SCIENCE Learning about Seasons through Video
Conferencing Seasons are a common area of study in early childhood classrooms. While Barb
Fisher’s class was learning about fall, there were many questions about what fall
was like in other parts of the country. Barb’s former colleague Amanda Beights
was teaching preschool in Naples, Florida, and arranged a Skype conversation
between the two classes. During the conversation, the children in Chicago were
able to ask the preschoolers in Naples about what it was like in Florida during
the fall season. Here are some of their questions:
• Does it get warmer or cooler during fall?
• Do any leaves change colors in Florida?
• Do any leaves fall to the ground?
The researchers in Chicago were surprised to learn from the children in Naples
that leaves do turn colors during the fall.

Video conferencing is powerful for a couple reasons:
Consider using a
document camera to
compare and contrast
different leaves during
each season. Observe
and discuss the colors,
textures, and sizes. Most
document cameras have
a zoom in/out capability
to allow students to take
a close look at these
characteristics. Student Ownership
The children used the technology as a tool to support them in researching
answers to questions they developed. The questions were not developed by the
teacher. When children feel a sense of agency in the process of their learning,
they are then naturally instilled with a genuine interest and motivation.

Students as Experts
When planning for units and investigations, teachers often overlook the idea of
students being experts in their own life experiences. In this experience, the pre-
schoolers in Naples were able to be the experts on their experience of seasons