Rock Hall’s Education Coordinator Beams to France Via Distance Learning
I've never been to France. I’ve always wanted to visit (the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe – who wouldn’t?) Last Thursday I got my chance – albeit in a virtual sense – to visit France through a distance learning connection. Using the Rock Hall’s state-of-the-art technology, I connected to a group of teachers and students at a conference in Paris for videoconferencing manufacturer Polycom. The connection consisted of a 30-minute discussion of the Rock Hall’s On the Road program, complete with an overview of our award-winning classes and a summary of the Rock Hall’s educational mission.
Since the Rock Hall launched its On the Road program in 2005, we’ve reached classrooms in 38 states and five countries (France being the sixth). What made this connection unique, however, is that it’s been about 8 years since my last high school French exam, resulting in me being limited to what sounds like a poor Pepé Le Pew impersonation! Fortunately, the site in Paris had a translator, which, although adding its own limitations, certainly helped reduce the language barrier. The audience members in Paris were extremely interested to hear about how we use rock and roll to teach students about language arts, technology, social studies, and more. And, even though we didn’t speak the same language, we shared a common interest in rock and roll music and that served as an immediate connector.
As teachers around the globe strive to create students with 21st century skills, it’s important to create 21st century classrooms – and what better opportunity than to provide a worldwide audience with an interactive discussion with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?! I look forward to many more connections to classrooms across the globe, teaching children the ways in which rock and roll has played a part in some of the most important social, cultural and political issues in modern history.
Au revoir et adieu…