As many of you know, I’m currently teaching an online class – 21st Century Communication Collaborations.
One of the participants in the class is doing Weather Buddies – a year long collaboration with a Dallas ISD class. She described a serendipity moment during their last VC:
In our weather buddies vc my class had written a brief story about a snowy day. We had read the book Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Several students read their writing to our weather buddies. The media specialist in Texas found the book and gave it to the teacher there during our vc. My class was so excited to see the very book that we just read. The kids there had made a connection with us and our writing. This was not planned it just happened. I can’t wait to see what they thought of the book!
One of the other participants has not yet done VC with students – and has only experienced Skype with family. This was her response and reflection:
Thanks for pointing out the “realness” that VC allows when you talked about the writing and book connection. Today, walking outside after the snowstorm, a strong feeling of what is real came over me – being outside, interacting with people (my neighbors helped me dig out), my dog trotting, etc.
In the last few years I have increasingly felt that technology is not real – it is somewhat artificial – it doesn’t breathe, think or have emotions and even many projects we do with it, aren’t completely real.
So, your example caused me to think – VC breaks through the artificial aspect of technology – people are real – you can see them, talk to them and feel with them.
Have you experienced this too? Have you noticed how videoconferencing can help you feel so close and connected to students and people so far away? It’s an incredible power to the technology!
Share a story if you too have felt this!