Thursday, June 4, 2009

KHS - Skype with Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda

Today at KHS, Tara Doyle, technology teacher, and Elena Wetmore, 1st grade teacher, communicated with a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda, Emily, a friend of Ms. Wetmore's. Emily first wrote a letter to the class. Then the class wrote letters back to her asking questions. One boy in the class asked Ms. Wetmore if Emily had the Internet and Skype so they could talk with her. Ms. Wetmore wrote to check that out and found out that she did have a computer with Internet access. Many pictures were shared so students could see where and how Emily was living in Rwanda. This is a picture of the road to Emily's job.

Ms. Wetmore and the class talked about the different location, Rwanda, and came up with questions to ask Emily. A script was created and each person who wanted to speak had a part. It was practiced many times. Here it is:
Script for Skyping

Student1: Hi Emily! We are Ms. Wetmore’s Class.
Student2: How are you?
Student3: We are from Westport, CT in the USA.
Student4: Where are you from?
Student5: Did you get the letters we sent you? Were they torn at all?
Student6: What time is it there right now?
Student7: We are growing beans, pumpkins and sweet corn during
Student8: What types of plants are in Rwanda? Do you have a garden?
Student9: Do you have pets or animals around your house?
Student10: What do you miss most about the USA?
Student11: When are you coming back to the USA? Maybe you can come
visit us sometime.
Student12: What is your house like?
Student13: We read about water pumps. How do you get your water?
Student14: Thanks for skyping with us.
ALL: Chow for Now!
As it turns out as they were talking more questions were thought of so there was a line that formed at the microphone.

Although there were some technical problems and the connection was lost, students did get a chance to see and talk with Emily.

Tara Doyle, technology teacher, helped Ms. Wetmore a lot with the technology part of it since it was the first time Ms. Wetmore had used Skype. Because they needed to meet when Emily was available, they did not use their regular computer time, so they met at a different time with Ms. Doyle for the Skype session.
Ms. Wetmore said, "The kids were so into it and learned a lot. I loved seeing them come up with other questions as they heard things (a skill we had worked on when doing a podcast interview about a person's history with Ms. Anctil our library media specialist). "

Map of Rwanda from Wikimedia Commons (Click on image to enlarge.)

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