Today I’m hosting Chapter 5 of Teaching in the Digital Age for the Summer Book Study.
Teaching in the Digital Age, by Brian Puerling
Chapter 5: Expanding the Classroom with Videoconferencing and Webcams
The classroom is a concept rather than a space within walls.
- Brian Puerling
This chapter reminded me that we have so much technology available that doesn’t always get used in the classroom. I have never done videoconferencing in the classroom, but this chapter showed me many ways it can benefit children.
Connect with experts. In most situations, an expert, such as a firefighter, dentist, or police officer could come to the classroom to talk to the children in person. A videoconference would work well for an expert who is not able to come because of distance or scheduling, or because they need to be within their work environment to explain something to the children. An example of this might be a beekeeper talking to the children about how a bee makes honey, or a farmer talking to city children about where milk comes from, or an interview with a pilot for children who do not live near an airport.
Connect with children or classrooms around the world. If you had a current student or former student in a military family who moved to another country, that child could teach the other children about their life there. You might have a student who moves during the middle of the year, and the children could keep in touch with their classmate this way. If you teach in a Christian program, it might be possible to connect with a missionary your church sponsors in another country and visit with the children who live there through videoconference.
Connect with family members who live far away. I have a friend who Skypes with her grandchildren across several states, and I’m sure she would love to read a book to her grandchild’s class through a videoconference. In some instances, a child might have a parent who lives in another state. You could also connect with a parent who is traveling or lives away for a parent-teacher conference.
It’s fun to imagine the possibilities. Have you ever tried videoconferencing in the classroom? Or do you have a great idea for videoconferencing? Please share in the comments below.