Yesterday I was reading my Edutopia magazine and ran across an interesting use of videoconferencing – to connect to a teacher called up for military service. The article is called Mr. Miller Goes to War and you’ll find the reference towards the end of the article or below highlighted in this quote. Emphasis is mine.
“I don’t think the kids really made the connection [with the war] until we did the Veterans Day program,” says Paul Argyle, principal of West Jordan High School, in West Jordan, Utah. When biology teacher Ed Willis, a U.S. Army Reserve colonel at the end of his military career, was sent to Iraq, he emailed the school that the experience was, for him, “surreal.” To keep Willis connected, Argyle regularly sends him a “wellness report.” And if answers are slow in coming back,Argyle will write, “I haven’t heard from you. Pop me a note.”
The school continued the annual Veterans Day events that Willis had started years earlier but added something new: a videoconference call from Willis and a few fathers of students who were stationed in Tillil, Iraq. “This was a reality check,” says Argyle. “It reminded the kids that freedom wasn’t free, that what you enjoy in our country comes at a price, that there are people who are willing to go and take care of that for you. It brought it into their neighborhood.”