28 April 2012

Skype as an EASY method of connecting scientists and students

Posted by Callan Bentley

This week, I took 20 minutes out of my day to have a conversation with a group of students… …in Canada.

As you can see, our conversation was not in person, but mediated by the Internet’s video conferencing technology service called Skype. A free Skype account and a video camera allows free, easy video conversations in real time, with people anywhere in the world. It is an absolutely amazing technology, when you think about it. These Grade 4 students, in the classroom of teacher Marcie Lewis, were polite, engaging, and articulate. They asked me questions about geology, careers, and my interest in the Earth sciences. I showed them rocks from my office, and they showed me rocks and fossils they had collected locally along the Niagara Escarpment.

Talking with them was a pleasant break from a morning of grading and bureaucratic maneuvering. How many of my readers have reached out via Skype to create scientist/student connections? It’s astonishingly easy.