June Jazz 2009: Day 1

First day of the June session of 123 VC: Jazzing Up Your Curriculum with Videoconferencing (aka Jazz). I have nice group of 12 participants from my two counties, and a wide spread of grade levels from Young 5s to High School.

New Roll Call Format

  • This year instead of just a video/audio check in the roll call at the beginning of simulations and guest speakers, we beefed up the roll call with more content. Monday we share our location; Tuesday weather; Wednesday a cheer or clap; Thursday local trivia; and Friday what we learned.
  • I loved the roll call this morning. Each site had fun visuals about their area as well as a map. I loved the cowboy hat from Hays CISD TX; and the buckeyes from OH. This is a great addition to this workshop!

Read Around the Planet @ JazzExchanges

  • In the first simulation participants experience four types of exchanges: Read Around the Planet, Animal Exchange, Community Exchange, and Monster Match.
  • I have four high school English teachers who want to VC with Wales for British Lit. They did a Babbles with Bard game show and quizzed our Wales partners on Shakespeare quotes. Very nice! My animal exchange group didn’t just present an animal – they made clues for the other group to guess the animal! Nice modeling of more interactive exchanges. I’m glad to see examples of more than just “presenting” but also actually interacting and engaging the partner class.

Guest Speakers

  • Our first guest speaker was Andy Campbell at LearnNCO. His “gross science” is always a hit with the teachers.
  • James Tapankov shared The Seven Things. At a minimum, have everyone: Move. Write or Draw. Talk. Share.


  • At least in this June session, we made a concerted effort to have less bridges in the call. The guest speaker time, with all 8 sites connecting together, we used just two bridges – my Tandberg MPS bridge with 4 sites; and Lori’s group on ESC12’s Codian bridge with 4 sites.
  • The connection quality with guest speakers is gorgeous this year! (so far).

Whew! A great day, and mostly happy people seeing the possibilities for their curriculum!

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