We are Off! First Connection in Around the World with 80 Schools

My original idea of charting the journey in order of geographic location has turned out to be a logistic nightmare. Timezones and availability of each school seem to make contacting each other harder than it had to be.

Since the primary objective is to make the connections with the school, we are going to connect with the participating schools at a  mutually agreed upon day and time, not when the geographic location would dictate them.

So far we have 72 schools participating in 18 countries. There is still time to sign up. Especially from a country in Africa and New Zealand!

So we are off on our journey around the world with 80 schools.

Today we had the privilege to connect with Brian Crosby‘s seasoned 6th grade Skypers from Nevada.

Brian and I had a brief skype call the day before and talked a little bit about what we wanted to accomplish and how we were going to stay within the 5 minute time frame.

Here is the suggested timeline, we came up with:

  • Hello (15 sec)
  • Intro of School 1 (school/geographic location) (30 sec.)
  • Intro of School 2 (school/geographic location) (30 sec.)
  • School 1 shares (1 min)
  • School 2 shares (1 min)
  • Data collection Question (30 sec.)
  • Goodbye (15 sec)

I connected his 6th graders with one of our 3rd grade classes. In the morning, I went to their classroom to install Skype and set up the webcam.  I showed them Nevada on Google Maps.  The few minutes before the actual skype event, the classroom teacher, Mrs. W., picked 2 students to do the introduction for our school, 2 students to share about our travel bear and 2 students who would ask the question for our data collection. All the class was very excited.

We did have a couple of issues

  • little bit of audio problem (Florida could not hear Nevada well)
  • Something was wrong with Florida’s webcam (we saw a yellow stripe through the screen, which I think had to do with plugging the webcam into the front USB instead of the back of the PC)

Nonetheless, the kids were amazed and compeltely engaged to see, absorb and connect what they were hearing and seeing.

We found out what some of the favorite books of the class in Nevada was and explained to them why our students wore uniforms.

We went a little over the 5 minute alloted time, but we will get there with practice. 🙂

Did you know that the two schools that connected today are 2239.08 mi (drawing that line in Google Maps, automatically displayed the distance) apart from each other. I wonder how many miles will we complete after connecting with 80 schools?