Lakewood Middle Schools get Inspired via Video Chat

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Erin Mullen

Lakewood’s own Kevin Spooner who is a sixth grade language arts and social studies teacher at Harding Middle School uses Google Hangouts to chat with anyone anywhere. Google Hangouts makes it possible to talk to anyone around the world. Kevin Spooner uses it to give his classes opportunities to talk to authors and experts and he says the best part is that it’s all free.

This past summer the summer reading assignment was for the students to read Malala Yousafzai’s “I am Malala.” Originally Spooner wanted to get his class in contact with Malala but it didn’t work out. Instead they got in contact with Pakistani documentary filmmaker Risham Waseem.

Both Harding and Garfield Middle Schools got to talk to Waseem. Spooner says that the Google Hangouts give the student’s experience and inspires the students going forward. On March 29, Harding Middle School chatted with Jonathan Mark Kenoyer who works at the University of Wisconsin.

A sixth grader Ryanne Eisnaugle discussed the Indus Valley of Southeast Asia with Kenoyer and was very inspired and enjoyed it very much. Spooner’s classes have had video chats with Avi, Rodman Philbrick, Eliot Schrefer and Edward Bloor.

I think this video chatting thing is really cool. I wish I had the chance to do this when I was in middle school and the kids in middle school now should be grateful they have the chance to talk to all of these different people. I hope more teachers and schools start to do this ad I hope the kids really enjoy it.