Thing #6 – Communication

Skype!

I simply LOVE this tool, and I have been using it for quite awhile now.  The recent updates have made this tool even easier to use.  My best friend from high school (aside from my husband of course) has four children…that go to school…..that frequently need math help…  Aunt Bev meets with them regularly during the school year to go over any homework problems they may have.  The two hours it takes to drive to their house is just a nuisance when it comes to tutoring, so we decided to do it with Skype.  🙂

The oldest boy is going into the 8th grade this year…. I just happen to teach 7th and 8th grade math.  His school coincidentally is using the same Connected Math series that I use.  When he gets stuck, he’ll often take a picture of the assignment and send it to my iPad.  I’ll take a quick look at it, and then I’ll meet with him to see what questions he has.  I can write on my own paper, and then hold it up for him to see.  He’ll move the iPad over his work so I can see what he is doing.  It’s perfect!!  This boy has gained so much confidence in math over the last couple of years, just because of the “communication” component provided by Skype.  Last Christmas, he received an iPad, and we use a lot of FaceTime as well now, but Skype is where it all started.

The screenshot is of my friend from high school.  All of the kids were outside playing when I called tonight, so he was stuck talking to me!  Just so you know, an hour passes VERY quickly when talking with good friends!

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ISTE Standards

Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity – The possibilities are limitless when you throw in tools that allow students to see and hear each other in “real time” and can communicate synchronously.

Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments – Anyone that taught 10 years ago never would have imagined technology reaching this level.  With Skype and backchats, the teacher can assess without being in the same room, or even the same state, as the student.

Model digital age work and learning – If I can communicate with students via web conferencing or backchats, students will see a clear model of technology used to learn.

Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility – Through backchats, the teacher can both encourage and model appropriate online behavior.  With such social networks as Facebook and Twitter where students say whatever they want about whomever they choose, communication tools such as Skype and backchats and web conferencing will show students more positive uses of technology tools.

Engage in professional growth and leadership – The web conferencing in Adobe Connect that is held for this course is a prime example of how communication can lead to professional growth and leadership.

CITW 

Reinforcing effort/providing recognition – With the communication tools addressed in this “thing”, EVERY student will have the capability of being recognized.  The quieter students will be able to type in their ideas through a backchat or even in the chatbox during a web conference.

Cooperative learning – Students can use Google Hangouts to meet about a specific classroom project, outside of the classroom.

Assigning homework and practice – After assigning a homework assignment, any of these communication tools could be used if students have questions or ideas about their assignment.

 

 

 

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