Find out where in the world the Skyping Reading Tutor is. The skyping reading tutor volunteers in classrooms by reading books and motivating them to read. The Skyping Reading Tutor also has her own online reading tutoring company www.theskypingreadingtutor.com

Posts tagged ‘K through 12’

Fun with Technology and Snow

the children's blizzard

Image by mhartford via Flickr

What an interesting day we had via skype!  The technology did not quite work the way I thought that it would, but wow, I sure learned a lot and some great teachers made connections today.  We tried to get 9 classrooms from around the United States and Canada to Skype all at once.  What amazing educators there are out there to dive into this fantastic endeavor.

I would like to personally thank all of the classrooms that were part of this historical call.

  • Ms. Shield’s 3rd grade class in Alpharetta, GA
  • Mr. Greenberg’s 2nd grade class in Bridgeport, CT
  • Ms. Elder’s 1st and 2nd grade class in Coronach, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Ms. Kidd’s Kindergarten class in Kernersville, NC
  • Ms. Bond’s Kindergarten class in Walled Lake, MI
  • Ms. Anderson’s 1st grade class in Missoula, MT
  • Ms. Griffith’s 3rd grade class in Linden, AL
  • Ms. Sheffield’s 2nd grade class in Linden, AL
  • Ms. Good’s 3rd grade class in Tescott, KS
  • Ms. Well’s 4th grade class Meriden, KS

There were other amazing classrooms that wanted to be a part of this call as well, but unfortunately there is a limit with Skype.

Have you ever had the experience that when something didn’t work you ended up learning a lot?  Well, that is definitely something that happened today for me.  I learned that when you are skyping with multiple classrooms you definitely want to make sure that you have one person designated as the speaker.  All other classrooms have to be muted, otherwise, you hear a lot of kid voices and it is hard for people to listen/present.

We also learned that you must have Skype 5.0 installed in order for other classrooms to see you.  If you do not have 5.0 installed you can still be a part of the call, just people will not be able to see you.  Another thing that I learned is that if you are not able to communicate with words, you can still communicate with the typing feature to at least let everyone know what is going on.  However, the way to get to the Instant Message feature is different for Mac users and PC users.  PC users have a speech bubble and Mac users have an arrow with a box.

To sum up what I have learned today about group calls;

  1. Everyone must have 5.0 installed
  2. All users must mute their mic to listen
  3. All users must unmute their mic to talk
  4. Mac Skype and PC Skype looks different
  5. If there are problems use IM to communicate

A sincere thank you goes out to all of those classrooms that were brave today and trying out this feature.  It was definitely a wonderful learning experience for me and many others.

There were a couple of classrooms, that really wanted to skype today and after 25 minutes of it not working they still wanted to get together with another class and make it happen.  I ended up getting the opportunity to Skype with Ms. Giffith’s 3rd grade class and Ms. Bond’s Kindergarten class simultaneously.  Ms. Griffith’s class is in Linden Alabama and they hardly get any snow.  It is a rare occasion for them and when they get snow they can definitely appreciate it’s beauty.  Ms. Bond’s class is on the other side of Lake Michigan from me in Walled Lake, MI.  They ended up getting hit with 9″ of snow from the blizzard that just got Wisconsin earlier this week.  So , they were well in tune with the wonder of snow.

Next week, we are going to try this group skyping thing again, but with just five classrooms instead of nine.  We definitely knows that it works with three classrooms and we are slowly going to build up to a large group as time goes on.  Until then, stay warm and have fun!

Take a look at a brief clip of our large group Skype.

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Our World Really is Changing

The Tandy TRS-80, the first Tandy computer and...

Image via Wikipedia

http://www.personalizemedia.com/media/socmedcounter.swf

So I was taking a look at this link and it really put into perspective for me how our world is changing at the global level.  To think that the computer has completely revolutionized the way we socialize, purchase items, share photography, and learn.  It is not something that I could have envisioned 15 years ago when I graduated high school where we didn’t even have any computers in the classroom.

In fact, when I was going through my teacher certification classes it was not required that we even take a computer class.  I feel like I am dating myself and I am only 34 years old.  I am in awe that teaching and learning have gone through such huge changes during the end of last decade and the current decade.

I have always had a huge interest in technology since my inception to it and have always had thoughts of how to motivate kids to read with it.  The link above shows how many minutes people are spending on skype.  It is mesmerizing to me that now people can connect all over the world for free.  Connecting with people from other countries was not something that I would have ever thought of doing when I was a kid.  (I remember one time calling a 1-800 number to talk to the roadrunner and I got in a lot of trouble.)

Now people can use Skype to learn.  I am one example of someone who is doing this.  I have chosen to digitize the resources that I would use in a one on one session with students and use Skype as a venue to teach reading.  Many people can’t fathom how I would go about this process and I completely see where they are coming from.   Ten years ago I certainly couldn’t have fathomed it either.

Today I met one of my students that I have been working with for the past month.  We happen to go to the same church and we met for the first time via Skype.  The family told me that I am a celebrity in their home.  What an interesting concept.  Can you imagine how education could change if students saw their teachers as celebrities?

I have seen this wonderful little girl make huge improvements in her reading and I feel honored to have the opportunity to work with her.  It is awesome being able to work with children all over the country and I am looking forward to expanding my horizan and working with children all over the world.

 

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