"Preparing All Students to Succeed"

Students Learning Through Skype

As part of a culminating project in World History, freshman Ashley Carter, chose to research the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. As part of her presentation, she arranged to have the class video chat with a family friend in Russia.

Ashley is a student in Christina Wever’s 3rd Block World History class. Teaching and learning all of World History in one semester is a daunting task. Christina Wever’s class is “centered on key issues, people, countries, and revolutions that will be discussed in lifelong adventures through travel, college classrooms, workplace offices, dinner tables, and television viewing.” She tries to teach her students “things that will be relevant, that will come up again later in life.”

For this project, students picked a topic from a list of suggestions that dealt with a variety of topics including the War on Terror, apartheid, deforestation.

Ashley Carter picked Germany and the fall of the Berlin Wall because “it was an interesting topic and her dad could help since he has lived there and speaks German”. She was interested in learning more.

After picking their topics, each student then did a brief exploratory research paper providing an overview of the topic and gave a presentation in front of the class. The presentation could take a variety of forms. Ashley chose to invite a guest speaker to talk about the fall of the wall by using Skype. When Ashley’s father, Tim Carter, was in high school, his family hosted an exchange student from Munich, Germany. Her name is Edith Hueck. They have stayed in touch through the years. Ms. Hueck was living in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, but she now lives in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Prior to her presentation on January 6, Ashley and her dad Tim, were in touch with Ms. Heuck to set up the Skype call. On the morning of the 6th, using a microphone, web cam, laptop, and projector the whole class was able to see and speak with Ms. Heuck about her life in Germany.

Ms. Heuck talked about when the Berlin Wall fell. She explained the differences that Germans discovered that existed between East and West Germany. She pointed out that they even celebrated birthdays differently. Ms. Heuck also discussed the differences between Germany and America.

Ashley thinks the class enjoyed the experience because “they liked using technology to learn about the topic.”

Students skyping with guest speaker

Written by: April Dawkins; photos provided by Christina Wever
Posted January 17, 2012 by April Dawkins

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