Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Year Completed - What's Next?

Our two fourth classes that videoconferenced during the 2009-10 school year were successful in several areas.  The class that connected by Skype (using a laptop computer and data projector so all students could see) met six times and shared what they were working on at the moment in social studies.  On two occasions, the classes were studying the exact same thing so it was quite interesting to see how they presented the information.  Some students memorized their information while most read reports, shared pictures, charts, and graphs.  These students, unknowingly, used presentation skills, learned more about communicating over time and space, and gained confidence in their efforts as 21st century students.

One class met by h.323 videoconference.  The teachers met first for a planning session after school one day.  The two videoconferences that resulted went well and could be improved only by making connections earlier in the year so more connections could be made.

In our five years of experience in our "Carolina Connections" and "Carolina Journey", I have seen that these particular students do a better job the next year in fifth grade beginning the school news (live news program).  They enter with more confidence and experience.  Although, by lengthening the weeks from one to two, have seen that almost all students achieve the confidence and "presence" to do a great job on the news.  Either way, students progress in their oral presentation skills and build on their personal learning.

Thumbs up!