Teaching and Instruction, Technology

From Skype to Face to Face- My Amazing Connection!!!

Sometimes something magical happens that makes you stop in your track and savor every minute. This magical moment happened for me this week but started 4 months ago.

In January, I was contacted by George Couros and asked if I would be able to Skype with a grade 2 class in his school learning about Saskatoon.  They had a list of questions about my city and wanted to learn from someone who lived here. 

Having never Skyped before I really didn’t know what to expect or how “this whole digital connection thing” really worked.  I certainly did not expect to feel so connected with students 6 hours away.  Even after the conversation was over I continued to think about them and wonder how their learning about Saskatoon was progressing.  Most of all I thought about the enthusiasm they displayed during the conversation, both for connecting and for learning.   

I was excited when 4 months later I had an opportunity to meet this class face to face.  I was a bit nervous when I walked into the school.  Would they remember me?  What if the connection I felt was just on my side and not the same for them?  All of my questions were answered when I stepped into the classroom to cheers, smiles and hugs!!!  I chatted with the class, read them a story, meet parents and connected with each and every one of them again.  It was an amazing experience which has taught me many things:

  1. Virtual connections can be powerful.
  2. For me Face to Face encounters are necessary to really solidify the connection and make it seem real.
  3. Students can and do develop strong connections virtually. (an obviously so do I )
  4. We can use virtual connections in the classroom to enhance the learning experience and teach responsible digital citizenship and safety. 
  5. The four walls of the classroom no longer limit the connections we can make and the relationships we can build.

Thank you so much Grade 2 for teaching me about the power of virtual connections…and for the hugs!!!

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6 thoughts on “From Skype to Face to Face- My Amazing Connection!!!”

  1. It’s an amazing thing when virtual worlds and real worlds collide. It puts so much more value on the connections we make. What a cool experience to be able to meet that class in person!

  2. Thank you. It really was surreal. I was blown away by the power of virtual connects and the impact they would have on me as a person. The world is truly becoming smaller and closer than ever.

  3. One of my favourite parts about conferences now is meeting people in person that I’ve only previously met on Twitter. It’s a very cool experience. Surreal in some ways…

  4. Thank you for taking on this opportunity to visit us! The kids were so excited to find out that you were actually coming to our school. I think you hit the nail right on the head when you said that the virtual connections are a great way to extend the learning outside of the classroom, however, that connection seems to solidify itself when it presents itself face to face. It was so great being able to meet you face to face! Thank you again for offering to skype with our class and for taking on the oppotunity to come visit us! It was great seeing the kids faces light up with excitement while we were Skyping and then even more so when you were actually in our classroom! I can easily compare it to being able to go to an up close and personal concert with your favorite artist. One student even invited her mom to school that day saying she just had to meet Jennifer! You are our rock star from Saskatoon who we got to meet up close and personal!
    Thank You!
    Ms. Hobbins and her grade 2 class

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