Skype technology connects Pascagoula students to North Pole

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – Some Pascagoula students are taking field trips to New York, Germany, and other foreign places, without having to leave the state.

Beach Elementary is the only school in the Pascagoula School District to use Skype technology. With a simple phone call, the students can immediately see and hear people who are thousands of miles away.

Librarian Stephanie Ferrell started using the technology about a year ago. The computer, web cam, and a free downloaded program allow her students to talk to people and learn about life beyond their classroom walls.

"Our children need to be globally connected to the world and some of them will never get the opportunity to leave Mississippi. So Skype is a great educational tool. They get to interact," said Ferrell.

On Wednesday, she Skyped her daughter Meghan Perry, whose husband is stationed in Germany.

"It's snowing outside. It's very, very cold," said Perry.

Meghan read a Christmas story to the children. She once attended Beach Elementary.

"Can you guys see the pictures the sail boat and the telescope?" she asked the children.

"Yes," they responded.

The students got an extra surprise.

"I got the hookup. I got Santa's private number," Ferrell told the class.

Ferrell used the high-tech tool to contact the North Pole.

"Santa, is it you?" Ferrell asked.

"It's me," Santa responded.

Yes, even Ole St. Nick knows how to Skype.

"And Taylor, be sweet in that new school when you move now," Santa said.

"It was really fun seeing him and I knew he knew every body's name in the whole entire world," said first grader Folsom Berry.

"Keep practice throwing that football. You're getting good," Santa told another student.

"I never knew we could talk to Santa like that," said second grader Caroline Floyd. "It was fun."

"I'll be watching. Maybe next year I can come in person, okay?" he told the students.

The students at Beach Elementary will be using Skype to chat with children's authors and with students in Germany and the Philippines.

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