Sunday night during the weekly #1stchat twitter chat - which takes place every Sunday at 5 pm PST - I mentioned that I had a video game programmer speaking to my class. Amy Rudd, another grade one teacher that I've met through #1stchat, asked if she could have her son join our conversation with Beth. He was really curious about this job. Now I teach in Surrey, BC, Canada, and they live in Ohio, a country and three time zones over. At first I was thinking to myself I can't make this work because with FaceTime you can only have one person on at a time. But then I realized that I could get them into our FaceTime conversation another way - through Skype. And we did. With my iPad, hooked up to the projection device with Beth video conferencing in through FaceTime, Amy and her son were on my laptop top on Skype listening in. A bit crazy eh?
Beth spoke wonderfully to my students about her job. You can read more about that on our class blog. When she was finished it was time for questions. My students asked their questions with little difficulty as they just went up to the iPad and asked. But Amy's son had a question too. But instead of me relaying his question to Beth I put the computer in front of the iPad and let him ask it himself. Does anyone else besides me see the complete craziness in that? A boy, sitting in his home in Ohio was skyping into my classroom in Surrey, Canada to directly ask a question to my friend Beth who was in her own home using FaceTime to get into my classroom? Yes I really do think that's a crazy (in a great way) use of technology.
But crazy uses of technology continued in this 30 min span. Just before we said goodbye to Beth many of my students took photos of her on the big screen so that they could put her picture on their blogs. As soon as she was gone one student let me know that he didn't get a photo. He was sad about this too because he was just waiting for the many children to move from the screen. I felt awful that I hadn't noticed but said that I could share one of my photos with him.
Those words came out easy enough from my mouth but was it really that easy? Because my iPad was being used for the FaceTime call I resorted to my phone to take the photos. The thing is the iPads my students use do not have any e-mail on them so I couldn't just e-mail a picture to him. I needed another way.
Here's where it gets a bit crazy, again. I e-mailed a photo from my phone and opened up that e-mail on my laptop. Then I saved the photo to my dropbox. I went to my student's iPad, opened up my dropbox account on his iPad and saved the photo in his photo roll on his iPad. And presto he uploaded the photo from his camera roll and wrote about Beth. Does anyone else see the nuttiness behind this photo transfer?
Both of these crazy adventures happened within a 30 min period of time, after an inside lunch recess.
Do you have some stories of ways you've used technology in totally crazy ways with your students? If so please share.