On December 3rd and 4th Microsoft and Skype hosted a Skype-a-Thon where classrooms around the world had the chance to connect with one another. The two day event allowed students to take virtual field trips to meet fellow “classmates” and learn about their schools, towns/ cities and cultures.
Stage 1B learning without borders on December 3rd and 4th
Throughout the registration process I discovered that teachers all over the world are willing to connect with other classrooms year round… not just during the Skype-a-Thon event. Signing up for a classroom profile is easy over at Microsoft´s education site. You´ll be prompted to fill in a simple profile which is used to connect you to similar classrooms around the world.
I´m proud to say that Stage 1B helped the Skype-a-Thon reach its goal of 1 million miles by participating in 2 skype sessions, traveling a total of 4,318 miles from Medellín, Colombia to South Carolina and Indiana, USA. Here´s what the Skype-a-Thon looked like in our classroom…
A quick “hello” to start off our Skype sessions
We started the Skype sessions by greeting each other and sharing some of our names… but not our locations as we were playing “Mystery Skype”. This is a game where the classrooms take turns asking “yes/ no” questions in order to find the other´s location.
Stage 1B trying to figure out our “classmates” location
My kids had three sets of maps on three different pages. The first was a map by continents, the second by country and the third by state. I had set these up beforehand, as I knew that both our sessions would be with classrooms from the USA. The kids asked questions such as, “Are you in Europe?” and each yes/no got them closer and closer to the correct location.
After the mystery locations were discovered, students from each classroom took turns sharing information about their schools, cities/ towns and cultures. During one of the Skype sessions we decided that we would share one of my kids favorite holiday songs, “El Burrito Sabanero” and then the other class decided to sing “Jingle Bells”. It turned out my kids knew their song so both classrooms ended up singing along together… from over 2,000 miles apart!