Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dot Day - What I am learning

Hi Friends,

Have you read or seen the book, The Dot, yet?  Do you know about Dot Day?  Are you participating? Well, as I mentioned in a previous post I am participating in International Dot Day and am loving being involved with creative educators and students around the world!  You still have a chance to sign up and get involved.  International Dot Day is starting Sunday click here for details.

After a successful 'Skype In The Classroom' call to celebrate Dot Day with Christine Gillion's Grade 2 students in Australia, I have learned a few things that help make a Skype in the classroom call successful.  Here they are:

Getting Connected..
1. Test your skype connection before the official connection (Swap contact details, search for the other person, then add them to your account.  Then they will have to accept your invitaiton. )
2. Decide who will call who and make sure that you have your time zones correct
3. Decide what to do if you get disconnected (How long will you wait?)

Discuss with the other teacher
1. How long do we want the connection to last?  (ie Let's connect for 20 minutes)
2. Will we talk "class to class" or "student to student"?
3. Will one class share and then the other? Or will you take turns?
4. What will the kids talk about?  Ask Questions?  Give information?

Kids get very silly when presented with talking to other students online.  (Or at least my students do!)
They know you are focused on the logistics and your attention is no longer on them so...

Prepare your kids (So important, eh?)
1. Prepare the students for the behavior that you expect as a speaker and as a listener
2. Teach them how to be independent and call the next student up to speak
3. Do a run through of how you would like it to go (ie practice!)

During the Skype -
1. Take photos of your students
2. Share the photos with the other school

After your Skype - 
1. Have your students reflect on their communication skills and behavior

If you are in an IB School this is a perfect time for students to apply their communication skills and show their international mindedness.

I'll share more as I go along on this skyping/Dot Day Journey.

Cheers,

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