Well we finally brought it together today when my classroom hooked up with our project school in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Thanks to our great IT Technician, Martin and Andrew Williamson for helping me succeed and getting everything working prior to our Skype call.
It was just great seeing how the kids interacted with their ePals and they each got given a chance to ask a question. We hope to do another Skype call before the end of the year when students from Colarado will ask my students a question. A couple examples of questions that my students thought of included ~ ‘If you were the Prime Minister (President) what would you change?’ and another question was ‘How do you get to school and what if it is snowing’? That in itself was a great question because it was snowing as we spoke. Andrew Miller the classroom teacher said that in the time he had been at the school a school day had never been cancelled. Apparently it needs to be -30 before that happens…brrrrrrr. His principal and vice principal were both present and were delighted to meet Cresten (principal) and Marg (vice principal) from Bell Primary. A number of parents stayed to watch the broadcast which took place at 8.30am our time and 2.30pm on Tuesday for Colorado. That in itself was a lesson for the kids, identifying how we were talking in real time however, they were a day behind.
I have gained a lot of momentum out of completing this project however, ePals is only as good as the teacher at the other end. They need to embrace the opportunity as well and I am thankful that I was paired with Andrew as he has the same thinking as myself and that is to take learning outside. Whether that be locally or globally, we both know it can work. We have already anticipated linking up again next year to complete another project. Unfortunately, due to technical constraints in their school, my Italian counterpart has lapsed which is a shame.
More to come.