Skype-a-Thon 2017 at LSCSD

On November 28 & 29, 2017, Lake Shore CSD students participated in Skype Classroom’s Skype-a-thon event. Hosted by Microsoft Education, District Technology Integrators and Microsoft Educator Community members, Susan Walterich and Michael Drezek, helped coordinate many Skype sessions that reached near and far in an effort to help students learn from other classrooms and also professionals and experts through video exchanges and virtual field trips. Some of these exchanges included a Mystery Skype, a geo guessing game where classrooms alternate asking strategic yes/no questions using their knowledge of geography to uncover the actual location of their partner class.

Just where did they travel and who came along for the trip?

Accra, Ghana, Africa (5387 miles)
Mr. Kowalski, Mrs. Chimera, Mrs. McGough
L & M Memorial Academy (@excoba)
Mystery Skype – Students learned all about oware, ampe, banku, fufu, school days, music, future dreams/goals & Japhet Aryiku. Students also exchanged a traditional song.

Westquarter, Scotland, United Kingdom (3331 miles)
Miss Minazzi, Mrs. Ruszaj
Westquarter Primary School (@ElliePrimary1)
Mystery Skype

Giza, Egypt, Africa (5743 miles)
Mrs. Addison
Virtual Field Trip with Soheir Zaki Abdel-Fattah
Khufu Pyramid is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Students traveled to Giza complex which includes the Sphinx and Solar ship museum beside the three pyramids. Many students around the world have learned about pyramids and will learn how they are built and learn some amazing facts discovered in Khufu pyramids!

Mattawan, Michigan, USA (435 miles)
Mr. Lewis
Mystery Skype

Kingston, Rhode Island, USA (497 miles)
Mrs. Prieschel
Minecraft Author, Sean Fay Wolfe (@seanfaywolfe)
Guest Speaker Series – Students learned all about following their passions from Sean Fay Wolfe, a student turned top selling author. Now a college student, Sean Fay Wolfe shared his inspiring journey with students and encouraged them to learn, write and share their talents with the world.

Tampa, Florida, USA (1325 miles)
Mr. Kowalski
Turner-Bartels School (@MissBTBK8)
Mystery Skype

Middleboro, Massachusetts, USA (492 miles)
Mr. Sills, Mrs. Florczyk
Mystery Skype

Bogota, Columbia, South America (2636 miles)
Mrs. Brumagin, Mrs. Hackbarth
Matt Murrie, Chief Curiosity Curator at What If…360 (@MattMurrie)
Guest Speaker Series – Matt, who visited Lake Shore in person in October 2017, shared his experiences traveling the globe as well as similarities and differences amongst students and schools. He encouraged curiosity to be present in learning experiences as it is a natural resource powerful enough to not only power the world, but guide it!

Aztec, New Mexico, USA (1823 miles)
Aztec Ruins National Monument
Virtual Field Trip & Mystery Skype
National Park Services Ranger Andy along with cameraman Dave led students on a tour and lesson on ancestral Pueblos through various famous tourist spots at Aztec Ruins National Monument. Students visited the kiva rooms, learned about architectural principles, trade customs, artifacts and asked some great questions during the session. Many now want to visit in person!

Grimsby, England, United Kingdom (3525 miles)
Mrs. Chimera, Mrs. McGough
Grimsby Institute (@ElaineTopham)
Mystery Skype

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (1382 miles)
Mrs. Chimera, Mrs. McGough
Canadian Museum of Human Rights (@CMHR_News)
Virtual Field Trip & Mystery Skype
Students met Graham Lowes, the education resident at CMHR. He took students on a journey through the museum and talked about the stories of human rights the museum seeks to preserve and share for future generations. We learned that the museum starts out in darkness, moves towards the light, similar to the journey of one enduring human rights violations. They toured the Garden of Contemplation and traveled up a glass elevator to the Tower of Hope overlooking beautiful downtown Winnipeg. Students asked thought-provoking questions and several students made connections to their indigenous heritage through the Seneca Nation of Indians.

Cody, Wyoming (1934 miles)
Ms. Amoia
Yellowstone National Park
Virtual Field Trip & Mystery Skype
Students interviewed the park ranger or try to guess which park the ranger works in through Mystery Skype. A Yellowstone National Park ranger then led students on a virtual field trip to learn more about geology (geysers, hot springs, volcanoes), ecology (fire; wildlife–bears, bison, elk, wolves, and more), and cultural history (Native American, world’s 1st national park, tourism). Yellowstone is full of science, history and even math.

Kavali Andhra Pradesh, India (8313 miles)
Mrs. Chimera, Mrs. McGough, Mr. Kowalski
Master School India (@Mschoolindia)
Mystery Skype Exchange
Students learned traditional song and dance as well as what a banana plate is. They also exchanged similarities and differences in their educational experiences. Both schools led each other on a virtual tour of the building. At the Middle School, students from India were able to see a FACS classroom engaged in cooking chicken, the pool, library and even a sneak peek at the holiday chorus performance.

Over 14 million virtual miles were traveled by classrooms around the globe. Lake Shore students accounted for a few thousand of these and the connections made and memories formed are sure to last a lifetime. We look forward to involving even more classrooms for Skype-a-Thon 2018 next year and hope that this experience will lead to teachers trying global education experiences in an effort to take learning beyond the four walls of the classroom through technology.

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