I have for a long time been promoting the use of Skype in the classroom and finally I stumbled on the perfect project. On the Skype in education website I found a Yellowstone park ranger that was looking to Skype with classrooms all over the world and share the wonders of the magnificant national park. One of our brave 2nd grade teachers Mrs. Hartley volunteered to try it out! Her class was currently studying the State of Maine, so we decided to do a compare and contrast between Yellowstone and Maine. First Mrs. Hartley and I did a test Skype so that the students got used to the medium, Mrs. Hartley also prepared her class, she had all her students write down questions for the ranger. Finally the day approached for the Skype conversation! It was a success, ranger Beth Tyler was the natural teacher, it was like having her right there in the classroom, she showed the students artifacts and photos and kept them engaged the whole time, Check it out in action by clicking the video below!
The funny unexpected twist to our whole experience came after the principal posted the video link on our schools facebook page, all of a sudden he got a message from Skype asking if they could use our video on their newly revamped Skype in Education home page!! We obtained all the necessary permissions and now we are the "see it in action" video clip on their homepage!!