Working with @JefferyBernardt and @TraeWinter, we pulled off a four school Google Hangout with Harvard and the Smithsonian front man, Dr. Henry Winter. It was stressful and wrought with tech difficulties, but we learned a lot and hopefully the next hangouts we conduct will go more smoothly.
That said, I will call it an unequivocal success. I measure this with a couple of reliable sources...the kids! Several of the high school students stayed after just to ask Dr. Winter questions. The 8th graders at MIssion had to be shoo-ed out of the room because they were playing with the Helioview website. This topic tickled kids so much, they took their own time and resources to continue it! That speaks volumes in my book.
The real question is where we go from here. I'm already having delusions of grandeur for next year's hangouts. I'm envisioning a group of scientists for different units in the curriculum. Maybe get a schedule of topics with rough months attached to them and then get Google Hangouts up for a few of them.
I'd also like to expand into the elementary arena. I'm thinking that we Hangout at the middle school first and then take a student lead team to the elementary school(s) to facilitate learning with the kids. I'm also thinking about Special Education and what types of Hangouts we can do for them.
The opportunities are limitless and I'm so glad to be teaching when and where I am.
I'm an 8th grade English teacher in Bellevue, Nebraska, and I'm excited about technology in the classroom.