California and Wisconsin High School Students Collaborate

First, thank you to Mrs. Geri Coats for agreeing to collaborate with me on this project.  Thank you, also, to all of the students who participated in this authentic learning experience.  I am proud of all of you, Seymour and Santa Maria!!!

In an effort to carry on our collaboration between ninth grade students in Seymour, Wisconsin and Santa Maria, California I have created this blog post for more comments and observations.  A skype session was held on Thursday, February 24th between students at Seymour High School in Seymour, Wisconsin and Righetti High School in Santa Maria, California.  Seymour High School ninth graders created Public Service Announcements (PSA) as part of a unit on Persuasion.  They created their PSA promoting Wisconsin using ninth grade students at Righetti High School in California as their target audience.  My intent with this blog post is to showcase the use of technology in our classrooms as well as to highlight the connectivity of students and teachers across the country utilizing 21st Century communication and collaboration skills.

I welcome all comments from students, teachers, and anyone else who may have something valuable to contribute.  Please remember our students worked hard on their projects and cooperated genuinely in the collaboration, therefore comments must remain positive and encouraging.  Students please comment about your experiencing skyping and sharing information with other students across the country.

The PSA’s are included here:

PSA #1

PSA #2

PSA #3

PSA #4

PSA #5

PSA #6

PSA #7

PSA #8

PSA #9

PSA #10

PSA #11

PSA #12

PSA #13


About jpsteltz

Proud husband and father of four; Literacy Specialist; Reading Teacher; Literacy Coach; HS ELA Teacher; Published Author
This entry was posted in #edchat, #edtech, Children, Education, Education Administration, Educational Leadership, Parenting, students, Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to California and Wisconsin High School Students Collaborate

  1. Cameron Buck says:

    I thought that this was a great learning experience and it would be fun to do something similar to this again!


  2. Breanna G says:

    This was an alright but i think it should have where we each had the chance to talk.


  3. Trey Lesatz says:

    This was a great experience, and I am so jelous of california’s warm weather.


  4. Alexa Brill says:

    I have never skyped before in my life until today. I find it really interesting how far communication has come these days and to think we were talking to other students from another state made it more worth while. It would have been nice to do it with more time to talk about our projects and the different things. I think we should definitely do it again, but maybe with a smaller group of people so we can see who we are talking to.


  5. Geri Coats says:

    I think it was an awesome experience! I do agree with Breanna, that in the future the students should get to talk to each other. BUT for a first time through, I’m super stoked!

    I was very impressed with the students of Seymore High School! The videos are great and it was such a pleasure to get to speak with you.

    and yes Trey, our weather is nice, we like it too 🙂 but you have some fun stuff to do with all that snow!

    Great to ‘meet’ all you! Thank you for sharing your time with us!


  6. Cody Keleske says:

    I found it interesting to skype it was my first time. I think California would be way easier to make a PSA for.


  7. Kaye says:

    Great project, John. Making connections,real audience, real purpose for their work, skills for the world they are moving into. I’m sure it took a good bit of your “own” time to pull all this together, post the videos, etc., etc. Glad you are in their teaching with all your heart, even as the critics keep hammering away.


  8. Rebecca Simpson says:

    I think the skype session should be smaller next time. It’s a great idea, but there was too many people. It also seemed as if the teachers were doing al of the talkin. I understand the students from California were eating, but i still felt useless. I think we should do it again though. It was very cool to be able to talk to students across the U.S. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • jsteltz says:

      Yes-Becca, the last thing I want as a teacher is for any of you to feel useless. Remember, I always say we are limited by our own creativity…. So true, even for me. Now that we have given skype a shot for the first time I will know how better to effectively use this tool. My creativity has been expanded now that I know what to expect. Learning is awesome…I have learned much from this experience. Thanks for your thoughtful response.


      • Kayla Moeller says:

        Yes. I look forward to doing it again and hope this was a good learning expierence on how it can be changed to make it more beneficial next time


      • Rebecca Simpson says:

        Haha sorry that was me responding, I had let Kayla use my iPod and I didn’t realize it was still logged in as her haha oops, sorry!! 🙂


  9. Erin Blohm says:

    I enjoyed getting the opportunity to skype for the first time with people on the opposite side of the country. I think if we do this again, we should skype in smaller groups so everyone would get a chance to talk. (I agree that it would be way easier to persuade someone to come to California!)


    • jsteltz says:

      You are right and the overwhelming response to this activity has been we need to do it in smaller groups. It was a learning experience for me, and, if we get the chance to do it again this year, we will certainly plan it with smaller groups.


  10. Brittany Vanden Heuvel says:

    I think since this was the first time our school has ever used skype to communicate with another school it went very well! Now that we have more experience we are able to improve. Now we know that we having a bunch of people in a room at once isn’t very helpful and this will also cut down on the noise. Like most people this was my first time on skype and I really enjoyed it. I defiantly think we should do this again and maybe even share our PSA’s with other schools in other states. I am very glad that I was able experience this!


  11. Cat Petty says:

    It was a great experience. I think it was a definite learning opportunity. My students really enjoyed watching the PSAs and scoring them together as a class. I only had a few of my students attend the lunchtime session but I enjoyed it. I agree that it was a bit difficult to focus our students during lunch and wish we could have given more specific feedback. I look forward to a second skype event:).


  12. Brianna Kempen says:

    There was a lot of people in the room at once and we shouldn’t have speakers to say anything. But it was fun in a way.


  13. Ashley Geurts says:

    I think it was a cool idea, but there was too many people in the room and I would have liked to talk more to the students from California.


  14. Emily Albert says:

    I really liked the idea it was something good to try, although I wish there had been less people in the room. It weas much to crowded so most people just sat back, maybe break us up into groups next time. That way more of us can speak


  15. Jacklyn Barlament says:

    There was definately too many people. The people in the back & sides didn’t get to talk at all and even then the teachers did most talking. But it was fun, though they should not complain at all on their weather 🙂


  16. Melissa Corrigan says:

    I’d have to say that I don’t talk to people from other states very often, (meaning never) so this was a great opportunity. Maybe we could try including more schools, to create even more mixed ideas!


  17. Paige Palubicki says:

    I did not enjoy the amount of people present at this occasion. Not alot of keys points were hit It was mostly the teacher speaking. It would have been better if we only have gone one group as a time, it would cause them and also the Seymour students to be more interested. 🙂


  18. McKenzie Sprangers says:

    I thought that the experience was cool to talk people for a different state and see what they thought about our projects. I’m not sure if I would do this again, it was a nice experience but was not what I expected as far as everyone getting their chance to express themselves.


  19. Kelly says:

    Well, let’s see….I think our experience with the freshman class from California was very different. Skyping with them was pretty cool because we got to hear the opinions of people we don’t know and to hear what they thought of our great Wisconsin. It was also intresting to know a little bit more about what their school is like. One thing I think would make the skyping session better would be to have less people at one time on both sides. That way everyone has the chance to talk and share their thoughts. I definitely think we should try these again. =D


    • jsteltz says:

      Thanks Kelly for this reflective response. You are so right, we have to have smaller groups the next time we do this. We did our best to organize this first time try on the fly, but certainly learned a lot in the process.
      Thanks for posting.


  20. JudithS5 says:

    This was suprisingly good…although we have REAL california cheese as in happy cows. You guys did a great job. Im looking forward to do this again… now its our turn…


  21. Hayley M5 says:

    Hello, this is a girl from California. Mrs.Coats told me to write on here to tell you guys how I thought about your videos. I think that you guys did a fantastic job on the videos(: I could see why you guys want us to go up to Wisconsin for our vacation time. One of these days I should go up to Wisconsin to see how it is like up there!:D Also I saw that a lot of you guys mentioned your famous cheese one of these days I would love to try your cheeses. Also, I also want to go up to Wisconsin because of the snow. I’ve only been in the snow once and that one time i got frost bit, it hurt. Hopefully one of my vacation days i could go up to Wisconsin and see how it is like up there. Have a great weekend! (: ^_^


  22. Alison Brugger says:

    Personally, I thought it was really, really fun! I’m glad we were able to do this. Having one group do a project, then another correcting it/ making comments on it gives us more diverse answers. One thing, thought, is i wish the groups were a bit smaller so we could all have a chance to talk to the California students. Otherwise, i think we really should do this again, but switching it and having someone else make the project, then have us comment on it so we get a chance to see both sides. And, no offense, but 72 degrees is definitely not that cold 😛 🙂


    • jsteltz says:

      Thanks for your thoughtful response. You are right, the whole room was a little crowded and not enough students had the opportunity to interact. We will know better how to deal with this next time.
      Thanks for posting!


  23. Jasent5 says:

    hey im one of Mrs. Coats students and i wanted to say that you guys did a great job on the projects! I hope to skype with you guys soon!


  24. Ryan Krahn says:

    I really enjoyed the theory of Skyping to a classroom in another state, but in reality nothing really got accomplished due to the fact that 80ish kids were in the two classrooms. It was way to congested and you couldn’t really hear anyone talking besides the teachers. It would make the experience much more interesting and creative if we could actually see each others faces and could here us students talking to each other, not just the teachers. I think this could be turned into a much more enjoyable experience with say, 3-4 people from each state Skyping at once.


    • jsteltz says:

      I appreciate your genuine, thoughtful response. I guess we had to try it once to see how it works. Now I, we, will know better for next time. Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to do it again.


  25. Olivia H. says:

    It was a unique way of teaching, Mr. Steltz, and I very much appreciate that because it keeps me focused as well as entertained. It was a little unorganized and hurried, but for a first time I definately think it was a succuss. Also, it was hard to hear and see the people that we skyped to…I know nothing can really fix that, but that was probably the biggest problem I had with it. Overall, it was intruiging to see how their 70-some weather was their idea of “cold.” *thumbs up*


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