Here is an account and some pictures of my first virtual visit -- at the Bradenton Preparatory Academy in Dubai, January 27, 2010.
At 10:29 AM, I call the school's number, and almost immediately, the children at Bradenton Prep appear on my screen. Out of curiosity, I checked the distance between Hyderabad, India, and Dubai, UAE. It is 1588 miles (2555 km), but thanks to Skype, I had the whole class with me, in my office, and they had me, right in their classroom in Dubai.
I worried about technical or connexion glitches, but there were none. The children did have to get up and stand closer to the class computer for me to hear their questions clearly, but other than that, no frozen image, no loss of sound or noises that force us to stop or call again.
And here is what it looked like on the other side:
Thank you to the 20 pupils for their interesting questions and comments. And special thanks to their teachers, Maha Shehadeh (who is also the author of a picture book titled Raya's Globe, published by Jerboa, and about to be translated into Arabic) and Kingsley Griffin for making it happen, and sending me the pictures. It was FUN !