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Edgerton students use videoconferencing to expand classrooms

May 2, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
skype_classrooms.jpgApril 30, 2012 by Neil Johnson via GazettExtra.com -- Edgerton -- Students at Yahara Valley Elementary School in rural Edgerton are using a webcam and a SMART Board to run live videoconferences with students in a classroom seven miles away at Edgerton Community Elementary School.

Four days a week, students in the blended third- and fourth-grade classrooms at the two schools use Skype, a computer video communication program, to share learning activities.

For 15 or 30 minutes a day, the students share readings of chapter books, learn what projects the students in the other class are working on and even discuss techniques of writing different kinds of poetry.

It's part of a fledgling program that the school district is developing to use technology to boost learning and bring students and classrooms throughout the district closer.

Carrie Brehm, who teaches the 27 third- and fourth-graders at Yahara Valley, said she and Community Elementary School teacher Nick Sveum decided to start using Skype between classrooms as an extension of the two schools' pen pal program.

"We looked at what can we do to get them more in touch with those 21st-century skills and what can we do to bring classrooms together to collaborate on learning," Brehm said.

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