Illinois Middle School Students Connect With Friends in Other Countries
An international studies teacher in Waterloo, IL, is
free video chat technology to connect his middle school students with
their age in other countries.
Bill Theobald, who teaches middle school students at Ss. Peter
and Paul Catholic School about other countries, has connected his
counterparts in Norway, France and Canada, all by using services like ePals, Skype and Edmodo, available to schools at no
And that's the key, Theobald said. "It's all free so
can afford it," he said in a news report from the Sun Herald.
That's why his eighth-grade class was recently able
with their "keypals," an updated version of "pen pals," in Kathrine
eighth-grade class in Norway, the students in Illinois calling in at
and those in Europe at 4:30 p.m. Oslo time.
The students shared opinions about their favorite
Christmas for the Americans, National Day (May 17) for the Norwegians —
their favorite foods — ham, potatoes and cookies for the Americans and
for the Norwegians.
"It's amazing the picture and sound from 7,000 miles
Theobald said. "The world is so small."
During one video chat before Christmas, the Norwegian
— whose English was much better than the American students' Norwegian —
United States-based friends to learn how to say "Hi" in their language ("Hei")
While Theobald's eighth-graders will continue to make
with the students in Norway, his sixth-grade students regularly connect
students at Aberdeen Composite School in Saskatchewan, Canada, and his
with similarly-aged students at College Les Gorguettes in Cassis,
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.