Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Skype with Penguins!

A few weeks ago we came across a post about the first ever Microsoft Education Skype-a-thon  Skype with an expert. This was an opportunity that was too important to miss out on.

Today we participated in a 6th grade Skype conference with the Antarctic.

Our expert was  Dr. Jean Pennycook who spends part of the year at camped at Cape Royds Antarctica, as part  of a group studying  Adéle penguin populations.

We were fortunate to find a time for the web conference time that coincided with our weekly Life Skills lesson. There was some time available prior the appointment, which we used to share some of Dr. Pennycook's presentations on Adéle Penguins and information about the Antarctic and Antarctica, with the students.

Next, after a short round of penguin focused Stand up Sit Down, we put the kids in groups and had them come up with a collection of questions for our expert. We also gained a few volunteers to pose those questions.  The kids were so excited. They came up with many more questions than we had time for. Luckily Dr. Pennycook has kindly offered to answer these through email at a later date.

Our students were fascinated with the information and live video of the penguin colony. They even got to see a few penguin eggs and a chick or two. Our next step is to write a few thank you cards and send them off to Dr Pennycook in the new year.

I would strongly Skype in the Classroom to all teachers out there. I know that in doing so today, our students not only learned about penguins, but took one more step in building on their global citizenship skills. It is likely that they will remember this experience for a very long time.

Here are a few images from the session.