Technology is changing the classroom environment . . . for the better! One of our favorite apps we are seeing used in all aspects of class life is Skype (for computer, smartphone and tablet). Check out the many uses for the classroom:
For Storytime: Skype allows people who can’t be physically present to still engage in the classroom experience and in periods like storytime. Grandparents who live far from home can skype in and read to the class, and even military parents stationed overseas are finding this avenue of engagement open to them.
For PT Conferences: Busy schedules can sometimes make it hard for parents to attend and fully focus on parent teacher conferences. This part of education is vital to parent teacher relationships so teachers are finding news ways to help parents “attend” without physically attending. Skyping in for a conference opens the window for availability but still allows parents and teachers to chat face to face.
For Pen Pals: Technology is broadening the horizons for pen pals where pencil and paper is no longer always needed. Pen pals in a different city, state or even country can now skype with one another and teachers are turning it into entire lesson plans where classes can ‘talk’ to other classes, ask questions, start discussions and learn from one another.
For Enrichment: Guest speakers and parent volunteers are skyping into classrooms from their places of work or where they volunteer to share special sneak peaks which create an entirely new class experience. From planetariums, aquariums, doctor’s offices and nature centers, students are getting a look at real life lessons they had only previously seen in text books.