As @CurranCentral said during his TEDxYouth talk last April, “If you want us to learn about the world, we need to learn with the world.”
This week, we put those words into action as we participated in the SkypeAThon 2016. The Digital Citizenship Institute and DigCitKids connected with five classrooms in Scotland, a classroom in Ontario, two classrooms in Pennsylvania, a classroom in Texas and we also made one Skype call to Kenya. As a mother/son digital citizenship team, we traveled approximately 25,681 miles over the 48 hour event contributing to the total of almost 10 million miles of global learning that happened around the world.
If you want to know what 10 million miles of global learning looks like, take a look at this SkypeAThon interactive world map created by our friend and colleague, William Jenkins.
Our global learning trip included some digital citizenship lessons, as well as some #MysterySkype sessions where we guessed each other’s locations through a series of yes and no questions. We also joined a moviemaking class in Texas and even had a chance to join a professional development session with a room full of educators.
Some other highlights included participating in a Pokémon Go session because we were able to see an idea become a reality. This particular idea began in Scotland when William Jenkins spearheaded the effort of the crowdsourced Pokémon Go #DigCitPLN Collaborative Report.
Just as Pokémon Go took the world by storm, so did the number of people around the world who contributed to the content of this report. DigCitKids was inspired to get involved and helped create a Pokémon Go Homework Challenge. The fact that we got to see this challenge happen during the SkypeAThon in a classroom located in Scotland was absolutely extraordinary.
We eagerly watched as MIE Expert, Andrew Minshall’s students present their Pokémon Go Homework Challenge. It was an incredible geography and history lesson and it confirmed the power of global learning opportunities that Skype in the Classroom provides for all students, everywhere.
Another memorable Skype happened in another classroom in Scotland. We didn’t know about St. Andrew’s Day until we connected with MIE Expert, Mrs Jalland and her students. Her class sang Flower of Scotland and this was the exact moment they captured our hearts completely.
We can’t wait to continue to learn and collaborate with the global connections we made during the SkypeAThon and although we might have to wait an entire year until the next SkypeAThon, we will start planning our version of a digital citizenship SkypeAThon, DigCitAThon for 2017.
In the meantime, enjoy these pictures from the #SkypeAThon and we’ll see you on Skype!