A Simple Way to Bring Life to Your Classroom
Journalist Margaret Fuller once said, “If you have knowledge, let others light their candle in it.” It is with this approach that Edutainment Learning was created. Through this initiative, students have had the opportunity to connect with expert guest speakers from around the world through video conferencing technology.
A classroom projector—complete with an HDMI cord linked to an iPad in an iOgrapher case on a tripod—allows any class with wireless internet to bring experts from around the world into the classroom through Zoom video conferencing.
This allows the students to see and hear the guest speakers and the guest speakers to see and hear the students.
Whether it is a survivor from the 82nd floor of World Trade Center II with multiple history classes, to a Nobel Prize winning Physicist with science students studying about nuclear energy—every speaker has a story to share.
These stories become a lesson for the classes that can supplement a teacher’s lesson beyond that of a book or video. These lessons are living, breathing, primary sources of information that students can ask questions to and get real answers.
Emotionally Connecting to Content
Thomas Czepiel, a Social Studies teacher at Pinecrest Academy of Nevada St. Rose Campus, had been participating since the inception of Edutainment Learning.
“As a Secondary Social Studies Teacher, I always try to find new and creative ways to get students engaged with primary source documents,” says Thomas. “[There’s] no better way to educate the world than through Edutainment. My students get a primaryaccount from people that have experienced the world,” he says.
Supplementing teacher instruction with expert guest speakers through video conferencing technology absolutely reinforces a lesson for students.
This combines the long-established modality of sharing information verbally, with 21st-century technology in real-time. Students can read about genocide in a book or online. However, when a class can ask a Holocaust survivor about their experience and a vivid response is instantly volleyed back, an emotional connection with content happens. This begins a bond, and an attachment of sorts, that the student has with the material and will never forget.
Classroom to Real-World Connection
Many teachers will agree that students remember best through experiential learning. Some students can search their way through content, but who better to answer student questions about whales than the Head Trainer at SeaWorld, or a marine biology professor, or the Vice President of Oceanic Policy with the World Wildlife Fund?
This modality can support all grades and all subjects. Students have curiosities that can be met instantly through video conferencing and interacting with real-life experts in their fields.
The use of video conferencing in the classroom can help broaden a class’s perspective and enrich their learning experience by connecting them with various people from the outside world.