BETT 2014: Using Skype to create the global classroom, Jon Tait

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  • Brief introduction to yourself: Assistant Head Teacher at Woodham Academy, Durham, responsible for teaching and learning…Punchy introduction to what you are here to talk about, specifically Skype in the classroom: e.g,“I’m going to share my experiences of using Skype in the classroom, and hopefully inspire you to join me and over 75,000 teachers around the world who are using Skype in their classrooms”.Preamble to include your journey/inspiration to using Skype initially, and how you learnt about and first starting using the Skype in the classroom platform.Jon’s contact info (and avatar)
  • 1. What is Skype in the classroom? Skype in the classroom is a free global community for teachers (education.skype.com) 2. It allows teachers to easily find other teachers, guest speakers and organisations that would like to connect and collaborate around the world using Skype. 3. Most importantly, it’s a free community that teachers inspired and have helped to create over the past 3 years, and that teachers all over the world are using in 3 main ways:
  • 1 – Teachers use it to FIND, CONNECT with teachers and classes all over the world, and COLLABORATE LIVE with other classes on Skype no matter where they are2 – Teachers use it to BRING GUEST SPEAKERS INTO THE CLASSROOM - Skype in the classroom puts a world of adventurers, scientists, and world-leading experts at your fingertips.3 – Teachers use it to take their CLASSES on VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS – partners’ include museums, zoos and explorers that make extraordinary experiences free and available to classrooms anywhere in the world.“I'm going to show you some examples of each of these from the SITC community, and tell you a little about my own experiences using it, and the impact it has on students.”
  • You can collaborate with other classes on Skype no matter where they are. And there are many ways to introduce your students to another class on SkypeOne of the best examples of collaboration is a fun educational game teachers introduced and are playing around the world, called ‘Mystery Skype.’
  • 1. Jon to talk about International dance-off
  • Mystery Skype is an educational guessing game played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is simple: each classroom has to guess the location of the other classroom by asking questions - usually with a yes or no answer.Like most activities/lessons on SITC, Mystery Skype was invented by teachers. The SITC team saw how popular Mystery Skype was becoming and decided to create a hub for it on SITC making it easier for teachers to meet and arrange Mystery Skype’s together around the world.  On the page you can learn how it works, register to take part, and find a class.
  • Mystery Skype is played by students of all ages and can be used to teach geography, languages, history, mathematics and science. It’s also a great way of learning how to be a critical, creative and collaborative thinker.
  • This is what teachers are saying about Mystery Skype (refer to slide)Here are some cute kids explaining why they like playing this game:
  • If you haven’t yet used Skype in your classroom Mystery Skype is a great way to start.But Mystery Skype isn’t the only way classes connect and collaborate over Skype.Teachers have created thousands of lessons across most subject areas for you to discover, and if you have something you want to collaborate on, you can easily 
create your own. And as lessons are created by teachers they are very likely to fit into your curriculum.Whether it’s sharing global lunchboxes (https://education.skype.com/projects/1504-global-lunchboxes) for International School Meals Day, or learning what it’s like to live in a Rainforest in Sri Lanka (https://education.skype.com/projects/3306-visit-a-rain-forest-in-sri-lanka), or studying earthquakes together (Auckland & Los Altos), sharing earth day poetry (South Korea & Canada), or having an international dance off/skip rope lesson as I did (Jon Tait).Allowing students to collaborate interactively with other classes around the world has so many benefits: “Kids are growing up in this digital world. As teachers we are constantly trying to find ways to engage them, to excite them, and make them connect to the outside world”. Using Skype in your classroom provides engaging, exciting, memorable moments, that creates greater global awareness and more responsible global citizens.
  • The second way that teachers are using Skype in the classroom is to bring inspiring and interesting guest speakers into your classrooms. Skype in the classroom puts a world of adventurers, scientists, and world-leading experts at your fingertips. Whether you're looking for a historian, an author, or an Olympic Torch Bearer you can find fascinating speakers to invite into your classroom on Skype.
  • Skype in the classroom puts a world of adventurers, scientists, and world-leading experts at your fingertips. Whether you're looking for a historian, an author, or an Olympic Torch Bearer you can find fascinating speakers to invite into your classroom on Skype.
  • Once such speaker I want to talk to you about is Jillian Morris aka ‘Sharky Jillian’ working for Sharks for Kids: the goal of which is to create a new generation of shark advocates through access to a dynamic range of educational materials and experiences. Jillan gave Skype lessons about being an underwater videographer and educating children about sharks
  • Jillian was a guest speaker for SITC’s ‘exploring oceans’ conference. Taking place throughout November 2013 and beyond, Exploring Oceans was a special program of Skype lessons for schools around the world that allowed students to explore the oceans without leaving their classrooms. Covering topics including marine life, biodiversity and climate change, giving students the chance to learn directly from the people involved in marine science and exploration.
  • Entire quote: TEACHER QUOTE:“It was the highlight of the school year! The class were so excited coming in to school today having been looking forward to this lesson for weeks. You could have heard a pin drop in our room for 46 minutes as she told us about underwater photography and filming, about the different kinds of sharks, before taking (a lot!) of questions about her work with sharks.”Trystan Russell, a teacher from Ireland whose students had a Skype lesson from Jillian Morris from Sharks 4 Kids 
  • JOE GRABOWSKI”S STORY (FROM HUFFPO ARTICLE)“During the Exploring Oceans unit, Mr Grabowski’s class from Ontario, Canada hosted a few shark experts including Jillan. This exposure to marine science and knowledge about sharks empowered the students and encouraged them to use their voice in response to a controversial policy by the Western Australia government to kill sharks which has garnered global news coverage. The class wrote a letter to the government, received a response, wrote a rebuttal, were covered in Australia news, were covered by their local news this week and got lots of attention on Twitter. This shows how powerful Skype in the classroom and interactions with scientists can be. He says he was "hoping to teach students that they can have a voice and be heard, and it has gone better than I hoped."Note: Sharks4Kids definitely created impact here and fulfilled their mission to attain new shark advocates.
  • Jon to talk about his own personal experience as Olympic Torch bearer
  • This is just one example of many. “What could be more inspiring than a man climbing the tallest mountain in the world’? Mrs Lintelman’s class spoke with Mark Wood, UK explorer, one of 10 schools who had the opportunity to speak with Mark during his ascent to the summit of Mount Everest in March. …Phenomenal Skype calls with diver Celine Cousteau; awe-inspiring calls with Classroom Champions founder and Olympic medal winner, Steve Mesler; Authors such as Jo-Jo Moyes, Ingrid Law, composer Eric Whitaker, & even Olympic Torch bearers like myself! This list goes on….So, whether you're looking for an explorer, oceanographer, an athlete, historian, an author, engineer, scientist, or an Olympic torch bearer…you're sure to find a fascinating speaker to invite into your classroom on Skype.
  • The third way teaches are using Skype in the classroom is to take students on virtual field trips all over the world - From glaciers in Iceland to the bottom of the ocean, Skype in the classroom offers you the chance to take your 
students on unforgettable virtual adventures. Our partners include aquariums, museums, zoos and explorers that make extraordinary experiencesfree and available to classrooms anywhere in the world.
  • One amazing field trip opportunity was with the founder of Vox Nature, an NGO campaigning globally for snow and ice. This incredible lesson followed and joined Pall as he journeyed up a retreating glacier, and showed students first-hand how the ice is melting at an unprecedented rate.Pall and his driver drove to the bottom of the glacier, and left Video messages to the students on their way up the glacier. They used a Nokia Lumia phone with a 4G connection.  Throughout students were engaged in discussions on how ice is retreating around the globe, how various species are being affected by the disappearance of their homes, how coastlines will be affected as sea levels begin to rise, and how ocean currents are being affected such that it will affect everyone on our planet. The lesson is designed to engage, educate and engender action.
  • Did you ever think it would be possible to have a real life elephant in classrooms all over the world? Alaskan Huskey dogs or South African Penguins? To travel to the top of a glacier or the tallest mountain, or the bottom of the world in Antartica? These are the types of interactive experiences that are happening on Skype in the classroom everyday for free.
  • Hopefully by now, you are beginning to understand the potential benefits of using Skype in the classroom to connect and collaborate with other teachers and classrooms, to bring guest speakers into your classroom and to take your class on exciting and memorable field trips.But there are some other things that might not be so obvious that I’d like to mentionAs mentioned earlier Skype in the classroom was initially co-designed with a small group of pioneer teachers, and development continues to be informed and led by listening to and working with a passionate and dedicated community of teachers around the world.
  • In the classroom, many teachers now have access to a projector, a computer and an internet connection. And most people are familiar with Skype video calling. The Ideal Skype set-up in the classroom is – good quality broadband, PC/laptop, webcam, speakers and microphone. Projection onto smartboard/projector, or Skype on TV or Xbox
  • Skype in the classroom has grown via word of mouth. As I am doing now, help spread the word and grow the community to allow for even more diverse and great educational experiences.Follow Skype in the classroom on FB & Twitter & Pinterest.Talk to and ask other teachers about it and share your experiences – I share mine at TeachmeetsWe’re giving away Mystery Skype starter packs with a large colour map and some getting started information, so please take one before you leave.Come and ask us questions and let us know if there’s something you’d like to see.  Finally, I hope you enjoy this short video taking a classroom in Stockton-on-Tees on a journey to South Africa….
  • BETT 2014: Using Skype to create the global classroom, Jon Tait

    1. 1. Three ways teachers use Skype in the classroom Collaborate with other classes no matter where they are Find guest speakers and invite them into your classroom education.skype.com Take a virtual field trip anywhere in the world
    2. 2. Jon Tait, International Dance-off, UK & USA
    3. 3. “It brings a whole new level of excitement to the classroom that I have never seen.” -Holly Clark, San Diego, CA “Mystery Skype is a miracle. We live and learn in a small classroom, small town, small country.” -Gyöngyi Tóthné Bán, Balatonboglár, Hungary “Don't be afraid to just try it with whatever equipment you have in your classroom.” -Holly Clark, San Diego, CA “Mystery Skype encompasses everything I try to accomplish in my classroom.” -Jo-Ann Fox, Escondido, California “Mystery Skype can bring the best out of each student.” -Paul Solarz, Illinois, USA
    4. 4. Three ways teachers use Skype in the classroom Collaborate with other classes no matter where they are Find guest speakers and invite them into your classroom education.skype.com Take a virtual field trip anywhere in the world
    5. 5. Jillian Morris, Guest Speaker, Sharks4Kids
    6. 6. “The entire month of Exploring Oceans with Skype Classroom has been nothing short of remarkable. The smiles, laughs and excitement that each visit brings are priceless." -Jillian Morris, Guest Speaker, Sharks4Kids
    7. 7. “It was the highlight of the school year! You could have heard a pin drop in our room for 46 minutes.” -Trystan Russell, a teacher from Ireland whose students had a Skype lesson from Jillian Morris from Sharks4Kids
    8. 8. “This exposure to marine science and knowledge about sharks empowered the students and encouraged them to use their voice.” -Joe Grabowski, Huffington Post “The Power of Skype to Inspire a New Generation of STEM”
    9. 9. “Students, staff, and teachers were captivated the entire time. I have never seen such enthusiasm and engagement from students.” -Miss Alison Lester, Dawson Elementary, USA
    10. 10. “ Skype allows us to have moments where children are inspired all because of who the can speak to. ” Mrs Pernille Ripp United States
    11. 11. Three ways teachers use Skype in the classroom Collaborate with other classes no matter where they are Find guest speakers and invite them into your classroom education.skype.com Take a virtual field trip anywhere in the world
    12. 12. Pall Davíðsson, Guest Speaker, Vox Naturae - Eyjafjallajökull glacier, Iceland
    13. 13. “This was an amazing experience for the students which will they will never forget. I can't think of a more engaging way to encourage the students.” -Jenna Wilkinson, Walbottle Campus
    14. 14. “ Skype is the ultimate field trip. Mrs Pernille Ripp United States ”
    15. 15. Free, simple, quick Co-designed with teachers, for teachers Flexible formats that work with a full range of subjects Get from sign up to finding your first lesson in 10 minutes - works with the technology you already have in the classroom Join a growing community of teachers in over 200 countries collaborating on a global scale Connect with other classes, bring guest speakers into the classroom and take virtual field trips anywhere in the world

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