A few months back, one of Allison Holland's students at Riverside Intermediate School in Plymouth, Ind., wrote Shaquille O'Neal asking for an autograph. But instead of an autograph, the student received the 7 foot 1 inch former NBA superstar himself, who met with the student and the rest of his classmates through a video call with technology provided by Skype.
The video call was part of Skype's education program, called "Skype in the classroom," which helps create learning experiences for students around the world using Skype's video conferencing technology. This week, Skype announced a new contest as part of the program called Santa in the Classroom. The contest gives teachers a chance to win $10,000 to purchase new technology and a Skype call with Santa Claus for their classes.
Launched in March, 2011, Skype in the classroom brings celebrities and explorers, researchers and athletes into classrooms around the world. "Using Skype, the kids get really excited!" said Holland. "When the call comes in and they can see people's faces, everyone just yells in excitement. But after that, they always stay quiet in absolute wonderment. To get a full room of grade school kids completely silent and engaged...it's incredible."
Harry Stevens is a Media Consultant for 3BL Media / Justmeans. After earning his Bachelors of Arts in international relations from the University of Puget Sound, Harry moved to Guatemala to do business development for Mercado Global, a fair trade fashion organization. Harry has written on social enterprise, sustainable finance, and fair trade for a number of popular blogs, including Justmeans and The Fair Trade Times. A serial road-tripper, Harry has been to forty-seven of the forty-eight contiguous states, and is actively seeking an excuse to visit Oklahoma. You can follow Harry on Twitter: @Harry_Stevens
Tweet me: How will a @Skype contest provide #teachers with classroom technology? Read here http://3bl.me/f5w9nd @Harry_Stevens @justmeans #education
KEYWORDS: Teachers, Technology, Education, Skype, Skype in the classroom, Shaquille O'Neal