Today was a busy day! I had four Skype Classroom visits – three different groups of seventh graders at the same school in Nebraska, and another with sixth grade students in Ontario. A lot of end-of-year lesson requests came through this month, and as I mentioned previously, I will do everything in my power to visit with classrooms that would like to host my visit.
Overall, I'm incredibly impressed with the way the educators are using technology and Skype Classroom in particular to teach their students and grow their experiences/connections with the world around them. These students had chatted with some incredible guest speakers over the last few months, and so I was a little intimidated going into it, hoping that they'd get something valuable from our conversation! But in addition to learning new things from experts in various fields, these students are connecting with their peers in other communities and cultures from around the world (Brazil, etc.) It's so cool! I wish Skype Classroom had been around when I was in school.
The students today asked thoughtful questions like, who pays for your travel? how do you get confident in writing? how do you deal with rejection? how can I get excited about writing too? what's the most important thing you've learned? I felt like many of the students wanted to have a dialogue and less of a direct "lesson," so it was a fun opportunity to chat more freely about the best parts of being a writer and the challenges of the job too, emphasizing how each individual has an important voice and perspective to share with the world. I have a few more Skype Classroom visits scheduled before the holiday semester break, and I've added some January and February open time slots to my Skype lesson plan. Check out my past posts on Skype visits here.
UPDATE: One of the teachers, Mr. Grabowski, blogged about my Skype visit with his classroom here if you'd like to read it & see a few more photos.