A first grade classroom in Los Altos travels around the world every Friday without ever leaving their classroom.
On Facetime Fridays, an international visitor speaks to 24 students at Montclaire Elementary School thanks to Skype, Google Hangout and other technology.
“We have spoken to people in almost every continent by now,” said teacher Kendall Robowski, who started the weekly event last year. Now two of her classes have spoken to people as close as Southern California and as far away as China.
“Our favorite one so far as probably been talking to someone in Ireland about their leprechauns and learning about St. Patrick’s day,” Robowski said.
Mrs. Robowski announces the guest on Monday to give students a week to research the topic and prepare questions. Sometimes parents use their network to help find visitors, and other times the teacher schedules the guests.
After the talk, students create a multimedia report about what they learned. The report is shared online with parents and fellow students.
“I want the students to understand they have access to get any answer they are searching for.”
Facetime Fridays and Mrs. Robowski were recognized in April by the Cupertino Education Endowment Foundation with a 2016 Innovative Technology Educator Award.