Web Conferencing Finds Elementary School Niche
'Chat Challenge' Brings Teachers and Students On Camera, In Focus
As Cherrie MacInnes’ 3rd graders have endeavored to have a Web conference with a class from each of the 50 states, they’ve unearthed surprises at each stop.
When the students at Washington Street School peered at the computer screen, they learned that while it was afternoon for them in Brewer, Maine, it was still morning in Anchorage, Alaska. They discovered that students in Paterson, N.J., boasted an accent very different from the well-known Maine dialect. And when they did a Web conference with Joan B. Bender’s class at Pleasant Hill Elementary School in Kissimmee, Fla., they learned that the nation’s southeastern-most state was discovered by Ponce de León.
But as her students research information, compile questions about each state, and follow up with supplemental writing, Ms. MacInnes is surprised not by what they are learning, but by how many teachers are willing to participate in the still-novel frontier...
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