Australia is not an easy country to connect due to our time zone. Australia, after New Zealand, is one of the first countries to greet a new date and day across the world.
There were a number of times, when I was able to connect with other classes of students. The first was with Masterwide 10, Kavali near Nellore in South India and it must have been 2am in the morning for them, 7:30am my time. After brief introductions, we shared conversations, but they had technical issues so the connection was cut short.
Another visit to India was with Sebastian Panakal at St Mary’s public school, a 5 hour train journey from Kerala. It was interesting to speak with one of the head teachers, Ashik and another younger teacher and compare our education systems. It was fascinating to see one of the women deliver them their morning tea, whilst we spoke.
One of my network, created a Skyeathon group in Messenger. Many impromptu requests were made. One was from Dondi in Hungary where her students were eagerly waiting to share their folk songs with others. One was played on the flute and the other was sung to me.
— Dondi T. B. Gyöngyi (@dondi64) November 29, 2017
Steve Auslander’s class were fascinated with the fact that I lived in their tomorrow. They had 10 minutes to connect before their school day finished and mine was about to start. One of his girls was really keen to come to Australia, so I sent a picture of a koala that had been in our driveway several days earlier.
Thanks @murcha for waking up early on WEDNESDAY morning in Australia to connect with my 5th graders on TUESDAY afternoon! 🤯 They loved the pic of the koala in your tree, too! @SkypeClassroom #skypemt #skypeathon @msdwt pic.twitter.com/i74RLH7Jl7
— Steve Auslander (@sauslander) November 28, 2017
Despite the dates for the Skypeathon having finished in Australia, the USA schools were still in November 29th, so two calls were made to them just before my school started and their school day finished.
One was a spontaneous request from Kyle Calderwood and his class who had 10 minutes before their next call. The second call was from Andrea Friend – a call that had been organised via Skype in the Classroom website. Both times I was able to share my screen with them and quickly show them some of our farm and wildlife.
Kyle Calderwood and his class.
Andrea Friend and her class
— Andrea Friend (@andreafriendams) November 29, 2017
I love to travel and I love to learn. The Skypeathon provided both opportunities – one day I will try and work out how many miles we covered in total!!