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Using Social Media to Create Great Classroom Experiences

20 June 2014

This week Michelle Gill’s class, 3B, had a brilliant opportunity that was opened up to them through Twitter: the chance to speak to a weatherman from Australia about climate and to learn about habitats from The Buffalo Bill Centre in America, all through Skype.

  • Students in 3B talk to a weatherman in Australia and learn about animal habitats from the Buffalo Bill Centre in the USA.

Michelle has only just joined Twitter and decided to try to find an expert to speak to her class by asking with a tweet.

"I had seen on Twitter previously someone else looking for a specialist," Michelle said, "which gave me the idea to search for a climate specialist to speak to my class,"

This all led to an ABC Weatherman, Graham Creed, offering to do a Skype lesson with her class about climate. In the same week they had another Skype lesson with The Buffalo Bill Centre in America where they learnt about habitats and animal adaptations.

“The children actually got to see some of these animals that live in those habitats and how they've adapted, which is something they couldn't do in the classroom." - lucky 3B!

Michelle said of the experience: "They loved it and lots of them have now asked, as part of their project, if they can present their research as a weather forecaster, which is lovely, so I've been filming them pretending to be Graham and actually teach one another about the different forecasts and weather around the world."

Some of the children told us what they thought of using Skype for their lessons:

“I thought the Skype sessions were awesome!” - Maggie

“I learnt that the grizzly bear eats up to 40,000 moths a day to get enough nutrition.” - Joe

(Unbelievable but true!)

“I didn’t know that horns were made out of the same stuff as hair!” - Jasmin

3B is also taking part in a ‘Mystery Skype’ with a class next week arranged through Skype Education, a free global community of teachers who work together to create inspiring Skype lessons. Skype Education also helped to set up the class with The Buffalo Bill Centre.

Michelle was interviewed on Australian radio this week about the experience and you can read more about it and listen to the interview in full on their website.

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