Improving the World: Classroom to Classroom - Culture to Culture

Did your classroom ever speak with a classroom in another country? 

Some teachers here in Saudi Arabia have tried this with English classes using Skype or similar video broadcasting services.  Geography or Social Studies students in the UK, Australia, South Africa or North America may like to Skype with your English class. We all can benefit from learning about other cultures.  Wars usually happen between strangers, not between friends.  As we meet people across the world, our friendships help to make the planet safer.

Do you think this would be fun? Let's think about what you might expect if you did this. 

1.  Can you think of any benefits you and your class may gain?

2.  Can you think of any harm that this may cause?

3.  What problems could you expect?  Will the differences in time zones be a problem for you? How can you work around time differences?

4.  How will you contact the teacher in the English speaking country?

If you like this idea please comment with your answers to some of these questions.  There are classes here in the KSA that would love to try such a thing and I think many in your country would also like to speak with students their own age in other countries. 

I can see English Club as a possible spot to assist with such contacts, if we the members make some good suggestions.  There are good teacher organizations in many countries that could help spread the word to teachers that might be interested in participating.

If you are a teacher and interested in this project please reply here.  As a group we just may be able to make this possible for many students.

My suggestions for a better quality experience if you try this:

a.  have a good web camera and good lighting in the classroom (if you use a projector for the video try to have some lighting on your own students so they can be seen by the class a world  away)

b.  test your camera and microphone on Skype with another teacher's computer to see if everyone can hear and see each other well.

c.  consider recording your event so you can show school administrators and parents (a recording should also help if you need money to improve your equipment by showing what you are doing)

I will give more comments about the classes that already tried this if I see people are interested in doing this on their own.

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Comment by Mr. Bob on March 6, 2013 at 16:22

Thanks for the nice comments.  I will say that there are about 2 hours of video from the teachers who first tried this.  While I was watching some of this video I noticed the problems with lighting and some issues with sound quality.  I don't expect we will ever have a perfect meeting between classrooms, but I just add those issues so that you can prepare if you want to try it.

If any teachers want to try this, please let me know.

Comment by Robbie on March 6, 2013 at 9:19

Sounds a marvelous project, Teacher Bob! This would be a great idea to practice everyone's English and at the same time, improve the self-confidence of students on communicating via Skype. Good luck! : )

Comment by lamegogo depari on March 6, 2013 at 8:26

Hi Mr. Bob, How do u do? hope you find my comment in good health...aamiin. Hemisphere where now u stand Sir? & how 'bout your lovely Doggi? I remember, that u took it too when u should move  out. :D

Well, for me this very great idea. Hope can join but now time already taken a half of my day each day Sir. not like long long time ago where I can stand here since morn' to afternoon while working at offc. hehe....

But still any hope I can join cos it would be very very great.

u always bringing an amazing idea since I knew u here Sir :D, cya & good day.


Lamegogo Depari

Comment by fanda on March 6, 2013 at 1:06

that's absolutely a great idea Mr. Bob, Surely i'll share this method with my friends who teach english in my country. thank you for sharing

Comment by Gerardo Gordillo Muñoz on March 5, 2013 at 23:17

Hello Mr Bob, thanks for sharing this, that´s a great idea. I think it will be very useful, maybe we can select an issue before the class, in this way we can prepare the class and looking for information from different sources.

I hope it works, have a great day, Gerardo

Comment by Rajesh on March 5, 2013 at 17:45

It's a great idea, Sir.

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