LES students Skype with Yellowstone National Park
The world is their new classroom, and teachers are happy to take them on a tour!
Loveland Elementary School (LES) students have entered into a new learning experience – using Skype Thursday, Nov. 5, to connect with the Yellowstone National Park Museum to learn first-hand from scientists who work there about the animals that live there and the amazing geology of this national treasure.
“The students had been learning about animal adaptations in science, and they also read about Yellowstone National Park and its geology in their textbooks,” said LES Teacher Laura Johnstone.
She teamed up with fellow teacher Jennifer Stroup and Innovative Instructional Coach Susan Craig to put together a plan to utilize district technology to expand the lesson… all the way to Cody, Wyoming – home of the museum.
“It was a learning experience for us because the rangers added so many more details to the topics we had been teaching the students!” said Johnstone. “After the Skype session we were able to discuss what the students learned from the rangers, and we also saw how excited the students were to be on a virtual field trip!”
“This – this is what we mean when we talk about using technology to enhance the learning that takes place in our classrooms,” said LES Principal Jennifer Forren. “This is amazing. It was exciting for both the students and the teachers – and we simply couldn’t have done it without the support Mrs. Craig provided. It sincerely opens up the world of learning for our students.”
"One of our goals of providing universal access to technology tools across the Loveland City School District is to help redefine the learning experiences that our students have access to,” said Loveland Director of Technology David Knapp. “What Mrs. Johnstone and Mrs. Stroup have created with their Yellowstone Skype session does just that. What an enriching opportunity Loveland teachers have created for our students to virtually connect with scientists from across the country."
“We've already planned another virtual field trip!” said Johnstone. “We are going to Skype with a sea turtle hospital in Florida.”
The Skype session complements lessons the students are currently engaged with on sea turtles.
Photo caption: LES students talk directly with experts at the Yellowstone National Park Museum during a Skype session Thursday, Nov. 5.