@kidworldcitizen tweeted a question as to what was “your favourite tool to teach students about the world” and below is my response which was retweeted by @durff
My classes and I have enjoyed many teachable moments that have been completely unplanned, but just happened at times when I had a class or was free to be able to speak to other global classes. One such event was a recent linkup with my friend Veronica Woo from Ipoh, Malaysia. Veronica had visitors who she was showing around her school and she hoped that I and my classes might skype in to show them the power of videoconferencing. Unfortunately, I was too late noticing the request, but as we both had classes at the same time, we were able to link up the students. I have a small group of girls who enjoy communicating with others. Small groups work well as they have support from each other, can share the interpretation of communication and are in an intimate environment where they have ownership over their learning and questioning.
See Rachel’s reflective post for the student point of view. Note that our school teaches mandarin Chinese as a second language but these girls in year 10 no longer study it. The Malaysian students tried to teach some word isn mandarin, as they attend a Chinese school. The conversation was more relaxed when our girls started to show and share objects over the camera. Curiousity then overtook any shyness.
Learning on a whim is one reason why videoconferencing with tools like skype can be so engaging.
The image below was sent to us from Veronica. This is how we look from the other end of the web camera.