Talking to Ally

Last week, year 11 accounting students were privileged to speak with Ally using discoverE virtual classroom software. Ally is a first year business studies student from a university in Saskatchewan, Canada. For one of her subjects she is under the tutelage of Dean Shareski.

Students were more interested in listening about Ally herself, and time did not allow us to discuss  the accounting subject that she is studying. Although my students were able to use and were encouraged to use the chat feature, it took a long time for them do so. I soon realised they were intent about listening to what Ally was talking about and trying to make sense of the accent. Indeed, they were fascinated.

My students are still rather shy about speaking on the microphone to a virtual audience. Only one  of my students was confident enough to speak to Ally. It must have been a very difficult task for Ally to make conversations all the time, but she did so with ease and watched for the questions as they came up in the chat window. The 50 mins soon went and our lesson was over.

Outcomes

  • An interesting comment was made by Ally, when she asked my class who was going to uni, and none responded positively. She wanted to know “Why not?” as is was such a great experience and such fun! (This was highly motivating for my students.)
  • Students have commented back on my blog post  and on Ally’s to thank her for her involvement. It is always netiquette to do this and important if students wish to maintain a connection.
  • Students have written a post about this session (An important record in their digital footprint and eportfolio)
  • They have asked repeatedly whether they could talk to her again.
  • I need to keep giving my students these opportunities to work with others globally giving them a vital communication skill for the 21st century. (Students in our school tend to be shy of public speaking and using microphones.)

Again, I need to thank Lorraine Leo so very much for connecting us.

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