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Experiences, curriculum thoughts, new resources, and technology comments related to K12 videoconferencing.
Today one of my 4th grade teachers wanted to meet with me to plan a videoconference on Lighthouses in Michigan. She's done Michigan Week and Read Across America, so she knows the "exchange" format. She's also done Where in Michigan, and understands the MysteryQuest format.
Here's a little videoconference report from Sturgis, South Dakota. Recently a class there participated in a math mystery called The Milton Mansion Mystery from the Athena Excellence in Cities Education Zone.
Join the famous detective Sherbet Holmes in his quest to find out who stole the Milton Mansion Diamond. The pupils are ably guided through the investigation by Advanced Skills Teacher Jaz Dhillon. At key points in their investigation pupils get to meet the famous detective who enlists their help in order to piece together the evidence and to identify the culprit, their motives and their modus operandi.The teacher commented,
I felt the results of the project to this point meet or have exceeded my expectations. ... I feel this should be an on going part of the course work for sixth grade and possibly be developed into something more with students from each site communicating with one another. It also fits nicely in a across the curriculum activity for the sixth grade. ... I would be very open to using VC'ing again and on a yearly basis. The opportunities that it allows for the students and instructors is endless and life-lasting.This sounds like a really cool program and one that I'm hoping our schools can do soon! Remember when you're scheduling videoconferences with the United Kingdom that they are 5 hours ahead of EST; +6 for CST; +7 for MT; +8 for PST. So you might need to be flexible and thoughtful in scheduling this one! Click this link: Athena Excellence in Cities Education Zone for a list of all their programs as well as scheduling details.
This morning we're trying out another provider we haven't visited before -- The Indiana Repertory Theatre. They've been doing distance learning for quite a while and I could tell from the beginning that this would be a good program. St. Joseph High School English students are participating in the program, Exploring Shakespeare. The presenter and teacher interacted quite a bit via email and phone before the program to tailor it to the teacher's curriculum.
Today we're trying out another content provider we haven't connected to before -- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We have a class from Lighthouse Education Center participating in the program, Rock and Roll Reactions: Records, Radio and the Birth of Teenage Culture in 1950s America.
I'm delighted to share with you that another of my VC buddies, Andrea Israeli, is blogging about videoconferencing in the New York City Public School System Region 4.
Today we're doing our first program with a new content provider, the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. Sixth grade students from Patrick Hamilton are doing the Ice Age Geology program. Jason Dennison used to be distance learning coordinator at the Milwaukee Public Museum. He's doing the presentation today. I like to judge videoconferences by the students' posture during the program. These kids were leaning forward and clearly interesting and engaged in the program. Jason included many questions, discussions, and other interactions during the program.