Skype in the Classroom Cures Summeritis in Kids

Jun 6, 2013 11:15 AM ET

Skype in the Classroom Cures Summeritis in Kids

As the school year winds down, ‘summeritis’ is hitting classrooms across the country. The symptoms include restless kids, a lack of attention, and a longing to be outside. Luckily, there is an Rx. Field trips and virtual visitors are a perfect way for teachers to sneak in some education without kids picking up on it. It’s easy to transport students to another era or country using Skype video calling. For an instant cure to summeritis, try one of these unique ‘virtual tour’ lessons on Skype in the classroom:

1) Virginia Historical Society: Travel back in time to the Civil War era. This program encourages students to consider how an historical event affects the questions of today. What was lost? What was gained? What issues were decided and which were left uncertain? Students can watch a short video, explore the “An American Turning Point online exhibition,” and have a 30 minute Q&A with a curator of the exhibition.

2) National Museum of the Royal Navy: All aboard! Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS), Victory, has seen some of the greatest battles in European history. This Skype in the classroom lesson will give students an up close and personal view of the ship’s exterior, and a look inside some of the ship’s on-board areas.

3) Fort Loudoun, an outpost among the Cherokee (1756-1760): Students can explore the complexities of diplomatic relationships and get an inside view of life during the French and Indian War at Fort Loudoun. They can talk with soldiers (okay, re-enactors), dressed in 18th century clothing, and learn about the people who lived at the fort during its four-year existence.

4) Student to Student: Why We Love Our Town: Students from Burlington, Vermont created a presentation about their favorite parts of their home town. Your class can join them for a virtual walking tour to help hone their map-making skills.

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