Including a classmate with leukemia through skype

Hats off to Brian Crosby. Watch this 5 minute movie entitled Inclusion.

How can this sort of power be denied?

I am firmly convinced that because this school allowed a classmate with leukemia to attend via Skype that the lives of both the class and the student are enriched.

This is proof that it is not the tools that are inherently good or evil but rather the use of the tools.

  • A hammer can kill someone but it can also build a house.
  • A nail can be driven through a hand but it can also hold the roof over your head.
  • A fist can hit but a fist can also be clasped in your hand in love.

We do not outlaw hammers, nails, or fists — we teach people to use them properly.

So should we do with blogs, wikis, podcasts, skype, and any other tool that becomes available for use in the human experience!

(Hat tip to tonights WOW2 show and our incredible guest Wesley Fryer for letting us know about Brian's work. He was on at the very end of the incredible show (along with Miguel Guhlin) where Wes talked about blended learning, digital storytelling, and how people treat “blog” like a four letter word. Catch the podcast on as soon as it is posted!) Thanks to my three great friends, Cheryl, Jen, and Sharon for making it all happen every week along with the amazing people at Worldbridges for providing such an incredible, transformational resource for the educational community.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Karen Janowski February 28, 2007 - 4:44 am

It WAS a great conversation tonight. Thoroughly enjoyed it and looking forward to next weeks WOW2.

(You are such a blessing to so many of us and I thank God for the gifts that He has given you and which you use so well!)

Miguel February 28, 2007 - 11:44 am

Hey it was fun! Thanks for allowing the drop-in! Of course, my wife wondered what nice people you must be to allow me to “crash” the party!

It was great catching the tail end of Wes’ response to your question regarding blended learning (although I wish I’d heard more), and chatting with Ms. Durff, Karen J., and others in the Room. And, of course, what a neat opportunity to listen to Brian (Learning is Messy). I’m still floored everytime I share “Inclusion” with teachers in my District as a powerful way–using Skype VOIP, that banned technology–to connect with others.

Take care,
Miguel Guhlin

Simon February 28, 2007 - 6:42 pm

That is fantastic, such a powerful tool being used for good. Did you incorporate skypetalkandwrite? Or did they contribute through wiki in real time? I only ask as I lead a breakout group at Learning@schools07 in New Zealand just last week on this very thing. Isn’t it awesome. Well Done

babi3kissez February 28, 2007 - 8:06 pm

Dear ms. davis,
thanks for coming in and sharing with our class!

teacher dude February 28, 2007 - 8:03 pm

I loved this video. The perfect antidote to those who say technology is cold and dehumanising.

Jim Gates March 1, 2007 - 1:42 am

You know, I’ve shown – or tried to show, this video to several groups as an example of the power of Skype to bring people together, etc. But, as one who has had his life touched by a family member who suffered with the effects of chemo and the trauma of losing hair, etc, I get SO emotional at the end of that video. The last little girl, cute as a button, says, “I was worried that she (the girl with leukemia) wouldn’t like me.” And WE all know that those feelings must have been magnified a million times over by the other little girl who first joined the class wearing a wig. Can you even begin to imagine how nervous SHE was?

What a very touching video that is. I just hope that someday soon I”ll be able to share it with folks without getting so emotional over it.

Lisa March 1, 2007 - 6:11 pm

WOW – I just did a search for Teacher Blogs and came up with this video – Its amazing! I am a former School Counselor and now work for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, for childhood cancer research and I applaud you for making this little girl a part of your class everyday, an experience she would have otherwise missed out on! You are doing amazing things! Lisa Towry (

Vicki A. Davis March 1, 2007 - 9:59 pm

Karen – Thank you for your constant encouragement!

Miguel – I look forward to your participation on the show coming up soon. It will be an exciting discussion.

Simon and Lisa — Brian Crosby is the teacher, not me! He is the one who deserves all the credit for doing such a great thing. It is truly wonderful to see, isn’t it.

TeacherDude (Craig) – You are so right!

babi- I enjoyed spending time with your class. I assume that you are a member of Professor Nussbaum-Beach’s class — she is exceptional and the pleasure was all mine!

Jim – such things shape our lives — I think it should make all of us more passionate about using these free tools to bring people into our classrooms via such tools as skype. We no longer have excuses except ignorance for leaving out those who have to be at home for reasons they cannot help. You have more power to argue for inclusion through such methods as skype! Thank you for sharing.

Thank you all for your comments. You encourage me and add great meaning to the discussion!

Michael September 29, 2007 - 2:56 pm

Thanks for your nice post! Keep it up

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere