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;
- Everyone must have 5.0 installed
- All users must mute their mic to listen
- All users must unmute their mic to talk
- Mac Skype and PC Skype looks different
- 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.