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March 12, 2013

Horace Mann students learn about the Bill of Rights via Skype


To learn about the Bill of Rights, a group of Horace Mann fifth-graders participated in a lesson that went beyond the school classroom, beyond Stephens County and beyond Oklahoma.
Eric Stuck’s class joined a Skype presentation with an eighth-grade social studies class at Lincoln Heights Middle School in Morristown, Tenn. Students from both classes created PowerPoint slide shows, which were shown through a tie between Promethean Boards and classroom computers.
“It was really good,” Stuck said about the joint presentations. “They enjoy it, and that makes it more fun for me.
“I was looking for more things to do with the kids to make them more involved.”
The Skype lesson came about when Stuck was looking for another way to teach students, while creating a lesson they would remember. Through research online, Stuck found Jason Roach, an eighth-grade social studies teacher from Tennessee.
Stuck said Roach and she discussed what topics they had in common so they could develop a Skype lesson.
“It helps us get a different perspective from a different state,” Roach said about the Bill of Rights presentation. “It’s good for the kids to see the world, through technology, it is really a lot smaller than it used to be.”
The Duncan students created PowerPoint slides that discussed what each of the Bill of Rights amendments state and provided examples of their use. The Tennessee students added background and discussed limitations through their slides.
Stuck said the students from both classes created their own slides and dropped them in the Google Drop Box so they could be put together. For Monday’s presentation, the students not only got to hear each other over Skype but had video so they could see the other students as they presented information about each amendment.
Stuck and Roach commented on the positive aspects of technology in the classroom. They said technology, such as Promethean Boards, have taken student learning beyond what can normally be taught out of a text book.

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