Monday, 5 December 2011

Building a Virtual Network

I’m currently teaching math to the grade sevens here at Lytton Elementary, and these are the students who were in Connected Classrooms last year. Due to staffing changes, I moved down two grades, and the current sevens didn’t get a second year of CC. It’s always interesting when they come in, as their eyes naturally wander towards the VC equipment, and they always know when I’m logged into Brigit. They always want me to leave a message for the other classes, even though they are no longer in the project. They’ve asked multiple times to just call the other sites from last year. Often, a grade seven student will tell me what one of the students from Ashcroft or Cayoosh is doing now, as they keep current on status updates with their ECC Facebook friends.

Last week, one of my students was sad that they no longer had videoconferences. When asked why, she responded with, “It’s just our class now. It’s kind of lonely. I miss seeing their faces!”

It made me think of how open my classroom has become, and how many other peers my students have met as a result of the project. I remember the first day they had a videoconference, and how painfully shy they had been. It’s exciting to see them reach out and make those connections. I’m also glad to know that at least some of them have sustained those relationships, and are starting to build a virtual network.

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