Global connections

After a few false starts, we finally managed to connect my daughter’s class via a Google+ hangout with Michael Thornton’s class in Charlottesville, Virginia last Friday.  The excitement was palpable when I went in to the girls classroom at 12.30 to prepare for the hangout at 1pm our time (8am US time).  We began by checking out the webcam – the girls had great fun waving at themselves and each other on the interactive white board 🙂  The plan had been that the girls would go out to play after their lunch to allow time for the set-up but the rain on Friday put paid to that!  The other complication was that the girls started to learn to knit during the week so they were very excited to show me their knitting and ask for help to sort out a dropped stitch here or there 🙂

The upshot of all the excitement was that I didn’t check the sound for the hangout (note to self: always check the sound!!).  So, at 1 pm we joined the hangout started by Michael Thornton.  Of course it quickly became apparent that we had a problem on our end with the sound, so while we could hear the class in the US they couldn’t hear us.  We tried to get it sorted but unfortunately it wasn’t to be this time round.  Once we realised that we weren’t going to be able to fix the sound from our end, we started to use the chat area in the Google+ hangout.  Then we lost the picture of the class in the US, so they could see us but couldn’t hear us and we could hear them but couldn’t see them!  In some ways this made the whole experience even better because we were able to read their responses and respond and vice versa.  What followed was 15 minutes of great fun on both sides of the Atlantic.  We talked about uniforms (worn by the class in Nenagh but not by the class in the US), school start and end times (7:45 – 2:25 in the US compared to 9:10 – 3:00) and the subjects that the classes were studying (the class in the US studied Egypt last year with the girls in Nenagh studying it just a few weeks ago).  So the classes have begun the process of getting to know each other.  The next step in the process is for the students to write letters to each other in the next week or two with a follow up hangout in the week leading up to Christmas.  What surprised me was that despite the technical difficulties, we still managed to have great fun and learn lots.  To be honest, if you asked the girls I don’t think they would even remember that we had technical difficulties.  I’m really looking forward to where this initial connection will take us 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s