her 6th graders for helping us end our school year so fantastically! The walls are tumbling down!