Advanced technology has brought Harker students father down the global education road. Tobias Wade‘s Gr. 5 World Geography class enjoyed a video conference with teacher Joe Chung while Chung was on a teacher exchange in Shanghai, using Skype, a free video phone technology. Chung talked to the students about his experiences in Shanghai and answered student questions.
Lisa Diffenderfer, assistant director of instructional technology K-Gr. 5, provided tech support for the conference which required no special equipment other than a computer.
“What a cool piece of technology!” said Wade. “Seeing him while he answered the students’ questions really brought China into the classroom, giving the students a window into another culture, literally!”
Chung noted that one of the oft-asked questions was about weird foods, “so I thought it was fitting to challenge Tobias that if I tried one of the weird foods that I happened to have with me – duck neck, foot, heart, tongue – that he would have to try it next week as well.” Wade accepted the challenge and had his students vote on what food Chung should try – duck tongue was the preferred choice. Once the conference started, Chung took out the tongue and bit into it. “It was slimy and chewy, but not a whole lot of flavor. Luckily it was not gamey!” he said.
Alex Chien wanted to know what types of computers students in Shanghai use (PCs) and several questions revolved around the Great Wall of China. Cameron Palte asked, “How does the Great Wall of China look up close?” Given the grandeur of the structure, said Chung, “It is difficult to put into words the awe of it all, when you’re standing in the middle of the Great Wall. The amount of construction for many years to put this wall together is unimaginable. It is a sight to be seen!”
Grace Guan said the Skype conference “was cool because he answered all our questions. Also because we got to see him eat duck tongue.” Classmate Aashika Balaji agreed. “It was cool to see Mr. Chung eat the duck tongue. It looked gross but then he brought it back to see and smell it.” All in all, the conference was a sensory experience for the eyes, ears and, finally, the nose!