continues to incorporate new technology tools and services that transform the traditional classroom setting into a digital learning environment (DLE) and facilitate learning adventures - like a virtual trip to Holland.
On April 17, Swift fifth graders traveled more than 4,000 miles and back - no passport needed - to talk to students in Holland via Skype, a free video conferencing service.
For the past several weeks, Donna Cherry and Harriet Litzy’s students have been engaged in a novel study about students in Holland. "The Wheel on the School," a novel by Meindert DeJonga, explores the life of Lina and her classmates in Holland trying to discover why there are no storks in their small village. When these two teachers discovered that one of their students had family connections to Holland, plans began evolving on how the Swift students could turn their project into a collaborative effort with a classroom thousands of miles away.
Thanks to the technology resources Swift incorporates into every classroom, the students were able to integrate the use of Skype to interview the Dutch students. Holland is six hours ahead of the United States so the teachers planned to do the video call immediately after the students arrived for school. While Swift students were just starting their day, their new friends across the ocean were nearing dismissal.
Prior to the Skype video call, Swift students prepared a list of questions and sent the list thru email to the students in Holland. Each Dutch student was assigned a question to answer for homework. The students practiced their answers in Dutch and English to help bridge the language barrier. Swift students wanted to know if they wear wooden shoes and what sports they liked to play. During the video call, the students in Holland taught the Swift fifth graders how to say words like “candy” and even displayed an American flag in their classroom to help make Swift feel right at home during “their visit.”
Founded in 1998, Swift School is a private independent school for students with dyslexia. The school, which incorporates the use of SMARTBoards, laptops, speech-to-text programs and cloud services to help students achieve their learning goals, is located at 300 Grimes Bridge Road in Roswell and serves students from throughout metropolitan Atlanta. For further information about Swift School please call 678-205-4988 or visit Swift School online.