Thursday, December 22, 2016

No Bridge/Hangout too Far

     In the aftermath of this year's United States presidential election, my students have come across a great learning opportunity.   When I opened my email the morning after the election, I was pleasantly surprised to see a message from Lorena's class in Mexico inquiring as to when we could visit about the United States election results on Hangout.
     That same morning, I also had a message from my colleague Pernilla and her students in Sweden.  They recorded a video message filled with questions about how my students in Arkansas thought the election would change things in America.  It contained questions such as "will the wall really be built between Mexico and the United States?" , "what will happen to relations between the US and Russia?"

     In the past, our ability to connect with classes around the world has been limited to those classrooms that are about 6 time zones ahead or behind where we are located in Arkansas (our school is located in the GMT-6 zone).  We are limited to the hours where our school day(s) intersect, unless a class is from a boarding school, or willing to come back after their school day is over.

    The election results have opened up a new frontier in our Hangouts.  I am excited to partner with Jamie Stallings our Human Geography teacher on this.  We have worked together in the past to connect with our peers in South America, Europe and the Caribbean through Hangouts. to show students how to respond to their peers' in Sweden's video message using the Let's Recap app, and YouTube connect.   We look forward to hearing/visiting with Pernilla's class again soon!

    By moving into this new frontier for connecting with our international peers, we have expanded our students options to truly connect on a global scale.  No longer are we limited to a few time zones ahead or behind of where our school is physically located.  No longer are we limited by different school/bell schedules. Through exploring these video options, our students can take advantage of the time differences to connect with their peers literally around the world!

    In effect, no class is too far.... no Hangout is too far away.  I am excited to see where this new option takes our students!

    Are you interested in connecting with our classes at Lakeside Junior High School through these apps, or Google Hangouts/Skype?  Contact me at

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