I had the amazing opportunity to present with Kimberly Eggett at CUE in Palm Springs, CA this year. This was the first time I had attended CUE and I was very excited since I have spent the past couple of years learning from the many twitter followers that were attending. In the past I’ve used the hashtag #notatCUE and this year I was able to use the hashtag #CUE2017!
Our session titled “Making the Words Come Alive: Bringing Historians into Your Classroom” was scheduled to be right before the keynote. Which we thought was either a great thing or a horrible thing. We quickly realized it was a GREAT thing because while we were still setting up (with 15 minutes to go) we had 10+ people come over and ask us about our session.
During our poster session, Kimberly and I shared with teachers how to use technology in order to bring guest speakers into the classroom. Specifically we explained the “easy button” of finding guest speakers which is by using Skype in the Classroom on the Microsoft site. I am always surprised how many teachers have not used Skype in the Classroom before with their students and am always ecstatic for their students after they find out about the amazing world of skype! CUE had the hookup with technology and not only were we able to share stories and explain how to search the Skype in the Classroom site, but we were also able to walk teachers through the process step by step.
One specific teacher who teaches history to high school students came by our poster session and learned about Skype in the Classroom for the first time. He was extremely excited and grinned ear to ear as I shared the stories of skyping with a scientist in Antarctica and historians in Greece. While I was sharing, he took lots of notes and started brainstorming how to integrate it into his classroom. When he left he thanked both of us over and over and said he couldn’t wait to try it out. A little while later the same teacher came back over and asked if we would watch him as he went through the steps of the site so he could remember how to get back to all of the amazing resources. I said of course and helped him to navigate. 1 week later and I have no doubt in my mind that his students have already skyped with people from halfway around the world in his classroom.
This is the reason we do what we do and share the love of Skype! It’s all for the students!