In a week, week and-a-half, my students will Skype back to Garth's students and discuss what they learned about specific parts of the Renaissance and Reformation. Students will work in small groups and explore unique topics; such as art & architecture, science & technology and early Protestant religions. Garth and I want to get to the point where we can let our students chat once week.
The biggest obstacle in all of this, our bell schedules do not line up. In the long run it will work out, because we figure students will only need ten or fifteen minutes to summarize things we have done in class throughout the week. My superintendent and communications director both came down to watch the Skype session and offer their full support of my technology endeavors. It was great, as a classroom teacher, to see my district leadership take a strong proactive role in something I am doing. The students are very excited by this new method of teaching/learning and were "glued" to the screen as Garth's students students presented what they knew.
The next step is to find other teachers and students that want to interact via Skype. The possibilities are endless. My students can teach lessons to younger students, high school students can go more in depth on subjects I do not have time to cover, college professors and museum curators can show my students artifacts or talk from dig sites all over the world. These are the voyages of a 21st century teacher, "to boldly go where no classroom has gone before!"