All Things Skype

connecting with Around The World with 80 Schools

Dear Room 202 Students

I’m really interested to know what you are thinking about all these skype connections we are making with different students and classrooms around the world. Skype calls

Could you please think about these questions and leave a comment on this post.

How do you feel stopping for 5-10 minutes, to skype with a class in other country?

Do you learn anything when we talk to other students from around the world?

Do you use Skype at home to connect with family/friends?

What have you learned about communicating with others using Skype in classroom?

Should we continue to make connections with other classrooms around the world?
Why? / Why not?

Please add anything else you feel is important about using Skype in the classroom.

Thank you.

Ms H

This morning we were fortunate enough to skype and connect with Busan Foreign School in Busan, South Korea as part of the AroundTheWorldwith80Schools skype project.  We connected just after our morning recess – can you tell it was pretty hot outside this morning?  This was especially exciting for three students in our class as they are from Korea and have been only been learning English since August last year.

Skype with South Korea

It was interesting to hear the different nationalities in this Grade 2 classroom.  We found out that they have 13 students in their class and have the following nationalities represented:
Korean, Chinese, Japanese, American, Yemin, (We’re not sure if we heard that right) Indian and Myanmar

It didn’t look like they were wearing a school uniform and this was only their second time skyping EVER.  We thought that they did really well making a connection with us and asking questions but next time we suggest they have one or two people come up to the microphone and camera to ask or answer any questions.

We also heard that the most favourite sports to be played at BFS are baseball, soccer and badminton.

Busan, South Korea is 3 701 kilometres from Bangkok, Thailand.  Busan is two hours ahead of Bangkok.

Skype with South Korea

I love the way most of the class are riveted to the big screen and listening so carefully to a conversation taking place between two classrooms that are separated by distance, time and age!

With skype – anything is possible.  Even working around awful timezone differences!

Thanks to the skype conference call facility, five Room 202 students:  Shania, Ink, Alexa, Hollie, Joe and their teacher Ms H, were able to skype into the technology class of Ms Gina Graziani at Anderson Elementary School, Wilmington, North Carolina. It was 8.15pm, on a Thursday night – Bangkok time and 8.15am on Thursday morning, North Carolina time.  Although the video does not work with a conference call in skype – the audio was still a great way to connect.

One of the reasons this school was very excited to connect with us was that their Technology Assistant had a thai connection via her mother.

Anderson Elementary had many questions for us and apart from a couple of lost connections, we were able to answer their questions quite well. After the Room202 students hung up from the conference call, Ms H stayed online for a bit longer so that the students in North Carolina could see the skype video work and so that she could answer a few more questions. Anderson Elementary School

Unfortunately Ms H was so busy hosting the conference call that she completely forgot to take a screenshot or to record the conversation!!

(A huge thank you to those students who came online on a Thursday night to talk to Anderson Elementary!  Please add your thoughts and what you remember talking about during the conference call in the comments – Ms H)

Yesterday morning our skype rang at 8.00am sharp!  It was Jacksonville, Florida calling – well the Tech Club from San Jose Episcopal Parish Day School in Jacksonville, Florida to be precise.  We learnt that it was Sunday night for them – wow, they were at school on a SUNDAY just to connect with us!

DSC_0004 DSC_0005

This call was extra special because the teacher of the Tech Club is in fact the organiser of the whole AroundTheWorldwith80Schools project – Mrs Silvia Tolisano.

We used our same organisation chart that we’d used for skyping with Canada, but changed some of the speakers around.  We like the reaction we get when Shania says the long name for Bangkok in THAI!  It’s 168 letters long and is in the Guinness Book of Records.  Our wonderful Instructional Assistant wrote it out for us so you could see the words – it’s not in sanskrit, the Thai alphabet, but in English alphabet form.


We asked the Tech Club our data question – How many nationalities in your class?  How many in each nationality? As we are studying fractions and percentages we are going to use the information collected from all our skype connections and work out the percentages and fractions of Nationalities.  Their tech club had Canada, Cuba, Columbia, the Phillipines, Argentina/Germany and of course the USA represented!
There were 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders represented too.

All to soon our 5 minutes were up – and the Tech Club was off around the world some more to speak with South Korea – they’d already spoken to Singapore and Australia – what an exciting night they must have had!

Room 202 students – add your thoughts in the comment area about our 2nd skype connection for the AroundTheWorldwith80Schools project – and of course anything that I’ve forgotten! – Ms H

On Friday morning we made our first connection via Skype (free video conferencing) with a small school in Regina, Canada thanks to Ms Silvia Tolisano‘s fabulous Skype Project:  AroundTheWorldWith80Schools

We got off to a not so great start with Ms H completely mucking up the timezones (which she is renown for doing) and having students seated and waiting at 6.50am A WHOLE DAY EARLY!!  Oh well, at least we know who can get to school early!!skype-Regina

So, eventually, timezones sorted, our sharing stories sorted, who was saying what and when sorted, the skype telephone rang.   Haultain Community School was calling.

We learned so much about each other in such a short space of time.  We compared temperatures, learning that in Regina, Canada the temperature at the moment is -15°!!  (The coolest temperature we’ve experienced in Thailand has been 15°) Our actual temperature for the skype call was 24° with humidity around 95% at 7.00am!  We didn’t really know what curling was – so Ms H found a YouTube video for us while we were at specials and after watching it some of us realised that we did know what it was. The biggest reaction to information shared was the comparison of students in the school.  Haultain Community School has 11 sixth graders and 9 seventh graders in their class and the whole school compared to our 7 classes of fifth graders in the whole school.  We do have the same number of students in our classes though!

Our data collection question was about Nationalities.  Since we are studying fractions at the moment, we thought that we would compare and contrast fractions of nationalities in the classes we connected with.  Ms Brown (their teacher) sent us a further explanation via email to help us understand the breakdown of Nationalities.

We’re all Canadian but some students are of Aboriginal heritage. The First Nations students are Cree while other are Metis ( all of them would have ties to the reserves in the province but particularly in the Treaty Four area. Our one student who is Inuit has family in Tuktoyaktuk, North West Territories which is in the Arctic Circle. My family heritage from my father is Metis. His family was one of the Red River Settlement families ( that were a mix of Cree and French. The Metis language, Michif, mixes Cree and French to create the language.

We’re very grateful that the students of Haultain Community School came back to school at 6pm – yes, that’s right – they came back to school at night (in the cold) just to skype connect with us.  Thank you!!

Ms H recorded the first 5 minutes of the skype call before realising that she’d forgotten to enter the registration code for Audio Hijack Pro.  When she edits the horrible “demo” version buzz out of the call, she will post the conversation podcast!

Room 202 students – you can share your reflections on the skype connection with Haultain Community School students in the comment area – or if you have your own blog you might like to post your own story.

Congratulations to those of you that have taken the next step in blogging – having your very own blog.

Some of you are keen to have your own clustrmap so here’s some screenshots on how to embed it in your side bar instead of in a post.

Step 1:  Sign up to ClustrMaps (it’s easy, just have your url of your blog handy)

Step 2:  Sign in to the back end of your blog and click on Design

Teaching Sagittarian 203A Manage Themes 2014 WordPress
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!
Step 3:  On the left you should see ClustrMaps  Add – Click on Add and a little blue box should appear over on the right hand side – (Make sure that you know which Sidebar you want it to be on as some themes have two sidebars).  Your ClustrMap widget should have all your details in it already (like your blog url) you may have to add an email account – incase you forget your password for ClustrMaps) and you will have to tick in the box to agree to terms and conditions of use.

Teaching Sagittarian 203A Widgets 2014 WordPress

Step 4:  VERY IMPORTANT  Don’t forget to click on Save Changes.

Your clustrmap should now be embedded in the sidebar of your blog.  Sometimes it takes a day for Clustrmap to update when you first sign up.  If you have any questions or you need some more help, just ask me in the morning before specials!

At 7.30am our time, but 12.30am Icelandic time, a modern day explorer called Mr Alan Levine (aka CogDogBlog) skyped into our classroom.  We had all kinds of questions prepared.  We asked about the weather, the time, how long was it light for, types of animals in Iceland.  We asked him what sorts of things he liked to do (biking, kayaking, trekking, gardening, exploring and taking photographs).  Then we asked Mr Levine about whether or not he was an explorer.  We were interested in the answer to that particular question because we are studying exploration in Social Studies.

Without even hesitating, Mr Levine said he was most definitely an explorer.  When we asked what and where did he explore, he began to share with us some of his adventures.  Mr Levine was, of course, currently exploring Iceland.  He’d arrived in Iceland via China and Japan which he explored just a little bit.  He also explores the web and technology – which was kind of strange to us at first because we never considered that exploration before.  Mr Levine also explores the mountains in his own hometown of Strawberry, Arizona.

When we asked why do you explore?  Mr Levine told us because it’s exciting, and fun and he really enjoys learning new things.  Even if someone else has already discovered something – it’s still an exploration to you if it’s your first time.  There’s some pretty amazing things and places out there just waiting for us to uncover for ourselves.

All too soon it was time to hang up our call with Mr Levine and go off to Modern Languages.  Of course the most interesting piece of conversation centred around having reindeer for a meal.  Most of us weren’t really sure that eating reindeer was a good thing.  Mr Levine assured us that it wouldn’t be Rudolph. (Thank goodness for that!)

Thank you Mr Levine, for letting us ask you all those questions.  You were very interesting to interview and thanks for introducing us to Skinna – she’s gorgeous!  Enjoy the rest of your time in Iceland and we hope that we can skype you again when you are back in Arizona.

Here’s a couple of snippets of our conversation captured using a digital camera, imported into iPhoto and uploaded to for embedding code – Just to show you how clear the sound was.

Mr Lund made a comment on our blog asking how do you get the Live Traffic Feed on the blog as he’d like to do that for his class blog. Here’s how to do it in 3 easy steps Mr Lund.

FEEDJIT real-time blog traffic feeds
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!
FEEDJIT real-time blog traffic feeds
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!
Room2022019s Blog 203A Widgets 2014 WordPress
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

The stats should start appearing in less than 24 hours!

Hope this was helpful.

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