Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Video Chat Etiquette

We teach our babies to say "please" and "thank you".  We teach young schoolchildren to raise their hands when they want to speak. We remind kids to take turns. When we chat face-to-face we remind our students of all of the etiquette that they have learned in their lives.  The same should be expected when we video chat.

We start our video chat etiquette session by talking about the different types of video chatting and in what situations we might want to chat.  We video chat for a reason. When we chat with Grandma, we do so to say "Happy birthday" or "I miss you".  Before we make the call we determine our reason for calling.

In order to be prepared for a time-sensitive call, we encourage kids to have some questions ready to ask the caller.  The correct type of question is also important.  For example, the questions that you have when you  are talking to a zookeeper should have to do with animals!  Little kids love to tell stories and teaching the difference between asking a question and sharing a story about your new, naughty puppy is important.

Digital Citizenship and creating a safe digital footprint is necessary even at the youngest grades. When conducting a video chat, we encourage children to introduce themselves when addressing a guest speaker.  We teach children to look directly into the camera and introduce themselves safely by using their first name only.  During the chat, being aware of your body language and paying attention to the caller is stressed. At the end of the call we say "thank you" and "goodbye!"

These sessions have set our kids up well for the SKYPE virtual field trips that we have done in our elementary schools.  So far we have connected with South Africa, Iceland, Mt. Rainier and Florida!


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