Tag Archives: teachers

Videoconferencing Implementation

This post is part of a series examining articles on the communication aspects of videoconferencing.

Reference Baber, J. R. (1996). Re-visioning corporate communication: A case study of videoconferencing implementation. Retrieved from ProQuest Digital Dissertations. (AAT 9700122)

Summary

This study was more on the implementation of corporate communication via videoconferencing than on the actual communication. Still useful and interesting.

Baber (1996) offers the Culture-Process-Technology approach as a framework for the successful implementation of videoconferencing in the corporate environment. The framework recommends:

(1) that organizations should ensure that managers at all levels are willing to support the implementation process; (2) that videoconferencing “champions” be found to administer the system at the project level; (3) that operator training programs be developed to create a wide base of skilled end users; (4) that conference schedules be published regularly to inform end users of meeting times and to sustain ongoing interest in videoconferencing; and (5) that use of videoconferencing system features be consistently modeled to encourage the use of innovation and the re-invention of technology. (p. 128)

Application/Discussion

Do you have these principles in place in your school?

  1. Do you have a principal/ administrator supporting the implementation of videoconferencing in your school? What does that support look like?
  2. Do you have a champion for VC in your school? (probably you!)
  3. Are a lot of people getting skilled with using VC? Can your teachers mute & unmute? Can they use presets (if they are set for them ahead of time)? Can they dial if they are given the IP?
  4. How do you organize and publish schedules? Is your system working for you?
  5. Are interesting and innovative ways of using VC celebrated and communicated?

What else do you think is important for implementation?

Study Results: K12 Curriculum Videoconferencing Implementation Scale

This post is part of a series inviting discussion, comments and reflection on the results of my dissertation.

Remember as you review the results of my study that every variable was examined to see its relationship with how often the school was using curriculum videoconferencing and whether that variable could be used to predict the use of videoconferencing.

A major part of my study was the development of a scale for coordinators with questions related to their skill in coordinating VC and the staff attitudes about videoconferencing. For those interested in the details, the K12 Curriculum Videoconferencing Implementation Scale has good reliability and validity estimates. Cronbach’s alpha was .815, which means the scale can be used to predict a school’s use of videoconferencing based on an individual coordinator’s score. For full details, see p.55-59.

The K12 Curriculum Videoconferencing Implementation Scale has six subscales:

  • The quality of the videoconference (audio and video)
  • The coordinator’s ability to support videoconferencing
  • The coordinator’s ability to integrate VC in the curriculum
  • The coordinator’s ability to work with teachers
  • The coordinator’s perception of the teachers’ attitudes towards videoconferencing
  • The coordinator’s perception of the principal’s support of videoconferencing

To see the full scale, see Appendix A, and questions 27 through 51.

In this post, we’ll look at the relationship between subscales and the school’s use of curriculum videoconferencing.

Quality of the Videoconference

  • The quality of the videoconference was not significantly correlated to the school’s use of VC. However, when it was included in  multiple regression analysis with all the subscales (which hold all the other variables constant), the quality of the videoconference contributed negatively (b=-12.34, p=.002) to the prediction of the use of VC.

Coordinator’s Ability to Support VC

  • The coordinator’s ability to support VC was not significantly correlated to the school’s use of VC.
  • However, it was significantly correlated to the coordinator’s ability to work with teachers (r=.471), the teachers’ attitudes (r=.238), and the principal’s support of VC (r=.177). And these in turn were correlated with the school’s use of VC.

Coordinator’s Ability to Integrate VC in the Curriculum

  • The coordinator’s ability to integrate VC in the curriculum was not significantly correlated to the school’s use of VC.
  • However, it was significantly correlated to the coordinator’s ability to work with teachers (r=.688), the teachers’ attitudes (r=.296), and the principal’s support of VC (r=.176).

Coordinator’s Ability to Work with Teachers

  • The coordinator’s ability to work with the teachers was  positively correlated with the school’s use of videoconferencing (r=.139, p=.021).

Coordinator’s Perception of Teacher Attitudes

  • The coordinator’s perception of the teachers’ attitudes towards videoconferencing was  positively correlated with the school’s use of videoconferencing (r=.405, p=.000).

Coordinator’s Perception of Principal Support

  • The coordinator’s perception of the principal’s support of videoconferencing was  positively correlated with the school’s use of videoconferencing (r=.320, p=.000).

Recommendations/Discussion

  • Why do you think some schools with better quality of videoconferencing are using it less than some schools that have more pixelation and breakup in their videoconference? This was one of the surprising findings of my study. Have you noticed that? I have some schools that have awful quality and yet their need is so great (very rural; not very many opportunities) and they love VC!
  • Isn’t it interesting that the coordinator’s ability alone isn’t enough to get the school to use VC often? The teachers make a big difference! But… good VC coordinators find ways to encourage teachers to use VC. What are your most effective strategies to improve teachers’ view of using VC in the curriculum?
  • Seeing that the principal support is so important to the successful implementation of VC, how do you gain that principal support? What strategies do you recommend?

Working with Secondary Teachers

Linda McDonald and I have been having a great discussion on reaching secondary teachers to use VC, which you can read here. In case you’re not

Participating in a small group lesson planning session @ Jazz 2009.

Participating in a small group lesson planning session @ Jazz 2009.

subscribed to comments, I wanted to pull out these great tips so you don’t miss them.

Clearing the path into secondary classes:
1. Invite secondary folks to go to JAZZ
2. Follow up one-on-one with JAZZ participants and help them implement their great ideas.
3. Mention video conferencing potential to all teachers/admin. when you are out & about….and locate other potential champions.
4. Follow up, follow up, follow up with your champions.
5. When developing projects….Listen to their needs and address areas where teachers and/or students are struggling.

I love #5. LISTEN!!!

So, how are you meeting the needs of your secondary teachers?!

Get off your RSS reader and get a reality check!

Just finished watching Stand and Deliver (again). Been spending time out in my schools upgrading VC carts. Listening. Hearing about new curriculum. Untangling wires from summer cleaning. Dealing with twisted wires. Too many technologies, not enough support. Hearing about tighter and tighter budgets; having to do more with less. Gratefulness for free programming we offer.

Watching students check out books in the library; remembering some blog post that we don’t need books. The contrast between reality in a book-celebrating (but also technology using) media center and what some ed-tech big names are saying was too great. Ludicrous.

If you’re not regularly in a school, I challenge you to get out there. Get on the ground. Listen to the teachers. Listen to their challenges. Realize the big picture; so you know what else is going on in teachers’ lives besides the technology tools you’re encouraging them to use. See it from the other side!

Watch Stand & Deliver again. See first hand again what’s happening in schools. Let that knowledge temper and revamp your work! Think from the teachers’ perspective! I challenge you!

Teacher Comments on VC

This post is part of a series of posts with some of the results from a survey of my top VC-using teachers. Read more about it in the first post of this series. Remember, they are using videoconferencing to support curriculum instruction (not full length courses).

The question featured in this post is the last question in the survey:

Any Other Comments You Want to Share?

This is a qualitative representation of the results using Wordle. Click the graphic for a larger version.

Teacher Comments

Students and learning are front and center. Are you surprised? Here are some more comments:

This is a song we sang at our Read Across the Planet (to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) Distance learning is a fabulous experience & I’m exceedingly thankful that I can give my kids the chance to be a part of it!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our show
Distance learning helps us grow
We learn to speak and to perform
We get to explore explore
We hope you’ve enjoyed our show
Distance learning helps us grow. – Heidi Clark, 1st grade teacher at Three Oaks Elementary, River Valley.

We enjoy the videoconferences and I feel that my students learn about themselves, the curriculum, and the world around them while participating. –Wendy Zahrn, 4th grade, Sylvester Elementary, Berrien Springs

This has been an exciting opportunity for our Preschoolers and created new methods of learning and teaching. –Esther Nixon, Preschool, Mars Elementary, Berrien Springs

The students gain so much from a VC that they are worth the time and effort involved. -Karen Ennesser, 7th grade science, Dowagiac Middle School, Dowagiac

My goal is to have videoconferencing right in my classroom. –Linda McConville, 4th grade, E. P. Clarke Elementary, St. Joseph

Videoconferencing is much easier than many think it to be. It is an excellent tool to share with your students. Real world/life plays a big part in this process. We are becoming a technological world and students will need these kinds of experiences to succeed. -Dori Hughes, 2nd grade, Eagle Lake Elementary, Edwardsburg

One of the 7th graders stated that the video conference was the most memorable activity for this school year. Students are “charged” to learn in this way. It’s a great tool to connect small-town students to the world around them. -Peggy Clore, 5-7th language arts, Coloma Middle School, Coloma

I am a big fan of videoconferencing because of the interactions of host and classroom. -Barb Vegter, 3rd grade, Countryside Charter

Videoconferencing has proven to be a great motivator of student interest. They enjoy the experience and invariably ask when we’ll do another. –Anonymous high school teacher

Reflecting on the process:

Did you get any ideas for your future program evaluations? I’m thinking that some of these questions could be easily made into a multiple choice to get more quantitative data to compare from year to year. I’m thinking I would also like to survey my teachers who have done a VC before, but didn’t do one this year. This could be very valuable data as well.

Did you find this little series helpful? What did you learn? Click comment below to share your thoughts.

Critical Supports for Teachers

This post is part of a series of posts with some of the results from a survey of my top VC-using teachers. Read more about it in the first post of this series. Remember, they are using videoconferencing to support curriculum instruction (not full length courses).

The question featured in this post is the following:

What are the supports that are critical for you to keep on using videoconferencing?

This is a qualitative representation of the results using Wordle. Click the graphic for a larger version. This time instead of including all the words, I renamed them similar topics to the same words so that the results were more understandable.

Critical Supports to Sustain Use

To me, these results are a mandate to continue the following components of our videoconferencing program:

  • Our online registration which provides scheduling for most of the programs our schools do
  • Supporting, training, sustaining VC Coordinators, making sure they are replaced and trained if they leave
  • Providing resources, both print and web-based, to help teachers see how VCs match their curriculum
  • Offering free programs to our schools (ASK and collaborative projects) that are tightly matched to their curriculum, including the “boxes” that come with the ASK programs
  • Offering mini-grants to help pay for programs
  • Increasing access to VC in every school
  • Assisting principals and tech coordinators in the districts with supporting VC

How would your teachers answer this question? If you’re a teacher, do you agree with this list? What supports must continue to sustain your use of videoconferencing? If you support teachers, are you able to provide most of this support? Do you provide any other supports? What do you see as most important? Please comment!

Selecting and Preparing for VCs

This post is part of a series of posts with some of the results from a survey of my top VC-using teachers. Read more about it in the first post of this series. Remember, they are using videoconferencing to support curriculum instruction (not full length courses).

The question featured in this post is the following:

Comment on how you select and prepare for a videoconference.

This is a qualitative representation of the results using Wordle. Click the graphic for a larger version.

Selecting and Preparing for a VC

Curriculum and questions sure stand out, don’t they? Let’s look at a list of how my teachers find out about programs:

  • Check websites
  • I use the ISD website to search for programs that are available.
  • I go to the teacher who helps us in our building for help. VC Coordinator.
  • Look is ASK directory.
  • Investigate messages listing available topics. (My emails to the teachers came up quite a bit.)
  • Jazz mini-sessions.
  • Librarian assistance. VC Coordinator.
  • I use some of the same ones each year because I know the expectations and the results. I watch for Janine’s emails to see what is new that I can use, and I look for FREE ones.
  • I use the ones I have experienced. Interesting on these repeat comments. What hooked them the first time?
  • There is a print out at the beginning of the year that I try to find things that go with my theme.

What is their criteria for choosing?

  • Whatever is free!
  • I look for videoconferences that integrate with our learning.
  • Based on our GLCEs / curriculum. This came up again and again in various wordings.
  • Videoconferences that are at my students’ level.

Preparing for a videoconference can include:

  • Making sure they understand the content before the VC
  • I usually provide the students with guidelines and we vote on what medium or type of presentation to give. The students then work in groups to complete the presentations.
  • We prepare according to the instructions, formulate questions, discuss the topics etc.
  • As for preparing, sometimes the ISD sends kits for us to use or I check with the place holding the VC.
  • I expose my students to the information necessary for them to become fully engaged when viewing the decided VC. WE discuss and then prepare questions that can be asked or answered by viewing the VC to make it a much more richer experience.
  • Prior to the LEST WE FORGET conferences I will spend a class period providing background info or reinforcing prior learning of the war involved. We then develop questions based on student ideas of what they would like to hear more about.

Your Turn: How do you select and prepare for videoconferences? What resources and strategies do you use to help teachers select videoconferences? How do you help teachers prepare for videoconferences? Please comment!

Sustaining Use of VC

This post is part of a series of posts with some of the results from a survey of my top VC-using teachers. Read more about it in the first post of this series. Remember, they are using videoconferencing to support curriculum instruction (not full length courses).

The question featured in this post is the following:

Please identify and describe a key experience that helps sustain your use of videoconferencing.

This is a qualitative representation of the data using Wordle. Click the graphic for a larger version.

Sustaining Teacher Use of VC

This Wordle is a great confirmation of Owston’s (2007) model on the sustainability of an innovation. He suggests that an essential condition (among others) for sustainability is that the students must support the innovation. Clearly these teachers see the value of videoconferencing to their students. Here are a few full quotes:

A key experience that motivates me to continue using videoconferencing is the fact that my students are able to communicate with other classrooms, authors, and educators around the world. –Wendy Zahrn, 4th grade, Sylvester Elementary, Berrien Springs

Connecting kids to experiences outside of our community without leaving the school! -Tami Miller, 2nd grade, Eagle Lake Elementary, Edwardsburg

The comments the students were making and the level of understanding they had was amazing. -Lacy Payne, 6th grade, F.C. Reed Middle School, Bridgman

The students enthusiasm! They love to VC. -Karen Ennesser, 7th grade science, Dowagiac Middle School, Dowagiac

These are interactive field trips that we don’t even have to leave the building for. Students walk away with new knowledge and experiences. -Dori Hughes, 2nd grade, Eagle Lake Elementary, Edwardsburg

When I see the students interact, with great interest, listening to the speaker or other classroom, I’m delighted to see their involvement. -Peggy Clore, 5-7th language arts, Coloma Middle School, Coloma

I LOVE videoconferencing! It gives my kids exposure to things we couldn’t otherwise do. It gives them practice in presenting & performing skills and is just so much fun! -Heidi Clark, 1st grade teacher, Three Oaks Elementary, River Valley

So, how would you answer this question? What keeps you going in sustaining the use of videoconferencing in your classroom or school? Please comment….

Reference: Owston, R. (2007). Contextual factors that sustain innovative pedagogical practice using technology: an international study. Journal of Educational Change, 8(1), 61-77. doi:10.1007/s10833-006-9006-6