The two social studies teachers from our two 6th grade teams collaborated to create this unique learning opportunity.
To help make a great connection for their unit on recent history in India, Maria O’Connor arranged for this Skype lesson/presentation with an 18 year college student in Mumbai. Samuel Thomas, @SamuelThomas95, is a 18 year college student working on a program comparable to a CPA program. [They know each other from their mutual fanaticism with futbol] He graciously entertained and answered questions from our kids on a variety of topics covered in their class. Samuel is a obviously a smart and engaged young man. Hearing his responses, its easy to see why that he is clearly knowledgeable involved. [Check out his Twitter profile to learn about his interests and where he’s going]
From the students’ questions, I could tell they’ve had conversations about Hinduism/religion, the caste system, general culture questions. These helped provide the share session some good direction and streamline responses. Planning ahead and giving students this guidance is a great means to ensure that the targeted learning outcomes are achieved.
After listening in on this #skypeintheclass share session, it became a little more clear today:
- That our 6th graders really heard about the impact Ghandi made in India and the world ;
- That our 6th graders understand how similar and different cultures are around the world;
- That a 12 minute talk from an 18 year old in Mumbai made as much of an impact on learning [if not more] than talks and discussions and activities in a class. [Take 15 minutes on #skypeintheclass to find someone who will make that #differencemaking connection]
- That planning the EQs and learning outcomes ahead of time and putting those in the kids hands is as equally important planning for this #Skype experience.
I’ve always been a fan of #skypeintheclass and this lesson validated the need to create more unique, distinctly relevant learning experiences like this one.