Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Have you ever wondered about African Penguins?  
Have you ever sang a song in hindi? 
What do the children in Iceland eat?

The students in my district have experienced all of these things!  No, we do not have an unlimited field trip budget. 
We are globalizing!

This year, we have been working very hard to move the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) standards for students off the paper and into our classrooms.  One of the ways that we are addressing the standards of Digital Citizenship and Global Collaborator is to go on Skype field trips.

We chatted with the team from Anturus (@anturus) while they were on their most recent trip to Iceland.  The students asked questions about the northern lights, glaciers, whales and found out that the people in Iceland actually eat a lot of the same things that we do, as well as some strange meats.

One of the teachers in my district has a friend that is working at a school in Malawi and we were lucky enough to get a chance to Skype with the children there and ask questions about Africa, what the children there like to do and listen to a song that they had prepared for us!  They will continue to connect and learn from each other throughout the school year.

We Skyped with Park Ranger Kelly for a Mystery Biome Skype.  The students asked questions to determine where Ranger Kelly was video chatting from.  The children used maps and charts and determined that she was in Mt. Rainier National Park.  This was a great Skype experience set up through Microsoft Education. They offer other experiences that we would like to try later in the year.

Another Skype experience that we really enjoyed was with SANCCOB (seabird rescue organization) in Cape Town, South Africa.  We got a tour of the facility and see the penguins that were being healed and ready for release.  We also learned about how SANCCOB helps the wildlife in the event of an oil spill.  The children had great questions about the penguins and even want to adopt one of them!  You can too!

 Our fourth grade students are learning about the Native Americans of New York and how they used the natural resources in NY to make housing, clothing and get food.  Our Skype session with the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming was aligned with this learning.  The presenter at the Center showed us how the Plains Native Americans used the Buffalo and the natural resources around them in order to survive.  She was able to present actual artifacts that were made from the buffalo.  I never knew that there were so many practical uses for the parts of a buffalo! Guess what they used the bladder for????

One of the cutest Skype sessions that I have participated in so far was a visit with a school in Mumbai, India.  The students' school day was over but the children came BACK to school at 7pm their time so that they could videochat with one of our kindergarten classes at the beginning of our school day. We showed them how to play duck-duck-goose and they showed us a performance of "Old MacDonald had a Farm". We taught them some nursery rhymes and they taught us a song and Hindi.  It was a great opportunity for our children to see what school was like in other parts of the world.

We are new at videochatting.  
We have experienced technical difficulties. 
We have had some failed attempts while scheduling.
We are motivated!
We are inspired! 
We will continue to help our children to explore the world! 


  1. I want in on the Skyping! It seems like a lot of them filled up already, is it too late for this year? I may need to pick your brain when the time comes. -CHoerner

  2. Keep checking!!! They add new things all the time-- we found some of the best ones by checking a couple of times a week. ~~Lori~~