Posted by: swuharrison | July 15, 2011

Virtual Exchange Between Classes

Article: “I Heard Them Say, Love Is The Way”

Author: Miss Night

Link: http://missnightmutters.blogspot.com/2011/03/i-heard-them-say-love-is-way.html

Summary: This blog is about a Kindergarten teacher in Canada whose class had a virtual exchange with a partner class in Indonesia.  Each class had an imaginary friend who attended the partner school. She used several technology resources to interact with the exchange class.   Miss Night used Twitter, videos, virtual field trips, and Prezi presentations.

The students built connections with other children their own age on the other side of the world. Miss Night gave a list of examples of things the children learned through this virtual interaction. The students were excited about learning.  They also showed concern and love for their friends in the partner class, even though the only correspondence between them was virtually.  They wanted to take care of the Indonesia friends when there was a threat to their safety. I like the following statements made by the kids: “They are our friends. We can take care of them. They will be safe with us. We have room.” These students not only learned facts about another place but also learned the value of friendship.

New Concept: The whole idea of partnering with a class around the world virtually was new to me.  I have had students write to children but never even though of connecting virtually. I loved this idea.  I also learned about a Prezi meeting and presentation.  The Prezi meeting is a way people can work on something at the same time from different locations.  The presentation is like a power point but looks like more fun and interesting to me.

My Response to the Article:  I enjoyed this article.  I love the idea and the examples of what the students learned.  I also like the idea of a virtual field trip.  It is not easy taking 4 year olds on a lot of field trips, but virtual field trips would be fun and exciting as well. I think this is a good article for teachers to read.  It shows how involved kids would get with an idea like this.  The lessons they learned, educational and  emotional, were very beneficial.

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