My wife has family who live out in Silver Springs, MD, and we’ve been worried about them the impending doom of this “megastorm” as it’s so dramically being put. We’ll I sent a quick email to say yes, we are thinking of you, and got one back later that day. We’ll checking the time stamp, it’s was a fairly recent email and as lucky would have it, we were just talking about the storm, so I quick emailed back and asked if they had Skype. The husband of the family is a techie, so quickly, they had Skype on the iPad, and boom, we are talking!
I’d clued my student in that yes, we may talk with someone out in that area, but I didn’t know if it would work. They went out to recess thinking “what’s this old man up to this time??” The connection was great, I had a chance to talk with the family a bit, and I also invited other classrooms in our hallway to come visit and watch! After recess, we had three classrooms full of kids jam into my room, and we watched as the wind blew, as the rain came down in sheets, and how their own preparations were going. I love this family to pieces, and in the middle of things, the middle daughter comes screaming around the corner about something, bumps into her sister all the way her sister is going “SHHH!!” Live comedy, you can’t beat it! 🙂
Now, as our students go home, they have a personal connection to the storm, a family out by Washington DC who are (hopefully) in their basement safe and sound. They will pay more attention to the weather, the news, and want to a little bit more about why the storm is behaving the way it is. I even had one boy come up to my saying, “do you think they’d want to Skpye after the storm goes through?” Oh my goodness!! I wanted to reach out and hug him!! Talk about making an impact!
I need to do this more often with my students. I’m one of those who’s not always confident because the fear of failure is a strong one in me. We had the connection drop, it was garbled, and you know what, things went just fine. The technology is there, the kids are willing, and I am able. Why not??
A great learning experience, for all of us! 🙂