Phoenix students travel to Greece through distance learning

Although the majority of Jim Cassella’s fifth grade students at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School haven’t flown internationally, they have been able to travel the world through new and innovative ways.

Through distance learning connections facilitated by CiTi BOCES, Cassella’s students have gotten a glimpse into classrooms as far away as Greece, Norway and Hungary. Over the past several years, students have made more than three dozen stops as part of a virtual learning initiative that links Phoenix students with their peers around the world.

Recently, Cassella’s class participated in a “Geography 20 Questions” videoconference where they asked the other class “yes” or “no” questions to determine their location. The Phoenix class asked the other students if their country bordered an ocean, if it was north or south of the equator, and additional questions to pinpoint the location of their peers. After narrowing down the location, the Phoenix students determined that the other class was from Greece.

“Our students really enjoy making these connections and learning about different countries,” Cassella said. “It goes beyond a geography lesson. Things such as customs, current events, and basic lessons in humanity often present themselves through distance learning. It’s a great opportunity for all involved.”