MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 8, 2014

With Skype, FG pupils get to teach the teachers

Third-graders talk tech with school near Ardmore

Fort Gibson third-graders got to show Ardmore-area teachers how to use technology in their classrooms.

Students in Shawn Dickmann’s and Alisha Cooper’s classes talked with Plainview High School teachers Friday through the digital phone and video program Skype. Fort Gibson students and Plainview teachers were able to see and talk to each other on classroom screens.

During Cooper’s afternoon “Skyping” visit, Plainview Principal Brian Nickel said his teachers were learning about new technology during a staff development day.

When Nickel or Plainview teachers asked questions, Cooper’s students were happy to answer.

A high school math teacher asked how the students like using Smart Boards.

“We have fun and we learn,” one student replied.

Dickmann said Fort Gibson’s Intermediate Elementary School has been seeking to Skype with another Oklahoma school all school year.

In 2013, the Oklahoma Educational Technology Trust gave the IES a $40,000 grant for new classroom technology. Items funded by the grant included classroom web cams and digital interactive boards called Smart Boards.

“One of our goals was to be able to collaborate with other schools across the state,” said Principal Sherry Rybolt.

Third-grade teachers sought to use the web cams to Skype with other Oklahoma schools, Dickmann said. Oklahoma geography and history are part of the third-grade curriculum across the state.

However, Dickmann said that when she sought to Skype with other Oklahoma schools, she didn’t find many with the technology needed for the program.

“I looked on ‘Skype for Educators’ looking for third-grade classes,” Dickmann said. “I posted in the fall.”

Last week, Dickmann received a response from Nickel asking whether they would like to Skype.

“So we got to practice Skyping,” Dickmann said. “This was our first time.”

Fort Gibson students agreed it was pretty cool to talk with teachers from southern Oklahoma. They especially liked showing teachers how the technology worked.

“This time we got to teach the teachers things they haven’t done before,” third-grader Sydney Taylor said.

“And it was nice we got to learn about their region,” said classmate Kameryn Walker.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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