Places to Go, People to Meet, Things to Do

MACUL Session: Thursday, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Presenter: Keith Sadlier, Teacher, Utica Community Schools / TWICE Board Member
Connection: Ebeling Elementary, Utica Community Schools

Keith Sadlier is sharing with us today the power of kids talking to kids via videoconferencing. Keith started with a nice overview of what you can do with videoconferencing and how to find more information about shared classes, content providers, and more on the TWICE website.

We connected back to Ebeling Elementary and listened to their Spanish teacher talk about a project they did with a teacher in Costa Rica. The teacher in Costa Rica was from Michigan. The classes set up an activity where the students could learn about each other’s culture. The 4th grade classes presented to each other about their area. The Michigan students did a presentation on the alphabet of Michigan. The Costa Rican students shared native costumes and dances. The students were pen pals with each other and wrote to teach other. In the second videoconference the students were able to talk to their partner.

After the teachers described the session, a couple of the students reminisced about their presentations and interaction with Costa Rica last year. One of the students still keeps in touch with her pen pal. “The more I talk to her, the more I realize how much the same we are.”

They sent the letters by snail mail to the Costa Rican school’s P.O. box in Miami and they were able to send each other items as well.

When asked what they liked best about videoconferencing, the students said, “it’s nice to know that you have a friend so far away.”

After this connection, Keith talked about all the different types of projects and activities you can do in each content area. Good advice included: don’t pack in the students, don’t settle for a talking head, and don’t use this as a stand alone lesson.

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