Thursday, July 16, 2015

Google Hangout With Four Spanish Classes In The Library

The last quarter of this year was full of PARCC testing. It was a challenge to have our usual library collaborative programs due to the library being used as a testing center. However, Mr. Brian Johnson, Library Media Specialist at Springdale Junior High and I managed to squeeze in one last Google Hangout before the school year ended. Last year we successfully started these Hangouts with our two schools. Brian appropriately named them "Lakeside Squared" since both of our schools bear the name Lakeside even though they are located more than 200 miles apart. We had been messaging each other for weeks trying to come up with something unique to bring our two schools together. We finally settled on bringing Spanish classes into our libraries for the Hangout.

Springdale students peform their Telenovelas for us
The goal was for the Springdale Spanish classes to share their Telenovelas (brief dramatic skits) via webcam. Over the course of our messaging and planning, it developed into both of our schools sharing followed by a question and answer session. I was excited about this event since it would give students at both schools a chance to communicate in Spanish outside each of the schools walls using technology!

We were able to connect with no problems on the day of the event. Springdale Lakeside's students shared several Telenovelas. Our students enjoyed each presentation. Most of our students had never connected via webcam with another school, so it was a very new experience for them.

Our students performed for the distant visitors with no problems. During the humorous portions, it was fun to hear the Springdale students laughing over our library speakers.

Our students peform a Telenovela for Springdale students via webcam
The last part of the activity had students asking each other questions in Spanish. It seemed a bit awkward at first (due to the large number of students in both libraries). It quickly became more comfortable for students as the event progressed.

For our Spanish teachers, this seemed to open a whole new world of opportunities and ideas. I am grateful to Mrs. Patricia Epperhart and Mr. Stephen Fryar for bringing their Spanish classes to participate in this wonderful event! I'm also thankful to have a colleague like Mr. Brian Johnson who is always ready to step outside of his comfort zone to take risks for our students! Hopefully, we will have a similar event next year. I would love to use this technology to build an authentic learning experience for our students.


Go here for a description of our first Lakeside Squared Google Hangout.

Go here to see how we connected with a local school for a library collaboration based on a biography!

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