Harsh winter weather in the Southeastern U.S. recently forced students and teachers in some cities to spend the night in their classrooms. Roger Day, a father of three and an award-winning children’s singer and songwriter who lives in Nashville, Tennessee heard about these snowed-in students. He knew music would bring comfort and joy to the anxious youngsters who were separated from their families, plus it would give the educators a much-needed break.
While Day had used Skype video chat in the past to stay in touch with out-of-town relatives on holidays, and to send and receive files with his video editor to meet deadlines for his music business, the storm inspired him to use technology for a new purpose; leading sing-alongs with the classrooms via Skype!
One teacher was Chase Holden, a third grade instructor at Creek View Elementary School in Maylene, Alabama. “Skype allowed our students to be entertained by one of their favorite singers, even though he was a few hundred miles away. For 30 minutes, our students forgot that they were stranded and wanted to be home. Even the teachers were comforted,” Holden said. After this initial virtual visit, Day continued entering classrooms throughout the Birmingham area via Skype for the next few hours to lead sing-alongs with stranded students.
Day says, “Even though I wasn’t able to be there in person, I was still able to lend a hand and help out in the middle of a crisis. That’s a great feeling!” He enjoyed his classroom experience so much that Day has joined the Skype in classroom community so other teachers around the world can sign up for musical lessons with this Music City singer.
Day’s most recent CD releases are Marsh Mud Madness (produced with the Savannah Music Festival and Georgia Sea Grant) and Why Does Gray Matter? (a Parents’ Choice® Gold Award winner). His music has been compared to Schoolhouse Rock due to his hooky pop sound and genial, kid-friendly personality.
Has Skype allowed you to stay in touch with your school or students during a weather crisis? Share your stories with us by tweeting @SkypeClassroom.
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