Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tried It Tuesday: Skype in the Classroom

Well, today was a much better day then yesterday!  I woke up on the right side of the bed and was a much more pleasant person today!  Today, I am linking up with my fellow New Yorker, Holly for her Tried It Tuesday.  Skype is an awesome resource for talking to people through the computer.  You can actually video chat and see the person face to face.  Today, I used Skype in the classroom to talk to some family from the Netherlands!

This month is Multicultural month at my school.  Each grade is assigned a country to study throughout the month.  We have a multicultural tasting and assembly at the end of the month.  This year our theme is Missions and what it is like to be a Missionary in that country.  We were assigned The Netherlands (I actually begged to have that country because of some personal contacts I have there!).  

I started our study by reading some books about The Netherlands and giving some background on the country.  Students colored flags and maps of the country.   I also read a few stories about missionaries in The Netherlands. Today, we took our study to a whole new level!  We used Skype.  My sister and her husband are missionaries in The Netherlands and we were able to Skype with them right in my classroom!  

Chris on the big screen with the students listening.

I told the students last week about Rebecca and Chris and had them write questions they wanted to ask.  The students came in all excited today because of our upcoming Skype session.  They were counting down the minutes all day!!  We were able to Skype with them at 2 pm eastern, which was 8 pm their time.  I had both fifth grade classes, which is 29 students in my room.  They had to make sure they were quiet during the session because Rebecca and Chris could hear everything.  I asked Rebecca and Chris some questions that the students wrote down and then I invited students up to the ipad to ask additional questions.  Rebecca and Chris could not see us unless you were standing in front of the ipad, but we could see them.

One of the students asking a question.

It was a neat experience for the students to have this interaction with people living in another country.  The students also learned about missionary life and what it is like to be a missionary in The Netherlands.  My students were amazed at the differences in the two countries.  Some of the most shocking differences were:

- There are no mall in The Netherlands...there are shopping centers which are similar.
- When you go to the movie theater, there is a ten minute intermission in the middle of the movie.
- The Netherlands is famous for cheese, but you can not get Cheese-Its or Goldfish there.

It was a very successful Skype session with Rebecca and Chris.  I have a feeling the students will remember this for years to come.  The last thing I did was take the ipad off the projector and turn the camera to the back so Rebecca and Chris could see all of the kids.  The students went wild and I had to stand on a table for all of the students to be in it!

A view from The Netherlands!

It was a very successful lesson!  Tomorrow we create Delft paintings in our continuing study of The Netherlands!


  1. Using Skype in the classroom is awesome! I've actually Skyped with my Dad in my class when we studied the Olympics because he actually went to the summer olympics in 2004 in Athens! The kids loved it! My dad kept asking when we would get to do it again!

    Keep Calm and Hoot On

  2. Love this idea! What a wonderfully rich experience for your students. Something they will never forget.

    Quinnessential Lessons

  3. Wow! What a great experience for your students, Rosie! It has me thinking about who I could Skype with. Your students' enthusiasm is so evident in the picture. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Fourth Grade Flipper