Reaching out to other education professionals is always a challenge, but with the Microsoft Skype-a-Thon, teachers can now actively attempt to meet those who share their specialties and interests. On November 29-30th, this annual event will “take away the walls of a classroom ” to make learning limitless.
The benefit to teachers and student for this event is that kids can gain the necessary world experience to be effective global citizens without having to leave their classrooms. By bringing the Skype-a-thon to the classroom, teachers can take their children on real-time virtual field trips to Badlands National Park or even the Lisbon Zoo. Kids can do singalong with children from around the world or have a lesson about living in the wilderness for a year by people who’ve done it. Teachers can bring other experts from across the world into their classrooms including teachers from Russia, Iraq, and the Netherlands.
As the world flattens, children need to be able to step outside of their comfort zones and local areas. While children in large cities often have diversity thrust upon them, it might be a good experience for them to also see how other children like them live in other countries or even other areas of the United States. For students who live in less diverse areas, the Skype-a-thon gives them a chance to expand their cultural understanding without having to get a passport or spend money.
After the Skype-a-thon, teachers are encouraged to find creative ways to share their experiences using the twitter hashtag #skypeathon to show how far they’ve traveled. Why not set a goal for your classroom? How far can your class travel through virtual miles?
Check out last years post on the Skype-a-Thon, click here.