10.19.2011

Skype U

My son Joshua came home from school the other day just SO excited because his 7th grade Advisory teacher announced that, as part of their College Readiness focus, they were going to be visiting with a college student by Skype. He promptly volunteered his sister, a college freshman studying architecture at the University of Texas. He called Kaitlyn and asked if she'd be available next Thursday at 12:40 because they'd like to ask her some questions about her life in Austin.  
     The day of the call, he got pulled a bit early from lunch so that he could help his teacher, who hadn't used Skype in the classroom before, set up for the call (thank goodness for digital natives!). When Kaitlyn called in, the class answered and she came up on the screen from right there on the UT campus. They gathered around the computer and asked questions that they'd prepared about things they'd want for a college kid to answer, questions like:  What kind of degree are you getting? What is the highest level of math you've had? What college are you at and how did you choose it?  Was it hard to get in? What do you do there? Are you into the spirit of college football? Where do you live? Do you have enough closet space for all of your clothes? 
     One student asked about where she was and she was able to explain that she was outside leaning against the granite-looking building where she takes one of her classes. Toward the end of their 20-minute visit as the bell was about to ring, the D.A.R.E. Officer entered the room and he asked her asked if she had been offered any drugs in college. Kaitlyn said that no, she hadn't seen any drugs since she got there in August, and added that drugs would certainly get in the way of her being the best she can be at a competitive place like UT. 
     Joshua says that next week they'll be Skyping Caleb's sister up in Kansas. What an engaging way for today's 21st century learners to connect with their role models, learn more about their post-secondary options, and help plan for their futures.

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