Student connections WORLDWIDE: Practical ideas to get started

Video calls and technology can bring experts in other countries and researchers in Antarctica to your classroom. Here’s how to make it happen.

Genny Kahlweiss, a teacher in southern California, wanted more for her students … more than she could provide for them.

She started digging into resources at SkypeInTheClassroom.com to get her students connected to experts and new places with video calls. She had no idea how far it would take her students — or their work.

They found researchers at a research station in Antarctica. Her students talked directly to the researchers in a Skype call.

Then, they created a flag and sent it to Antarctica to be flown over the research facility. It stayed up for a few days — longer than normal and almost long enough to have the flag blown off the flagpole!

In episode 23, Genny says the experience for her students was unforgettable, and it’s not a hard experience to create or even replicate. Mike Drezek echoes her sentiments in episode 24 about his students connecting with an entrepreneur in India.

Check out this week of episodes to see what YOU and YOUR students can do!

How you can listen to the Ditch That Textbook podcast

1. On the Anchor app. This is a great place to follow the show so you can quickly and easily call in to the show and listen to it the moment it’s published. Go to anchor.fm for the app and search “Ditch That Textbook” to find and favorite the show. Click here to view the show on Anchor.

2. Right here on the blog. I’m planning on publishing podcast recap posts here every Tuesday. I’ll embed the shows right into the posts. You can listen to them without downloading anything!

3. iTunes / Apple Podcasts. If you have an iPhone, this may be your best option. Click here to find the show on iTunes / Apple Podcasts.

4. Google Play Music. If you have an Android phone, this may be your best option. Click here to find the show on Google Play Music.

5. Overcast and Pocketcasts. If you use these platforms or would like to, click here to find the show on Overcast or click here to find it on Pocketcasts.

023 — Introducing your students to penguins and Antarctica

Genny Kahlweiss’s students sent a flag to a research station in Antarctica, where it was flown for three days. They video chatted with scientists and named penguins. How cool! How did she do it? She shares how YOU could do these things, too! (Genny’s Twitter: @kahlweiss)

024 — Student connections all over the world

Mike Drezek connected students to India. Those students’ worldview was widened. How can you make similar connections? It may be easier than you think. Mike shares some ideas. (Mike’s Twitter: @m_drez)

025 — Where to start with AR and VR in class

Augmented reality and virtual reality are becoming a reality for classrooms. Mike Drezek shares some cool ways teachers can start incorporating this cutting-edge technology in class for little to no money. (Mike’s Twitter: @m_drez)

026 — Bringing a hip hop program to middle school

How can hip hop influence and inspire students at a middle school in Bronx, NY? The effects can be farther-reaching than you might think. Listen as a principal, musician and filmmaker combine to influence student lives. More info: casadocumentary.com.

For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links:

Interested in having Matt present at your event or school? Contact him by e-mail!

Matt is scheduled to present at the following upcoming events:

 DateEvent / Event DetailsCity / More Info
+ 05/19/2018
Texas Google Summit with Kasey BellAustin, TX
  Register to attend
+ 06/01/2018
MSD of MartinsvilleMartinsville, IN
+ 06/04/2018
Granbury ISDGranbury, TX
+ 06/05/2018
Columbus City SchoolsColumbus OH
+ 06/06/2018
School City of MishawakaMishawaka, IN
+ 06/07/2018
Lafayette eLearning ConferenceLafayette, IN
+ 06/12/2018
2nd Annual Learn, Explore, Adopt and Deliver (LEAD) ConferenceCleveland, OH
+ 06/13/2018
InnEdCoKeystone, CO
  Public Event
+ 06/19/2018
Tyler ISDTyler, TX
+ 06/20/2018
TransformED ConferenceWaco, TX
+ 06/21/2018
Barr-Reeve Jr/Sr High School- Washington Community SchoolsWashington, IN
  Public Event
+ 07/24/2018
Regional Math & Science ConferenceAmarillo, TX
+ 08/01/2018
Flipgrid Event + Evening Live StreamMinneapolis, MN
+ 08/02/2018
Virginia Beach SchoolsVirginia Beach, VA
+ 08/09/2018
St. Joseph Grade SchoolSouth Bend, IN