The last pillar I mentioned was learning to live together. With Newoldschool.org, we are embedding Skype software to allow students to communicate with each other, not only all over America but all over the world. Now, there are more reasons to use Skype other than to just say hello to a complete stranger. One website offers an array (50 to be specific) of ways to use skype in the classroom. (click on skype icon to see the 50 ways you can use skype in the classroom). People always wonder when the future is going to get here thinking of flying cars and beaming up to places like Star Trek. Well, if you ever watch Star Trek, they do a lot of video conferencing on the main screen when talking to other ships. That my friend, is Skype, and the future is here. Students can log on to this site and use Skype to do projects. For instance, If a student was doing a report on Australia, they can use skype to actually talk to someone from Australia. As teachers we always stress usiing primary sources and first hand accounts, well this is the primary source machine. Other than sharing information, students are learning to see people from different cultures which has value well beyond their years in school. In the workforce, you can’t choose who you work with. You have to be able to work with people of all different races and creeds, and if students are using skype in school and are subjected to these experiences, then you will see prejudice and racism decrease over the years.
On the site that talks about the 50 ways to use skype in the classroom, they mentioned another cool point. How awesome would it be if you could have an author of a book you are reading skype into your classroom and hold a discussion? This tool is invaluable as a teacher . You can skype politicians, atheletes, authors, and anyone that has access to the software. This is brinigng students into our society instead of telling them what it will be like “when you are in the real world”. With skype we can bring the real world to them first.
Together, teachers and newoldschool.org can bring students, people, and educators together in a combined effort to give our students experiences that can only be dreamed of. So please, tell me what you all think!!!