Videoconferencing Programs in Middle Grades

Session One: Videoconferening Programs in Middle Grades

Presenters: Carole Stern & Peg Kirk – NC School of Science and Math

MY NOTES IN ALL CAPS

-Video about Videoconferencing in K-12 from NCSSM

-Has been doing VC since 1994, students work well talking to the TV after the first few minutes

-Discussing Skype and use in classrooms…just basic information about the program, not recommending it for classroom use due to “IT concerns”

-Skype in Schools Wiki – http://skypeinschools.pbwiki.com

-NCSSM Distance Learning catalog – http://www.dlt.ncssm.edu/distance_learning

-NCSSM Programs are FREE!

FREE IS A GOOD THING…LOOKING TO DO SOME VCs BUT HAVEN’T FOUND A STARTING POINT YET. VERY FEW MIDDLE GRADES PROGRAMS AT THE MOMENT THOUGH.

-NC Museum of History is also a content provider in the state of NC.  Conferences: History Mystery and Don’t You Know There’s a War On?

-Museum of History also provides free VCs

-NC Museum of Natural Sciences

LOOKS LIKE ALMOST EVERYTHING SO FAR IS EITHER ELEMENTARY OR HIGH SCHOOL.

-Now discussing National Content Providers

  • Cleveland Museum of Art – $135
  • Smithsonian VCs – no cost
  • Global Nomads – http://www.gng.org Arrange global connections
  • MagPi – http://www.magpi.net Free programs from Pennsylvania…middle school geography
  • CILC – www.cilc.org Database of content providers

-Inter-school Projects

JUST DESCRIBED MEETING OTHER STUDENTS IN OTHER SCHOOLS AS “TERRIBLY ATTRACTING”…WHAT’S SO TERRIBLE ABOUT IT?

  • Two elementary classes in NC meet every 2 weeks to discuss content

JUST SAID “STUDENTS ARE ENGAGED BECAUSE THEY’RE AFRAID SOMEONE WILL CALL ON THEM” THIS IS RATHER BOTHERSOME TO ME.

-Discussing scheduling of On Demand vs. Set Schedule VCs

-TWICE – www.twice.cc/projects.html

-Listservs

-Using VCs to practice language in foreign language classrooms

-MegaConference Jr. – worldwide free program, presentation proposals submitted and programs made available to classes around the world. Sign up early to be interactive partner, or just view the conference.

-Acceptable Use Policies should explain that videoconferencing is in use and that images will be transferred, even though it is a private network.

-Video Conferences for Professional Development

Equipment

  • Bandwidth is a barrier for many schools
  • Polycom PVX software can be loaded on a laptop $125
  • Wide Angle Camera ~ $99
  • Microphone
  • Speaker
  • Monitor

-Staffing is an issue as well…good to have people who can go out and look for VCs as well as set up equipment, be a contact person, etc

-Firewalls sometimes cause issues with folks calling IN, not necessarily your school calling out. Bigger issue with Multipoint VCs

-NC Information Technology Services – www.ncih.net ITS VNC State Network for in state use which will allow Multipoint Bridging…Ed Chase (echase@dpi.state.nc.us) in charge of funding for State Network VCs

-VC makes sense due to Time, Money, and Content

-Presentation to be posted to NCSSM page

-Closes with YouTube Video of Texas students at Stedford High talking about cotton fields of West Texas. Virtual Field Trip to Philadelphia.

GOOD OVERVIEW…LOOKING FOR FOLKS TO TRY THIS WITH NOW!

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