Skype is something every educator should have in their tool box. Recently, a high school environmental science class came into the library for a Skype visit. We called into our contact, who answered on the sixth attempt. Scholars quickly learned since he was on the west coast that it was barely 7AM for our guest.
Park Ranger Daniel from Los Lobos State Park Reserve in California visited with Blind Brook scholars. They were able to see him in action at his job in the wild. To hear the wonder and excitement in their voices surprised me as I figured Skype was old hat for these tech teenagers.
Daniel explained the duties of his job and the importance in protecting nature from trash. He pulled out plastic bags from the water and discussed at length how they kill water organisms. Scholars watched as he canoed through the water pulling up slugs, mammals as ripples of water jetted out. Often he would flip the camera so we were able to see the sun rising and also a seal sitting 10 feet away on a rock.
The seniors were so engrossed that a Q & A time was opened up so they could ask questions about things of interest. One student asked about the pathway to follow to be an animal worker in a state park or a vet. Daniel’s visit was truly inspirational as it brought learning into the school without us having to leave the physical constraints of the building. Daniel emphasized following your vision, working hard and giving life your best shot.
As other library patrons came into the library, they would stop and stare across the room listening to the guest speaker and looking up from their work. Students in the library were extremely respectful and did not make any noise at all.
In conclusion, Skype was an amazing way to bring an expert into the school. There were no costs and no education time was lost. It was interactive, engaging and truly helped prepare our children to be future ready learners.