2,863 miles. That is how far 2 classrooms traveled this morning to see each other. Rather than taking 42 hours, this trip took only seconds to get to, bringing two very special classrooms together. Nancy Crane, teacher at Wildwood School in NY and Jennifer Strehle, teacher at Bellevue Schools in Washington, along with their staff, had an idea. They both work with students with special needs at similar transition stages in their lives. What if we can break down the walls and bring them together, though thousands of miles apart?
It started with penpals. Students wrote to each other about their school, family, hobbies, etc. These letters then turned into meeting over Skype for the very first time. This project in all meets so many different learning objectives including but not limited to:
using technology to take pictures, type, skype etc.
The most important learning that came out of this, however, was not in the form of a learning objective or standard. It was the fact that the students learned there are other individuals out there with similar interests and at a similar school working on similar goals and aspirations. It was about connecting outside of the walls of the school to something greater, bringing together minds and hearts. It was about forming bonds that will extend past this one Skype session and hopefully last into the future.
2,863 miles. We’re really not that far apart after all.
Mark Giufre (deTechtive1) 2013