Students in Monica Thompson’s eighth-grade English class at Carroll County Intermediate School were treated to a special lesson on Alaska during a Skype uplink with an Alaskan park ranger on Feb. 26. The ranger who spoke to the students was from Denali National Park in Wasillia.
Thompson said setting up the Skype connection was easier than she expected.
“I basically emailed Denali, we arranged a date and that was it,” said Thompson, who added that not all parks offer the Skype service.
“The park ranger was great. She was very energetic and connected with the students very well,” she said. “The Skype interview really captured the students’ interest since they were able to speak to the ranger in real time. There’s not the same interaction with a video. It was great for the students. Any time you use technology, it means more to them.”
The interview goes along with the students’ study of Jack London’s “Call of the Wild.”
“Call of the Wild is mostly set in the Yukon (province of Canada), but Alaska is very similar,” said Thompson.
Thompson added that she has been contacted by a teacher in Serbia about a Skype arrangement, but that the time difference may prevent that from happening. A more likely Skype connection may occur with Scotland sometime in the future.