Friday, April 08, 2011

A Little Skype Goes A Long Way


I've been enjoying a lot more virtual visits this year into classrooms like the one pictured above. They're cheap and fun and (usually) hassle-free. In case you're wondering if they can be as effective as in-real-life visits, check out this note from Mr. Kelly, a teacher at Patton Middle School in Pennsylvania (reprinted with his permission):
Mitali,

You spoke with my creative writing students through Skype earlier this school year (Kennett Square, Pennsylvania) and connected a little bit with an 8th grade student named Nikita. I wanted to share with you something she just said as she just left class:

"Speaking to Mitali Perkins made my year. I still think about it—an actual Indian author! I couldn't believe it. I still can't. I went home that day and yelled it throughout the house that I got to say (an Indian expression I didn't quite catch) to a real Indian author! I've been on her website and read her books and I think I'm going to enter her writing contest...I just...(shriek)...I love her!"

She had so much emotion flowing out of her I wish you could have seen it. We read some poetry today of Vikram Seth—I think that it is what stirred up her emotions again to wait for everyone else to leave to share what she thought of you and her experience with you.

Thank you again for being so warm with young people. Clearly, Nikita will continue to carry her experience with you for many years.

Brian
The credit goes to you, Mr. Kelly, and to so many other stellar educators who are using everything and anything you can think of to connect stories to young people.

3 comments:

Debbie Reese said...

Hi Mitali,

I've done several of these, too, over the last two years. Most of them were in the US but two were in Canada.

My first-ever Skype lecture was with a group of children in what we call the 5th grade here in the US. That was three years ago.

Feedback I've gotten is like yours. I plan to share some of it next week when I give a talk on campus about my use of social media.

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Wow, what a moving tribute to the power of getting out there among the kids. Wonderful!

polycom ip 550 said...

It's amazing how far communication has improved with the help of quality VOIP tools like Skype. Great to see that it's being utilized for education now.