I remembered when we had our first skype session last month…
My students sat down on the carpet and waved to themselves on the SMART board screen as I set up the web camera. That was their first time for them to skype with their new friends from Australia, so they didn’t seem to know what would happen or what to say to their new friends. For me, that was my first experience to have a skype chat in the classroom, so it was like a trial and error. I was being a risk taker. Fingers crossed all could work well.
A message flashed at the bottom of the screen indicating the caller was ready. Students went quiet as they heard I answered the call. It was Kylie, my new pal from Australia who was connected to me by Jay- my friend from Bandung International School- through twitter.
When Kylie began appeared in the screen with her students, I could see the big smiley faces and enthusiastic eyes of my students. Most of them were amazed with their new friends being displayed on the screen. We started the skype by introducing ourselves. It was awkward moment at first when some students volunteered themselves to introduce themselves first as some students were shy to show up. But time went by and they began to mingle. But we were unfortunate in our first skype because of the internet connection, We could just connect for about 10 minutes then we needed to struggle with the unclear voices. Finally, we decided to end up the skype and talked in the messenger about the possibilities to have another better skype. We agreed to do it the next day.
Fingers crossed… Hope all work well..,
The next following day, we met and as we planned, it could work well. Then, they were asking each other some questions. The questions that were asked to my students were:
- How’s the weather there?
- Have you got air conditioner in your classroom?
- Why don’t all students wear shoes in the classroom? Where do you put your shoes?
- What have you learnt so far?
- How many religions are there in your country?
- Where do you come from?
- Tell us about your family and your beliefs. What religion that you follow? How do you pray?
- How many people from other countries are there in your classroom?
- Have you been to Australia before? Which part of Australia have you visited?
My students asked these questions to their new friends from Australia:
- How’s the weather there?
- Why don’t you have air con there? Why do you have heater?
- What time do you start school there? What time do you go back home?
- How do you go to school?
- What best thing have you learnt about beliefs and values that you can share to us?
- How many religions are there in Australia?
- How do you live together among different people?
- Have you visited Indonesia before?
It was great to find our students could easily talk and share things. We felt very luck to collaborate through skype as that was an amazing and beneficial first skype experience for me and my students. After the skype, I asked my students about their feelings after having the skype chatting. Here are their responses:
- I feel very lucky to skype with students from Australia because I can learn a lot from them. I also can share about what I learn to them (Dara)
- I know now that there are some religions in Australia that we don’t have in Indonesia, such as Jews (Amelie)
- I was surprised when they said they start their school at 8.30. It is fun if we could do that! (Matthew)
- We are developing our open mindedness because we come from different countries and have many differences but then we find out that we have some things in common. (Audrey)
- We could have done better if we could manage our behavior during the skype. Some of us were not focused during the conversation. Next time, I want to make sure everyone also talks. (Olin)
- I feel great knowing my students were very enthusiastic and engaging during the skype. I’m happy to bring the world into the classroom and give an opportunity for students to make connection to other students from other countries.
- I can’t forget the role of twitter because I get connected to the world through twitter. Thank you, Jay @jasongraham99 for connecting me to Kylie.
- I found out this image during my twitting, I feel that I could have done better session if I could organize my students well. I plan to have a discussion with students to talk about a classroom essential agreement during the skype session and have the students discussed the roles and responsibilities during the skype session.