When was the last time a U.S. Senator visited your classroom? For fifth graders at J.S. Clark Leadership Academy in Louisiana, a civics lesson came to life via a Skype video call with U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.
Senator Landrieu, a proponent of charter schools like J.S. Clark, held ‘virtual classrooms’ with a number of schools during National Charter School Week and Teacher Appreciation Week. For those lucky students, her visit put a face (and a voice) to their lessons.
When the opportunity arose for questions, the students didn’t hold back – they wanted to know how she supports charter schools, her plans for Louisiana infrastructure, and most of all, what her daily schedule looks like. “I want to be president,” said Kaitlyn Boast, when asked why she wanted to know about a Senator’s typical day. Skype allowed the students to come face to face with their ambitions.
Through Skype in the classroom, learning takes on a whole new meaning. It’s not just reading books, and writing reports – lessons become interactive and public figures that kids see only on TV or in the newspaper become real and tangible. Terrence Lockett, the state education liaison for Landrieu’s office, says “Landrieu likes to do these ‘virtual classrooms’ so she gets a chance to talk to classes. It’s just a great thing because most children learn about civics and politics, but it’s not often they get a chance to interact with their elected officials.”
The call with Sen. Landrieu is only the beginning for Ms. Singleton-Guillory’s fifth grade class, and the possibilities for future Skype sessions are limitless!