For tool #7, the collaborative classroom, I would like to blog about the skype collaborations that we have done here at NHS. Of course we have started small, but I think it would be easy to go global at this point because we have had such success with local collaborations. The Orchestra teacher and her class skyped with an elementary class of students that were interested in knowing about orchestra. They had many questions to ask the high school orchestra students. I think both sets of students enjoyed the skype experience so much that we did it again and the orchestra students played for the younger kids. I was also setting up a global collaborative pen pal experience with the ESL students, but as it turned out, we did not have the proper equipment. So we designed something ourselves. Marita, Mallory and I designed a collaborative lesson using Skype. We contacted Adrian Pere and she put us in touch with an elementary class room. On our end, the ESL students were going to work in groups. They would choose a book and each person in the group would take a couple chapters and read it via Skype to the elementary students. Here in the library I have several low level chapter books, we thought these would work out great for both the ESL students and the elementary students. I even enlarged the illustrations in the book, colored them and created a ppt that could run behind the students reading so that there would be visulas as well as a story. The trouble we planned this for the spring, which is way too busy, so we ran out of time. BUT, I think we might try it this coming fall when things aren't quite so hectic. The thing is...we plan for these big projects, which take A LOT of time to plan and implement with the students, and we are told that we can't do them because there are too many other things we have to do. It's like we are between a rock and a hard place.
Skype is a simple, easy way to collaborate and the possibilities are endless.
I would also like to blog a bit about the collaboration that is going on this very moment in the library. School is out and several of us are sitting in the library working on our blogs and other things. It has been fun to tell each other what new gadget we have added to our blog. Quinton just showed me how to convert a powerpoint and add it to the blog. I added the Color Notes ppt that I will be using to teach a Color Theory Art class this summer at Rice University. Thanks Quinton.