Category Archives: Videoconferencing

Videoconferencing in the Real World: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

Videoconferencing in the Real World: A Computer Class Jigaw Project

Description: This project by Berrien RESA, is designed for 6-12th grade students studying computer technology. Students will use computer technology and distance learning to research revolutionary uses of videoconferencing in society. Students will present their research and their own innovative ideas to partner schools from around the globe.

Flyer: VCintheRealWorldFlyer09

VC Agenda

  • Brief introduction of school and projects
  • Groups introduce topic and present
  • Each presentation will include a two minute question and answer period
  • Teachers may choose to alternate presentations from school to school after every other group
  • Students may experiment with videoconference equipment
  • After all presentations and question/answer periods, students may engage in a general “getting to know you” question and answer session with their partner school

How To

Creating Posters for Videoconferencing

This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.

PowerPoint Tips

  • Use a large font.
  • Don’t put too much text on the page.
  • Don’t use red for background or text.
  • Have a good contrast between text and background.
  • Blue backgrounds with white or yellow text work best.

Preparation

  • Choose which sets you would like your students to work on
  • Divide the class into one group for each topic
  • Students will use the internet and other sources to research the following:
    • Uses of videoconferencing in their assigned area
    • Types of equipment and skills required to use videoconferencing in this area
    • Advantages and disadvantages of videoconferencing use in this area
    • Impact on environment, interpersonal skills, employment, etc.
    • Optional: Students may also add their personal opinion of videoconferencing as it relates to the above topics
  • Assign student jobs for the videoconference.
    • Have a couple students ready to introduce your class and welcome the partner class.
    • Have a couple students assigned to facilitate asking and answering questions with the partner class.

Procedures

  • Students will organize their research onto no more than 10 Power Point slides
    • Keep in mind that each group is only allotted 2-3 minutes; have students practice their presentations for fluidity, adherence to the time limit, and to answer mock questions partner schools may ask about their presentation.
    • Students should also prepare questions for their partner school’s presentations

Materials

  • Adequate access to computers with internet access and Power Point or similar tool
  • Supplementary resources
    • encyclopedias, magazine or newspaper articles, media clippings, etc.
    • Art supplies (poster paper, coloring materials, glue, etc.)

Resources for Both Classes

Note: I am not maintaining these links. They are here for reference and history only.

General Videoconferencing Information


Resources for Class A

Classroom A: Four Groups

Students: Remember your presentation cannot be longer than 3 minutes!!!

Group 1 Military Uses of VC

Group 2 Healthcare Uses of VC

Group 3 Business Uses of VC

Group 4 Dream Team
Students create a unique way to use videoconferencing that was not presented by other groups. Use your imagination and think about how videoconferencing may be used in in daily life, school, home, business, etc.

 


Resources for Class B

Classroom B: Four Groups

Group 1 Educational Uses of VC

Group 2 Uses of VC in the Judicial, Legal Systems and Public Safety

Group 3 Creative Uses of VC and Green Videoconferencing

Group 4 TV Shows, Movies and Ads
Students research and demonstrate the integration of videoconferencing in television shows, movies and commercials. Students may chose from a variety of creative formats to present their findings including skits, slide shows, video clips, etc. Reference the following link for examples:

  • Cisco TV Ads
  • Watch your favorite TV show(s) and notice if videoconferencing is used.

Standards

ISTE Standard: Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:

  • interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.

Michigan Educational Technology Standards (METS for 6-8)

Main Standards:

  • Technology Communication Tools #1: use a variety of telecommunication tools (e.g., e-mail, discussion groups, IM, chat rooms, blogs, video-conferences, web
    conferences) or other online resources to collaborate interactively with peers, experts, and other audiences
  • Technology Communication Tools #2: create a project (e.g., presentation, web page, newsletter, information brochure) using a variety of media and formats
    (e.g., graphs, charts, audio, graphics, video) to present content information to an audience

Others also addressed:

  • Basic Operations #10: Identify technology resources that assist with various consumer-related activities (e.g., budgets, purchases, banking
    transactions, product descriptions)
  • Social, Ethical & Human Issues #5: discuss the societal impact of technology in the future
  • Social, Ethical & Human Issues #8: discuss possible uses of technology (present and future) to support personal pursuits and lifelong learning
  • Social, Ethical & Human Issues #9: identify uses of technology to support communication with peers, family, or school personnel
  • Technology Productivity Tools #2: use a variety of technology resources, including the internet, to increase learning and productivity
  • Technology Productivity Tools #3: explore basic applications that promote creativity (e.g., graphics, presentation, photo-editing, programming, video-editing)
  • Technology Research Tools #1: use a variety of Web search engines to locate information
  • Technology Research Tools #2: evaluate information from various online resources for accuracy, bias, appropriateness, and comprehensiveness

Facilitator Page

Email Confirmation Template

To: Teachers & techs on both sides, cc janine
Subject: VC in the Real World Project Confirmation: [date]

Welcome to our VC in the Real World project. The goals of this project are for your students to research and learn about videoconferencing, and experience presenting and interacting in a videoconference session.

DATE: [enter here]
TIME: [include time in both partner’s time zones]

Technical Information:
[who] will dial.
[IP address]
If there are problems, please call [phone].

Project Website:
Please visit the website for preparation information and web resources for your students to use in preparation.
http://vcinrealworld.wikispaces.com/

VC Agenda (sessions will be moderated by [name])

  1. Brief introduction of school and projects
  2. Groups introduce topic and present
  3. Each presentation will include a two minute question and answer period
  4. Teachers may choose to alternate presentations from school to school after every other group
  5. Students may experiment with videoconference equipment (presets, muting and unmuting, moving the camera, using the document camera)
  6. After all presentations and question/answer periods, students may engage in a general “getting to know you” question and answer session with their partner school

PARTNERS:
Classroom A:
[teacher name] [grade]
[school name, city, state]

Classroom B:
[teacher name] [grade]
[school name, city, state]

If you have any questions as you prepare for the videoconference, please email.

Thank you for your participation!

VC Scavenger Hunt: Wikispaces Archive

Still continuing the Wikispaces conversion and archive. Here’s a wiki that I started and didn’t finish. I’m sharing the idea here because I still think it would be so fun to design.

Videoconference Scavenger Hunt
for middle school computer classes to practice academic, technology, and videoconference skills.

We are still writing this project. The idea is that students will work in 4 groups to solve problems. Each group will have find one octet of the IP address. We’ll have 7-8 places around the world for them to dial, collect clues & solve problems, and then dial the next location, with a surprise for the students at the last location.

Turkey Trade: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

Project Description:
Two classroom

s will be paired up and each class will create a turkey using Turkey Trade approved materials.
The class will then write a description of their turkey and send the description to their partner class via a shared wiki page. Each class will recreate the other class’ turkey by following the directions from the shared wiki page. Both classes will meet via video conference to compare the original turkeys with the recreated turkeys.

This project will enable students to improve their descriptive writing skills, use math terms, and their ability to follow directions.


Turkey Trade Approved Materials

Paper and Such
newspaper, construction paper, bulletin board paper, paper plates, cups, shoe boxes, tissue boxes, balloons, and yarn

Markers and More
Markers, crayons, colored pencils, and scissors

Glues and Tapes
Scotch tape, duct tape, glue sticks, glue, staplers

Video Conference Agenda: (Video conference connection time is 30 minutes.)

Welcome and Introductions
Use the note-taking guide to facilitate the conversation.

  1. Classroom A zooms in on their ORIGINAL turkey.
  2. Classroom B zooms in on the second turkey they created.
  3. Classroom A identifies similarities and differences.
  4. REPEAT switching roles.
  5. Classroom B zooms in on their ORIGINAL turkey.
  6. Classroom A zooms in on the second turkey they created.
  7. Classroom B identifies similarities and differences.
  8. Closing: Big round of applause for both groups!

Be sure to stabilize the turkey when you meet with your class.

Zoom the camera in so that students can see the detail of the turkeys.


FAQ

What exactly IS Turkey Trade?

Two classrooms will be paired up and each class will create a turkey using Turkey Trade Approved Materials. 

The class will then write a description of their turkey and send the description to their partner class via email. Each class will recreate the other class’ turkey by following the emailed directions. Both classes will meet via video conference to compare the original turkeys with the recreated turkeys. This project will enable students to improve their descriptive writing skills and their ability to follow directions.

What are “turkey trade” approved materials?
Glad you asked. Here is a list of the materials to be used creating your turkey.

  • Paper and Such
    newspaper, construction paper, bulletin board paper, paper plates, cups, shoe boxes, tissue boxes, balloons, and yarn
  • Markers and More
    Markers, crayons, colored pencils, and scissors
  • Glues and Tapes
    Scotch tape, duct tape, glue sticks, glue, staplers

How do I create my turkey?
Turkeys are to be created from “Turkey Trade approved” classroom materials. Each classroom will make ONE classroom turkey and write one classroom description to share with their partner class.

How do I register for Turkey Trade?
Please register as usual.

  • Roxanne’s schools register through the Whirlidurb website. If you need a date/time that is not listed, contact Roxanne directly.
  • Janine’s schools register through the Berrien RESA website.

Who will register teachers for Turkey Trade?
It depends on each district. Contact your district site manager or building coordinator to find out who will submit registrations for your district or building.


Sample Descriptions and Tips

Teachers and coordinators:
Be sure to include size comparison, measurements, or directional words.The goal is to provide enough detail and description for the other class to create a turkey.

Examples of Measurements and Comparisons 

  • Green, almond-shaped eyes with big black pupils the size of a penny on the inside corners of the eye. Made with construction paper.
  • The diameter of the head is 2.5 pencils.
  • 12″ x 12″ tan construction paper egg-shaped head.
  • Cut a medium ( 2′ x 1′) orange rectangle out of bulletin board paper to use as the background.
  • Cut feathers out of orange, red, and yellow construction paper. There is an equal number of feathers from each color. The total number of feathers is 12 and each feather is 12 inches long.
  • The legs are like baseball bats with the fatter end connecting to the torso.
  • The waddle looks like red, wrinkly elephant skin and was made from red construction paper.

 

Example Description:

Materials: small shoe box, brown, red, orange, and yellow
construction paper, brown and red butcher paper, pattern for making
paper feathers ( any pattern will do), glue and tape

How to Construct Mr. Turkey Lurkey

  1. Cover shoe box with two sheets of brown construction paper- this is
    the turkey’s body.
  2. Cut 2 strips of brown construction 11x 1 inch. Accordion-fold and glue to bottom of box. These are the legs.
  3. Cut two wings from brown construction paper. Glue to side of box.
  4. Shape a head out of brown butcher paper. Cut a hole in the box.
  5. Stuff head down in the hole so that it sticks out above the box. Make a waddle out of red butcher paper and attach. Draw two eyes on the head.
  6. Have students trace and cut one feather each. Glue together as a fan in following pattern red, brown, orange, brown, yellow, brown etc.
  7. Attach fan to back of turkey

Standards

ISTE Technology Standard: Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:

  • interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.

Michigan Language Arts
Content Standard 2: All students will demonstrate the ability to write clear and grammatically correct sentences, paragraphs, and compositions.
Content Standard 3: All students will focus on meaning and communication as they listen, speak, view, read, and write in personal, social, occupational, and civic contexts.

Michigan Math
Content Standard 1: Students experience counting and measuring activities to develop intuitive sense about numbers, develop understanding about properties of numbers, understand the need for and existence of different sets of numbers, and investigate properties of special numbers. (Concepts and Properties of Numbers)

Marzano’s Instructional Strategies That Work: Identifying Similarities and Differences
Generalizations

  1. Presenting students with explicit guidance in identifying similarities and differences enhances their understanding of and ability to use knowledge.
  2. Asking students to independently identify similarities and differences enhances their understanding of and ability to use knowledge.
  3. Representing similarities and differences in graphic or symbolic form enhances students’ understanding of and ability to use knowledge.
  4. Identification of similarities and differences can be accomplished in a variety of ways and is a highly robust activity.

Recommendations
Use these to improve your practice.

  1. Teach students to use comparing, classifying, metaphors, and analogies when they identify similarities and differences.
  2. Give students a model of the steps for engaging in the process.
  3. Use a familiar context to teach students these steps.
  4. Have students use graphic organizers as a visual tool to represent the similarities and differences.
  5. Guide students as they engage in this process. Gradually give less structure and less guidance (Pitler, et al., 2007, p. 168).

VC Evaluation

This Google Form was used to evaluate the project.


Facilitator Info

Site Check in for connections

  1. Tech check audio/video
  2. Can they move the camera?
  3. Zoom in the cameras on the turkeys.
  4. Do they have the printed agenda?
  5. Do they know who is Teacher A/Teacher B? (Teacher A shows ORIGINAL turkey first. Teacher B shows the second turkey they made. Then switch.)
  6. Any questions?

First Email (send as soon as they are partnered)

Turkey Trade ’10: First Steps

Thank you for registering to participate in Whirlidurb’s Turkey Trade ’10. We will keep you updated as the project develops.

Project Website:
Frequently Asked Questions:
YOUR DATE & TIME is:

For Teachers:

  1. Go watch the Approved Materials video:
  2. Start making your first turkey. Here are some examples:
  3. Review the sample descriptions and tips:
  4. Your description needs to be posted online by November 16.
  5. Check the Participating Classes page for the current schedule and partner information:

For Coordinators:

  1. Schedule and connection details will be posted online by November 11.
  2. You might have to help some of your teachers post their descriptions online by 16th.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Roxanne Glaser, Whirlidurb
Janine Lim, Berrien RESA

2nd Email (sent 11/10 in 2010)
~Turkey Trade 2010: How to Post Descriptions~

Next steps for Turkey Trade 2010
We are delighted to have all of you participating this year!

Project Website:
Frequently Asked Questions:

How to Post Descriptions Online
You do NOT have to create an account to edit the wiki description pages.

  1. Review the sample descriptions and tips:
  2. Make sure your description has enough detail and description for the other class to create a turkey.
  3. Go to:
  4. Find your name on the schedule and click the “Post Descriptions Here” link for your name.
  5. Look at the names on the page, make sure you see your name at the top.
  6. Click EDIT
  7. Select the text “Paste your description here” and delete it.
  8. Copy your description and paste it below your contact information.
  9. Click SAVE. Make sure you save your work.

A video on how to post your descriptions online is at the bottom of the page here:

TEACHERS:

  1. Find your partner, date, and time for videoconference connection here:and post your description online by Tuesday, November 16
  2. Get the description that your partner class wrote by clicking on the name of your partner here:
  3. Make a SECOND turkey using the written descriptions from your partner. Do not exchange photos or post pictures. We are using the written descriptions to try to make a match. The videoconference is when we will see if they match.

COORDINATORS:

  1. We are working on adding connection details to the schedule:
  2. These calls will be bridged by Berrien RESA and Whirlidurb. The final connection information will be added to the wiki by next Tuesday.
  3. Test calls (if needed) will be this Friday, November 12.

Let us know if you need help!
Your Turkey Trade 2010 Team
Janine Lim, Berrien RESA
Roxanne Glaser, Whirlidurb

subject: — Turkey Trade Descriptions Due Today —
sent to all teachers and coordinators

===Reminder====
Turkey Trade descriptions need to be posted today.

If you are having trouble posting, contact your VC coordinator or one of us for assistance.

If you cannot post your description today, email your partner teacher and copy rglaser@whirlidurb.com and janine.lim@berrienresa.org on the message.

You can find your partner’s email address on this page:

How to Edit the Wiki Video
If you need help with editing the wiki, watch the 2nd video on this page.

What to Do During the Videoconference
The 3rd video on this page explains what to do during the videoconference.

Let us know if you need help!

Your Turkey Trade 2010 Team
Janine Lim, Berrien RESA
Roxanne Glaser, Whirlidurb

Subject: Last Details for Turkey Trade Nov. 19-23

This message has been sent to all Turkey Trade teachers and coordinators.=

All the descriptions are posted now! Great work everyone!

Turkey Trade Connections:

  • Berrien RESA is bridging all the Turkey Trade connections this year. You can see the connection details on the Participating Classes page:
  • READ the connection notes on the schedule carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand or need assistance.

Teachers: Prepare for the Videoconference

  • Prepare your students for the videoconference connection by assigning them jobs to do. Also, practice with them on how to identify similarities and differences.
  • The third training video on this page explains what will happen during the videoconference.
  • Videoconference connections last for 30 minutes.
  • Print the Day of the Videoconference sheet and for grades 2-6, print the student note taking guide: (Scroll down, it’s above the 3rd video)

If at any time during this project, you don’t understand how something works or why it is done that way, contact one of us immediately and we will assist you!

Your Turkey Trade 2010 Team
Janine Lim, Berrien RESA
Roxanne Glaser, Whirlidurb

Turkey Trade 2010 Project Evaluation
Thank you so much for a GREAT Turkey Trade. We had 20 classes participate this year from Texas and Michigan. It is always amazing to see the creations and the matches.

= T H A N K Y O U = = =
To the TEACHERS: I appreciate all of the organization, hard work, creativity, and flexibility that you bring to the project. Those of us behind the scenes are truly amazed at what you do with students! The creativity and higher order thinking skills that students were used was impressive.

To the COORDINATORS: Those of us who work in videoconferencing know that it can be a scary, intimidating technology, you are one of the keys to our technical success.

= PROJECT EVALUATION = = =
Each year we ask for feedback so that we can improve the project for the next year. Please take a couple of minutes to let us know how you used the Turkey Trade Project to teach or reinforce certain curricular concepts.

Thank you!

Your Turkey Trade 2010 Team
Janine Lim, Berrien RESA
Roxanne Glaser, Whirlidurb

Reducing Your Transportation Budget Using Videoconferencing: Wikispaces Archive

On a continued journey to archive my Wikispaces content. The content from this wiki was created as a support site for a March 10, 2010 MACUL Preconference.

Note: I am not maintaining links in this post. They are here for reference and history only.

Preconference Workshop Description: With budgets tight, learn how to use videoconferencing to hold district/county meetings, professional development, collaborate with peers around the state/glove, and do classroom virtual field trips around the state and planet. Two types of videoconferencing will be discussed: interactive self- contained systems (Polycom) and laptop-based systems. Attendees will learn how to install/connect videoconferencing tools and connect with peers using a laptop’s built-in camera or a USB camera. Latest and greatest software applications will be utilized to provide attendees a set of tools to reduce their transportation costs for meetings and student field trips.

Agenda

1:00 Intro, VC In Our Schools, VC in the Real World; Desktop vs. Carts
1:30 TWICE / CAPspace / Field Trips / ASK programs
2:00 21st century classroom with Mirial (Connect to Joe Rommel via HD unit)
2:15 BREAK
2:30: 10 min: Skype with Rod Rock
2:40: 20 min: experiment with Skype & DimDim
3:00: 10 min: Aaron Schippert re CMA
3:10: 20 min: experiment with Polycom PVX / CMA
3:30: 10 min:
3:40: 20 min: experiment with Mirial / Vidyo
4:00 Tips for Meetings etc. / Other resources / web resources / links / Q&A etc.
4:30 End

Goals

Participants will:

  • Gain an awareness of how VC is used in education and the world
  • Learn about TWICE resources for VC in education
  • Experience and evaluate at least three videoconferencing tools
  • Talk to three guests via different videoconference tools
  • Learn about best practice for meetings via videoconference
  • Explore other resources for videoconferencing

Contact Us
Janine Lim
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/outonalim
Skype: outonalim

Danielle Letter
Skype: letterdm


VC In Our Schools

Bridgeport-Spauling School District

Watch a Video Conference: Guess Who with Bridgeport-Spaulding second graders
Saginet Video on Demand: http://vod.saginet.org/Login.aspx
Guess Who information through Adobe Connect: http://remc.na3.acrobat.com/r75126954/

Berrien RESA

  • SouthwestNet Distance Learning
  • Videoconferencing Out on a Lim

Hats.jpg We_love_MI.jpg Rainforest.jpg


VC in the Real World


Desktop Videoconference vs. Cart Based Videoconferencing

Read more here: The Continuum of Videoconferencing

Note: We have included in this presentation several tools that do H323 standards based videoconferencing because of the huge amount of content available to K12 schools via H323 videoconferencing. If you plan to use VC in the curriculum, you need H323 as one of your VC options.

Desktop Pros Desktop Cons Cart Pros Cart Cons
Always available Based in one location Ease of visibility for larger groups Depending on cart design, may be difficult to move
Ease of use Echo cancellation problems Microphones designed for room videoconferencing
Inability to connect peripherals such as a document camera Potential for many peripherals: computer, document camera, extra inputs, DVD/VCR
May be easier (Skype) or harder (h323) to share the computer with the other site Microphones tend to be on a longer cord which makes it easier for classroom use
May have problems with too short of a microphone cable Can use the remote from anywhere in the classroom to control the VC system
May only be able to control the videoconference from the teacher’s laptop
Potential to overwhelm school bandwidth (with one cart you can only do one VC)

TWICE: Two Way Interactive Connections in Education

Michigan’s K12 videoconferencing organization

Flyers
Want to see more information? Check out the flyers!

Join the TWICE Listserv: http://www.twice.cc/listserve.html


Guests

Rod Rock Professional Development and Videoconferencing
Director of Instructional Services, Saginaw Intermediate School District

Aaron Schippert Polycom/PVX
Saginaw Intermediate School District
989-399-7464

Joe Rommel 21st Century Classroom with Mirial
Educator at Upton Middle School
St. Joseph, MI

Kevin Galbraith
Wayne-Westand Community Schools
Executive Director of Technology

Jeff Trudell
Wyandotte Public Schools
Technology Director

Tentative Craig Moellerstuen
Vidyo Demo
GCI Alaska


Tips for VC Meetings

TWICE Videoconference Fieldtrip

Samples, Etiquette and Basics, and Testimonials: http://www.mdvideoprod.com/twicevid.htm 

Berrien RESA Green Meeting Month Blogs

Tips for a great video conference:
Video conferencing is a highly technical, vastly complicated technology that has been structured from the ground up to be as simple and user-friendly as possible. Even though video conferencing has only really become a viable medium in the past few years, it’s taken off as an attractive option when communicating with friends, families, colleagues, and clients. Despite its simplicity, there are many things you can do to – or not do – to ensure a great virtual meeting.
Source: Ezine Articles for Authors http://ezinearticles.com/?10-of-Our-Favorite-Video-Conferencing-Tips&id=1382277


Links and Resources


Dim Dim

http://my.dimdim.com/dletter/
Collaborate and share voice, video, slides, whiteboard, even your desktop.
http://www.dimdim.com/

Attributes:

Server Required?
Cost?
server not required, but could have it to have your own meetings
free, but additional levels of cost provide more features
Client Software Works on Mac and PC; uses Flash
H323? NO
Multipoint? NO; one video at a team (that we could find so far)

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Free instant screen sharing.
Free accounts to test with staff
(up to 20 members per meeting)
Ability to share presentation, whiteboard or
screen
Unable to share other types of resources
3/10 experimenting in the workshop: we thought the camera quality was better on this than on Adobe Connect Adobe Connect allows setting up ahead of time; this doesn’t.
DimDim allows you to share YouTube etc. Adobe Connect you can share handouts and links; not as much on DimDim

Mirial

Desktop video conferencing
http://www.mirial.com/


Polycom Desktop Software: PVX & CMA

Attributes:

Polycom PVX Polycom CMA
Server Required?
Cost?
No server required.
$120.00
Server with 200 licenses SE 4000 (the SE 5000 is 500 licenses) (a one time purchase of licenses plus maintenance)
Add a video border proxy; makes it so you can connect people outside your network
Client Software
Cost?
operating systems it supports, other notes, etc.
PC only but works in virtualized windows environment on Mac
  • It costs nothing to add more licenses (200 registered devices); they have it set up to unregister from the gatekeeper after 10 days and that releases the license
  • Costs nothing for all the districts to have it installed on their network; they can download it on their network
  • It only works on 32 bit machines (so far).
  • PC only; but Mac is supposedly coming.
H323 YES on BOTH
Multipoint? Not by itself, but can connect to any MCU just fine Not by itself, but can connect to any MCU just fine
Other Skype and CMA fight with each other on Aaron Schippert’s computer; but on Danielle’s computer she has no problem at all.
Notes on Mics & Cameras recommended camera: Hercules Dualpix Webcam$20 ish; recommended microphone – REMC bid $3.57

Polycom PVX Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Ease of use Challenges getting it to work on the firewall

Polycom CMA Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Works with almost every kind of camera there is Currently doesn’t support Windows 98 or Mac; but Mac is supposed to be added soon
Can install on all the computers on your network without additional cost; the limitation is the number of concurrent users/licenses Requires VPN to work through firewall
OR the Polycom Video Border Proxy (Which is also a positive because the VBP – in theory- allows you to bring in any site anywhere – think authors, experts, etc.) (Janine’s comment: in theory because we haven’t yet seen that work)
Communicates with any H323 codec
Excellent quality (quoting Saginaw ISD)
Does H.239 / People Plus Content H.239 doesn’t work with every site out there (see Janine’s posts on the H.239 standard)
Requires registration with the gatekeeper which in theory makes dialing better

Skype

Free Download: http://www.skype.com/download/skype/windows/
Already a member? http://www.skype.com/welcomeback/

VideoConferencing Out on a Lim offers many resources for Skype: http://vcoutonalim.org/skype/

Skype- Some Information to Consider. (Cons in using Skype): http://www.classroom20.com/forum/topics/skype-some-information-to


Vidyo

http://www.vidyo.com/
Vidyo Review

Attributes:

Server Required?
Cost?
$10,000 server
Also get the H323 gateway
Client Software
Cost?
licenses for the logins/rooms/ports
licenses for the clients
it does make Mac/PC and H323 all together
H323? If you buy the gateway
Multipoint? Yes

More VC Options

There are many other videoconference options. Here are a few more we recommend investigating further:

  • Tandberg MOVI
  • Adobe Acrobat Connect(3/10 learned during the session: Did you know there’s an app for your phone for Adobe Connect?? It only works with prerecorded meetings so far….); You can do three of the people on videoconference. It works Mac and PC both. If you want to show video, it has to be flash. All this info from Sue Summerford from Lenawee ISD.
  • Elluminate / Elluminate VCS (VCS connects to H323)
  • ooVoo (can pay for multipoint)

Poetry Month: Wikispaces Archive

Poetry Month

Description: Students will share a celebration of poetry via videoconferencing. Creative ideas and connections to various content areas is found under Preparation.

2011 Dates: March 29-31 between Berrien RESA and UK schools

Agenda:
5-10 minutes: Introductions and maps shared by each class.
20 minutes: Each class leads an interaction or shares a presentation (See Preparation for ideas.)
10-15 minutes: Questions and answers, dialogue, getting to know each other more!


How To

Creating Posters for Videoconferencing

This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.


Preparation

Prepare an introduction that includes

  • An introduction of your school and teacher (done by students)
  • Some facts about your community (and pictures too if possible)
  • A map that shows your location

Prepare your presentation/interaction

Then decide (as a class if possible) what you want to share with your partner class. Here are some ideas. You may think of more!

Presentation

  • Have students read original poetry (include visuals to help the partner class follow along)
  • Have students perform poetry (either as a class or individually)
  • Find funny poems to read to the other class
  • Act out poems as a skit

Interact
Take it up a notch, if you like, and get the other class to interact with you. Here are some ideas. Maybe you’ll think of more!

  • Teach them 3 or 4 different types of poetry; then read poetry and have the other class identify the type of poetry used in that poem.
  • Use poetry with a repetitive section – have your partner class learn and do the repetitive section with you.
  • Have a “poetry idol” and have a few students at the other class be the judges and give feedback on your poetry performance.

Accents, Hearing, and Visuals
Remember that sometimes it’s hard to understand the other class over videoconference, which is sometimes compounded by different accents. Another challenge can be created by students reading in groups or reading very quietly. If possible, figure out a way to provide a visual support for your partner class:

  • Use the document camera or computer to share the words of the poem
  • Email a page to your partner class to print out so they can print it and follow along
  • If using repetitive words or phrases, create posters to accompany the reading/performance
  • Create illustrations to accompany the poetry (hold them up and make sure you can read them all the way across the room)

Connect Poetry to Other Content Areas
Here are some ideas to use poetry to present on other content areas:

  • Create haiku poems on the content area you’re studying – geography, social studies, science. Illustrate it if you can: create a poster or 8×11 sheet to show on the document camera with the works to the haiku and an illustration.
  • Share clues for something in rhyming couplets for the other class to guess: i.e. animals, science, or geography topics
  • Share math story problems for both classes to figure out by writing the story problem in poetry form.

Email your partner teacher

Be sure to tell your partner what you’re planning to do so they can prepare as well. Let Heather or Janine know if you’re having trouble contacting your partner. Sometimes emails get lost!


Resources

Note: I am not maintaining these links. They are here for reference and history only.

Poetry Resources

Giving Feedback
We encourage you to teach students how to give feedback to each other. Practice in the classroom ahead of time:

  • When you used the word _ _ _ _ _, I felt _ _ _ _ _ _.
  • Your poem made me feel _ _ _ _ _ .
  • When I listened to that poem, it made me think of _ _ _ _ _ _.
  • I noticed you used “alliteration” (or other forms), and I thought that added _ _ _ _ _ _ _ to the overall feel of the poem.
  • etc.

Rubrics


Standards

Some Michigan Standards

2nd Grade

  • R.NT.02.02 identify and describe the basic elements and purpose of a variety of narrative genre including poetry, fantasy, legends, and drama.
  • W.GN.02.02 approximate poetry based on reading a wide variety of grade- appropriate poetry.

3rd Grade

  • W.GN.03.02 write poetry based on reading a wide variety of grade-appropriate poetry.

4th Grade

  • R.NT.04.02 identify and describe the structure, elements, and purpose of a variety of narrative genre including poetry, myths, legends, fantasy, and adventure.
  • W.GN.04.02 write poetry based on reading a wide variety of grade-appropriate poetry.
  • S.DS.04.02 discuss narratives (e.g., fantasy, myths, legends, adventures, poetry), conveying the story grammar (e.g., various character roles, plot, story level theme) and emphasizing facial expressions, hand gestures, and body language.

5th Grade

  • W.GN.05.02 write poetry based on reading a wide variety of grade-appropriate poetry.

VC Evaluation

This GoogleForm was used to evaluate the project.


Facilitator Page

To: Teachers & techs on both sides,
Subject: Poetry VC Project Confirmation: [date]

Greetings and welcome to our Poetry Videoconference Project. The goal of this project is to share poetry across the Atlantic!

Dates & Times
[date & time in both time zones]

Technical Information:
Berrien RESA will dial out to both schools.
If there is a problem, dial and we’ll connect you!
If there are problems, please call

Introductions
The Michigan teacher for this project is:
[local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country]

The UK teacher for this project is:
[local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].

Preparation
Preparation materials and resources are online:

Format
For the actual connection, I recommend this format as a rough guideline:
5 min. Introductions (be sure to prepare a map for each other)
5-10 min. One class presents
5-10 min. The other class presents.
5-10 min. Ask each other questions.

Action Items
Here’s what needs to happen next.

  • Teachers: Please email each other to discuss further.
  • Techs: We are hoping to do test calls between Berrien RESA’s bridge and the UK schools on March 25 between 1:00 and 2:00 pm UK time. Stay tuned for more info.

Let me know if you have any questions along the way. We really appreciate you participating in this project with us!

Janine


Note: Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

MysteryQuest USA: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

A 4th or 5th Grade US Geography Videoconference Project

This project is designed for 4th or 5th grade students studying US geography. Through video conference technology, students are able to meet other students while learning about cities and states in the United States. Prior to the video conference each classroom will create a presentation with clues about their state and city. The other classrooms, using maps, the Internet, textbooks, and other resources, will try to discover the mystery location presented by each participating classrooms.

FlyerMQUSA-Flyer

Note Taking FormMQUSANotesForm

2 hour Videoconference Agenda

  • 5 min. Introductions and Videoconference Directions (Janine Lim will moderate) (NO SCHOOL INTRODUCTIONS as some people are presenting their actual location).
  • 55 min. Classroom Presentations (5-7 min. each for 6 presentations)
  • 30 min. The Quest: Locating Sites (Classrooms divide into 5 teams to pin-point the mystery locations presented by the other 5 classrooms. During this time each team will come up with one yes/no question to ask each of the other classrooms.)
  • 10 min. Question and Answers: Be prepared and efficient! This section will be tightly moderated. (Classroom 1 answers all questions. Classroom 2 answers all questions, etc. )
  • 10 min. Classroom teams ‘reevaluate’ their answers.
  • 5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 5 min. Correct mystery locations revealed by each classroom.
  • Congratulations and sign-off.

Credit: This project is modeled after the Where in the USA project by Learning Space (1996-2004).


Contact and Credits

Note: November 2012, Roxanne welcomes you to use these materials to facilitate your own Mystery Quests. Whirlidurb is currently not running any MysteryQuest USA connections. Be sure to credit the original work of Janine Lim in any adaptations.

Note: as of May 2011, Janine Lim and Berrien RESA have bequeathed this project to Whirlidurb. Roxanne Glaser is an incredible facilitator and has contributed to the quality of materials and facilitation materials for MysteryQuest since 2007.

MysteryQuest USA Project Developer
Janine Lim, Berrien RESA Instructional Technology Consultant, 1997-2011

Credit: This project is modeled after the Where in the USA project by Learning Space (1996-2004).


Examples

MysteryQuest USA Video

Sample Visuals
Visual clues can really make a difference in note taking if we have audio problems. Often students read clues too fast and quiet for other students to write them down. So the best solution is to include visual clues to accompany your presentation. This is HIGHLY recommended.

Posters
• Posters are the easiest way to share a visual clue but can also be the most difficult to show effectively in a videoconference. In presentations where the other class is taking notes, clear posters are crucial. Even in presentations where the partner class is listening, it is still very frustrating when posters aren’t clear. Placing a poster on an easel keeps the poster still and is therefore easier for the other class to see it. Make sure the font is large and easy to read.
• Your poster should only include information that is needed to answer the MysteryQuest questions. All extra information should be presented separately.
• Bottom Line: Large text, strong contrast with no light colors for lettering, and very large pictures or drawings. Huge thick lines for drawing and writing are best. Test your poster by holding it up; across the room to see if you can still read it. Have students read their part off of the back of the poster instead of the front. This makes it easier to hold the poster still (if not using and easel.)

Use the VC Poster Handout to give to your student groups to assist in making their posters.

Document Camera
Many videoconference systems include a document camera. You can put 8 1/2 by 11 pages (landscape) on the document camera to share clues. Ask your distance learning or technology coordinator if you have access to a document camera. You may want to consider setting presets so that you can switch between the students and the document camera.


With the document camera, it comes through best if you stack the clues and then pull the top one off. This reduces the blurry transition time.

PowerPoint
If you’re really up for using technology, ask your distance learning or technology coordinator if you can hook up a computer to your videoconference equipment. Make sure you use large letters. Avoid red. Dark backgrounds with contrasting light text works best. If possible, test the PowerPoint ahead of time to make sure it can be read.
You may want to consider some plan so that we can see the students, then the PowerPoint, then the students again. Or show the PP as a review at the end of your presentation if there is time in your allotted 5-7 minutes.

Background Sets
Some classes like to design elaborate sets for their presentations, which are very visually appealing. Here are some examples:

News shows are always fun, especially when complemented by visuals to review the clues. This class, from Western Hills, El Paso, did a news show. In this shot, the announcer is in a helicopter!!! How cool is that?!


This is an example from New York State of a background that gives clues at the same time as providing a set for a new show.

Other Creative Clues

Clues from Hunter Elementary, Fairbanks, Alaska in 2007.

Climate clue for Alaska: Land + midnight + sun. Get it?


Alaska’s time zone clue: EST -4; CST – 3, etc.

Math and Geography Clues from St. Thomas Aquinas School in Wisconsin in 2007.

Deal or No Deal Game Show by Sylvester Elementary, Berrien Springs, MI, in 2007

Rhyming Clues
Pennfield Central Elementary, Pennfield, MI, integrated their poetry unit into their MysteryQuest USA presentation. Here’s a sample of their rhymes:

  • All of our clues are going to rhyme
  • And we’re all going to have a great, great time.

 

  • Goods are not just imported by train,
  • They are also imported by semi and plane.

 

  • The population is more than eleven.
  • But a whole lot less than one thousand seven.

Organizing Your Research Time
These pictures are from Pine River Elementary. They give a great flavor of what the research portion is like in the classroom. I especially like the picture of this strategy of having a wall or whiteboard or place to write the guesses for all the schools. It gives a focal point to the research. See how the students are working there:

[Wikispaces conversion note: Images were removed from the Pine River website and are no longer available.]

Revealing Your Answer
A visual aid for revealing your answer is also a nice touch, especially if your city has a long and complicated spelling. A visual with a map is great too!


FAQ

Should we prepare an introduction about our school?
NO! Some schools are presenting their actual location. However, when you reveal your answer, if you want to prepare a couple sentences about your community, you can share that at the end of the videoconference.


How To

Creating Posters for Videoconferencing

This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.

PowerPoint Tips

  • Use a large font.
  • Don’t put too much text on the page.
  • Don’t use red for background or text.
  • Have a good contrast between text and background.
  • Blue backgrounds with white or yellow text work best.

Involve All Your Students
During a videoconference, it’s wise to include as many students as possible. Here is a suggested list of jobs to assign students.

  1. Art crew-design backdrop and paint.
  2. Directors-(usually one girl and one boy).
  3. Stage hands-move props.
  4. Lighting and sound crew-turn on and off lights/adjust microphone.
  5. Narrators-(usually good readers and who are not shy to speak in front of the camera).
  6. Actors
  7. Costume and make-up-help put together costumes and help with make-up.
  8. Writers-help write and edit script-help with timing and what scenes can be deleted or added.
  9. Cue card holders-hold up cards with lines on them for anyone who might get stuck-hold up scene or act cards during a transition.
  10. Question and Answer team-These will be the ones who answer and ask questions to the other class at the end of the conference.
  11. Judges-These students watch the performance by both schools and write down any changes that might improve the conference for the next time-we must always learn from our mistakes.
  12. Take Down crew-cleans up after conference.

This list was presented by Kim Pearce, Gatesville Intermediate School, Language Arts 6th grade teacher, at the 123 Jazzing Up Your Curriculum Workshop Summer 2006. Used by permission.


Preparation

Preparation Information

Preparing Your Classroom Presentation:

  1. Choose ONE STATE to present. Five or six states total will be presented. Email your state right away to Janine Lim so she can check for duplicates. First come first serve. If you want to present your own state, be sure to submit ASAP!
  2. In the presentation, give the required clues in your presentation.
  3. Prepare a visual to reveal the answer to your presentation (city & country).
  4. Make sure all students have paper to take notes on all the presentations. This way if one team figures out a mystery quickly they can help another team.

Tips for shorter preparation time:

  • Have all your sections do the same city/state
  • Use the same visuals (posters/PowerPoint) for all your sections

Fast Transitions

  • Know the schedule and have your students up at the mic ready to go.
  • When you’re about to present, have some kids taking notes and the others getting ready to go.

Helpful Resources from Other Projects


Required Clues

If you prefer, you may add additional information to your presentation. Be sure to keep the presentation to 7 minutes or less.

Developing Your Clues:
When developing your clues try to make sure each one is challenging. The other classes should not be able to determine your city and state just from hearing one or two clues and not doing any research. For example, if you were presenting a clue for Orlando, Florida you would never want to come out and say you can visit Disney World. Also, you would not want to give a clue that the other classes can Google and find in the first few search result descriptions.

State Clues
Movement
Answer at least one question from this category.
1. How are goods imported to and exported from the state?
2. How do average people travel within the state?

Region
Answer at least one question from this category.
1. Give a clue about the highest or lowest point in your state.
2. What bodies of water or landforms are near the political borders of the state?

Human-Environment Interaction
Answer at least one question from this category.
1. What are the major economic activities in the state?
2. In what ways have people modified the environment of this state?
3. In what ways have people adapted to the environment of the state?
4. During the months of December through February, what recreational activities does your state enjoy?

Location
Answer at least one question from this category.
1. Give a relative location clue for your state.
2. In what time zone is your state located?

Place
Answer at least one questions from this category.
1. What is the area of the state?
2. Describe the climate of the state.
3. What is the major ecosystem(s) in this state?

History
Answer at least four questions from this category.
1. Describe the state’s involvement in a major conflict.
2. When was the state established?
3. What European(s) first explored your state?
4. Give a clue about one Native American culture that is historically from your area.
5. What is a major contribution of the state to the world?
6. What is a point of pride for your state?
7. What countries have claimed your state land in the past?

Civics
Answer one of the questions from this category.
1. Who are your state U.S. Senators?
2. How many U.S. Representatives is your state entitled to? (Don’t name all of them. Usually too many!)

City Clues

Give at least 7 city clues in your presentation. You are required to give one clue from each section.

Movement (one required)
1. What is the best method of transportation to reach this city or town?
2. How are goods and services transported to and from your city?

Region (one required)
1. Name one or more bodies of water or landforms are near the political border of this city.

Human-Environment Interaction (one required)
1. What is the major industry/employer of your town or city?
2. In what ways have people modified the environment of this city?
3. In what ways have people adapted to the environment of this city?

Location (one required)
1. Which direction from the state capitol do you travel to reach the town or city?
(Note: DO NOT PRESENT THE CAPITOL because it is too easy or gives it away if you don’t answer this question. If you live in your state’s capitol, present one of the suburbs to make it more challenging. If you do this, give a clue saying that the large city is NOT the correct answer and to look further for the specific suburb.)

Place (one required)
1. Give a clue about a tourist attraction or landmark in your city or town. Illustrate if possible.
2. What is the population of your city? (You can give a range if you wish.)
3. Give a clue about the nearest state park.


Resources

Note: I am not maintaining these links. They are here for reference and history only.

Presentation Preparation Links

Research Web Links


Standards

Michigan Curriculum Framework
Note: Each of the benchmarks listed below are for the later elementary level.
Social Studies
Strand I. Historical Perspective3. Place major events in the early history of the United States in chronological order.
Strand II: Geographic Perspective
Content Standard 1: All students will describe, compare, and explain the locations and characteristics of places, cultures, and settlements. (People, Places and Cultures)
3. Locate and describe the major places, cultures, and communities of the nation and compare their characteristics.

Content Standard 2: All students will describe, compare, and explain the locations and characteristics of ecosystems, resources, human adaptation, environmental impact, and the interrelationships among them. (Human/Environment Interaction)
3. Describe the major physical patterns, ecosystems, resources, and land uses of the state, region, and country
and explain the processes that created them.
4. Explain how various people and cultures have adapted to and modified the environment.

Content Standard 3: All students will describe, compare, and explain the locations and characteristics of economic activities, trade, political activities, migration, information flow, and the interrelationships among them. (Location, Movement and Connections)
1. Describe major kinds of economic activity and explain the factors influencing their location.
2. Describe the causes, consequences, routes and movement of major migration to the United States.
3. Explain how transportation and communication link people and communities.
4. Describe some of the major movements of goods, people, jobs and information within Michigan and the
United States and explain the reasons for the movements.

Content Standard 4: All students will describe and compare characteristics of ecosystems, states, regions, countries, major world regions, and patterns and explain the processes that created them. (Regions, Patterns and Processes)
1. Draw sketch maps of the community, region, and nation.
2. Describe places, cultures, and communities in the United States and compare them with those in other regions and
countries.
6. Describe the geography of major United States regions, compare the regions, and explain the processes that created them.

Strand IV: Economic Perspective
Content Standard 2: All students will explain and demonstrate how businesses confront scarcity and choice when organizing, producing, and using resources, and when supplying the marketplace. (Business Choices)
3. Examine the historical and contemporary role a major industry has played in the state of Michigan and the United States.

Content Standard 5: All students will describe how trade generates economic development and interdependence and analyze the resulting challenges and benefits for individuals, producers, and government. (Trade)
3. Describe how businesses are involved in trade as producers, distributors, importers, and exporters.

Strand V: Inquiry
Content Standard 1: All students will acquire information from books, maps, newspapers, data sets and other sources, organize and present the information in maps, graphs, charts and timelines, interpret the meaning and significance of information, and use a variety of electronic technologies to assist in accessing and managing information. (Information Processing)
1. Locate information about local, state and national communities using a variety of traditional sources, electronic
technologies, and direct observations.
2. Organize social science information to make maps, graphs and tables.
3. Interpret social science information about local, state, and national communities from maps, graphs, and charts.

Content Standard 2: All students will conduct investigations by formulating a clear statement of a question, gathering and organizing information from a variety of sources, analyzing and interpreting information, formulating and testing hypotheses, reporting results both orally and in writing, and making use of appropriate technology. (Conducting Investigations)
1. Pose a social science question about Michigan or the United States.
2. Gather and analyze information using appropriate information technologies to answer the question posed.
3. Construct an answer to the question posed and support their answer with evidence.

Language Arts
Content Standard 3: All students will focus on meaning and communication as they listen, speak, view, read, and write in personal, social, occupational, and civic contexts.
1. Integrate listening, speaking, viewing, reading, and writing skills for multiple purposes and in varied contexts. An example is using all the language arts to prepare and present a unit project on a selected state or country.
3. Read and write fluently, speak confidently, listen and interact appropriately, view knowledgeably, and represent creatively.

Content Standard 11: All students will define and investigate important issues and problems using a variety of resources, including technology, to explore and create texts.
2. Identify and use the kinds of resources that are most useful and most readily available for the particular questions or topics they wish to investigate. Examples include knowledgeable people, field trips, tables of contents, indexes, glossaries, icons/ headings, hypertext, storage addresses, CDROM/ laser disks, electronic mail, and library catalogue databases.
3. Organize and analyze information to draw conclusions and implications based on their investigation of an issue or problem.
4. Using multiple media, develop and present a short presentation to communicate conclusions based on the investigation of an issue or problem. Examples include charts, posters, transparencies, audio tapes, videos, and diagrams.

Technology
Content Standard 2: All students will use technologies to input, retrieve, organize, manipulate, evaluate, and communicate information.
1. Interpret, analyze and evaluate information with the assistance of technology (voice, data, video, graphics, etc).
2. Use search strategies to locate and retrieve information electronically.
3. Retrieve and communicate information using a technological system (voice, data, video, graphics, etc).
4. Evaluate information received through technologies.

Content Standard 3: All students will apply appropriate technologies to critical thinking, creative expression, and decision making skills.
4. Use technologies to organize thoughts in a logical process (voice, data, video, graphics, etc).


Facilitator Page

Confirmation Letter

Subject: [event name] Confirmation:

Greetings ##PARTICIPANTNAME##,

This confirmation is for the following session:
##EVENTTITLE##
##EVENTTIME##
##EVENTLOCALTIME##

Please read below for technical and teacher information.
Technical Contacts (#EQUIPMENTCONTACT##):
According to our records, you will be participating with this equipment:

##EQUIPMENTNAME## with IP ##EQUIPMENTIP##
If this is incorrect, please let me know.

Test Call
The test call window for MysteryQuest USA is: [DATE & TIME]
Your dial in number for the event and test call is: . (If you have Tandberg equipment, you can either dial just the IP address and I’ll connect you to the conference; or I can dial out to you. We can negotiate this during the test call.)
If you have problems during the connection or test call, please call me at

Assist Your Teacher
If possible, please help your teacher understand the distance learning room setup and the options available for presentation (document camera, computer hook up, mic locations, etc.). Find out if they need/want computer access during the research portion of the event. Note that it is highly unlikely that People Plus Content / H.239 / DuoVideo will work for this conference.

Connection Day
The connection will be open for you to dial in 30 minutes before the start of the program. Please dial in as soon as possible. We aim to have
every site connected by 10 minutes before the start of the program.

Teacher Information (##PARTICIPANTNAME##):
CRITICAL: If you haven’t already done so, please email me with the state your class will present. First come, first serve, so if you want to present your own state, tell me ASAP!

One way to do this is to have students vote for top choices and submit the top three to me without telling the students the top votes. Then after checking with me, give them the selected state.

Detailed information about this project can be found at:
Note especially the Required Clues your students should answer in their presentation as well as the How To guides for preparing visuals and the Examples page.

Video Taped Presentations
Please do NOT prepare a taped presentation. Taped presentations are very difficult to understand when sent over compressed video. Please present LIVE!

Video Releases
The event may be recorded by Berrien RESA for improvement of the project, as well as illustrations to post on the web for next year’s project. In addition, many schools tape the program they participate in. Because of this, please make sure the students who appear on camera have permission from their parents/guardian. (Some schools have a video/photograph release form built into their registration process. Here’s a Word file sample you can use.
Please leave the credit at the bottom of the form.)

If you have any questions, you may call me at or email me. Thank you.

Janine
Instructional Technology Consultant
Berrien RESA

MysteryQuest Presentation and Test Call Reminders

MysteryQuest USA Teachers and Contacts:
A few reminders and items I want to emphasize as you’re preparing your presentations!

Test Calls
The test call windows are this week: [date & times here]
The IP is . If you can’t do the extension, try just the IP.
I’ll be taking only 3 sites at a time for testing, so if you get a busy signal, try again in a few minutes.
IMPORTANT: If you plan to present with the computer, please be ready to test the computer connection.
If you have trouble during the test or the program, call

States
If you haven’t yet sent me the state you are presenting, please do so as soon as possible. And yes, the city should be in the state! One way to choose is to have students vote for top choices & submit the top three to me without telling the students the top votes. Then after checking with me, give them the selected state. We do this to make sure there are no duplicate presentations.

Selecting Your City
1. The city should NOT be the capital city, as one of the required clues is to indicate the direction from the capital of the state to the mystery city. If you think of the state when you name the city, your city is too easy.

2. Please make sure your city and clues are challenging. Most classes now have access to Google during the research portion which makes it too easy to find the answers. Make sure that you can’t just type a clue in Google and get the answer. Plan clues that will make the other classes use maps and some sleuthing to figure out the city. Some classes get really creative in writing clues that have to be solved before you can find the answer.More clue examples are on the Examples page:

Clearly Present Clues
Remember that the goal of your presentation is to clearly communicate the clues to the other classes, not to confuse them so they can’t guess. Here are some ways we highly recommend:

*Avoid taped presentations, as the quality of the tape gets degraded when sent over videoconferencing. Plus students will be better prepared to answer questions if their presentation is fresh in their mind.

*Prepare visuals to reinforce proper names and figures that are important to locating your city & state. Visuals for clues can be a “life saver” if we have technical difficulties or audio problems. Use this worksheet to assist your students in making clear posters or PPT slides:

*If you are presenting the clues out of order, be sure to identify the sections the clues are coming from so that note takers can easily write down the information in the right place. Keep the country & city clues together as those are two different side of the note taking sheet.

*Have students practice speaking slowly, loudly, and clearly! Practice those communication skills!

*Have students read clues off notecards instead of paper so that we don’t have the noise of paper rustling.

Double Check your Clues
Check to make sure you are presenting all the required clues and the correct number from each section:

Double check your visuals and make sure what the other class should write down is the LARGEST.

Revealing the Answer
If possible, prepare a visual for revealing the city & state you presented as well as your actual location if you aren’t presenting your own town. This will make it easier to understand unfamiliar names of cities and students
will know easily whether or not they were correct.

Video
We don’t have a video yet of MysteryQuest USA (will make it this year with your work!).
But you may want to watch the MysteryQuest World video and even show it to your
students so they know how the program will go.

Relax!
I know it can be crazy getting prepared and ready for this event, but relax! Enjoy the process. It should be fun for everyone involved and a great learning experience too!

As always, you can email me or call if you have any questions or want to discuss your presentation or the event.

Janine

MysteryQuest Countdown (sent Friday before event)

Subject: MysteryQuest USA [date & time]
Greetings MysteryQuest USA Teachers & Contacts!

Just a few more days til our MysteryQuest USA event! In anticipation of that, here are a few notes for:
[date]: [start & end time in all represented time zones]

Number of Groups
We have [xxx] classes participating, so you should divide your
students into [xxx] groups for researching the other presentations.

Connections
Please connect at least 15 minutes early so we can start on time.
IP:  or dial the IP; or I’m calling you if arranged.
If you have trouble, call me at

Order of Presentations
Classes are assigned a number by when they sign up. The assigned
order is:
Classroom 1 Teacher:
Classroom 2 Teacher:
Classroom 3 Teacher:
Classroom 4 Teacher:
Classroom 5 Teacher:
Classroom 6 Teacher:

Things to Bring
*All materials needed for your presentation.
*Research notes from the presentation in case another school has specific questions about your state or city.
*Any print materials for students to use in their research (books, maps, globes, etc.).
*If desired, arrange for the use of computers/Internet connection during the 30 min. research portion of the event.
*Copies of the note taking form (or blank sheets if you prefer)

Note Taking
Make enough copies of the note taking form so that all kids take notes on all presentations. This will help keep them involved, give them practice taking notes, and groups could help each other during in the research process if needed.

Computers
If you are using computers for this event, please do the following:
1. Do not allow students to use them during the note-taking. They should be practicing taking notes and being a good listening audience. Remember it’s possible you are the school the presenting school is looking at when they present. So be an attentive audience!

2. During the research portion, only use computers as a last resort. This event is about map skills, group skills, research skills. Some clues could give the answer quickly in Google and we’d rather have students really work to use maps etc. to discover the answer.

I’m excited about this wonderful learning opportunity for our students and look forward to a great event!

Janine

Post Project / Evaluation Reminder

Greetings,

Thank you for participating in the MysteryQuest USA videoconference.

Please take a moment to fill out this evaluation form so we can continue to improve the program:

Thank you! Hope you can participate again next year!

Janine Lim

MysteryQuest Beaches Videoconference: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

MysteryQuest Beaches: A Professional Development VC Project

Welcome to the MysteryQuest Beaches video conference project. This project is designed for teachers interested in learning project formats for videoconference projects.

During the workshop, teachers will create a presentation with clues about their selected Mystery Beach. The other teachers, using maps, the Internet, and other resources, will try to discover the Mystery Beach presented by the other groups.

Agenda:
30 min. Group Presentations 
(3-5 min. each for 6 presentations)
20 min. The Quest: Locating Sites 
(All sites mute.)
5 min. Question and Answers
 (This section will be tightly moderated.
)

  • Group 1 answers all questions.
  • Group 2 answers all questions.
  • Group 3 answers all questions.
  • Group 4 answers all questions.
  • Group 5 answers all questions.
  • Group 6 answers all questions.

5 min. Group teams ‘reevaluate’ their answers.
5 min. Groups present their guesses.
5 min. Correct Mystery Beaches revealed.

Credit: This project is modeled after the Where in the USA project by Learning Space (1996-2004).


Contact and Credits

This workshop is used as part of the 123 VC: Jazzing Up Your Curriculum with Videoconferencing.

Please contact the lead facilitators for more information.

MysteryQuest Beaches Creator
Janine Lim, Berrien RESA Instructional Technology Consultant, 1997-2011


Examples

Movie from MysteryQuest USA

Sample Visuals
Visual clues can really make a difference in note taking if we have audio problems. Often students read clues too fast and quiet for other students to write them down. So the best solution is to include visual clues to accompany your presentation. This is HIGHLY recommended.

Posters
• Posters are the easiest way to share a visual clue but can also be the most difficult to show effectively in a videoconference. In presentations where the other class is taking notes, clear posters are crucial. Even in presentations where the partner class is listening, it is still very frustrating when posters aren’t clear. Placing a poster on an easel keeps the poster still and is therefore easier for the other class to see it. Make sure the font is large and easy to read.
• Your poster should only include information that is needed to answer the MysteryQuest questions. All extra information should be presented separately.
• Bottom Line: Large text, strong contrast with no light colors for lettering, and very large pictures or drawings. Huge thick lines for drawing and writing are best. Test your poster by holding it up; across the room to see if you can still read it. Have students read their part off of the back of the poster instead of the front. This makes it easier to hold the poster still (if not using and easel.)

Use the VC Poster Handout to give to your student groups to assist in making their posters.

Document Camera
Many videoconference systems include a document camera. You can put 8 1/2 by 11 pages (landscape) on the document camera to share clues. Ask your distance learning or technology coordinator if you have access to a document camera. You may want to consider setting presets so that you can switch between the students and the document camera.


With the document camera, it comes through best if you stack the clues and then pull the top one off. This reduces the blurry transition time.

PowerPoint
If you’re really up for using technology, ask your distance learning or technology coordinator if you can hook up a computer to your videoconference equipment. Make sure you use large letters. Avoid red. Dark backgrounds with contrasting light text works best. If possible, test the PowerPoint ahead of time to make sure it can be read.
You may want to consider some plan so that we can see the students, then the PowerPoint, then the students again. Or show the PP as a review at the end of your presentation if there is time in your allotted 5-7 minutes.

Background Sets
Some classes like to design elaborate sets for their presentations, which are very visually appealing. Here are some examples:

News shows are always fun, especially when complemented by visuals to review the clues. This class, from Western Hills, El Paso, did a news show. In this shot, the announcer is in a helicopter!!! How cool is that?!


This is an example from New York State of a background that gives clues at the same time as providing a set for a new show.

Other Creative Clues

Clues from Hunter Elementary, Fairbanks, Alaska in 2007.

Climate clue for Alaska: Land + midnight + sun. Get it?


Alaska’s time zone clue: EST -4; CST – 3, etc.

Math and Geography Clues from St. Thomas Aquinas School in Wisconsin in 2007.

Deal or No Deal Game Show by Sylvester Elementary, Berrien Springs, MI, in 2007

Rhyming Clues
Pennfield Central Elementary, Pennfield, MI, integrated their poetry unit into their MysteryQuest USA presentation. Here’s a sample of their rhymes:

  • All of our clues are going to rhyme
  • And we’re all going to have a great, great time.

 

  • Goods are not just imported by train,
  • They are also imported by semi and plane.

 

  • The population is more than eleven.
  • But a whole lot less than one thousand seven.

Organizing Your Research Time
Strategy of having a wall or whiteboard or place to write the guesses for all the schools. It gives a focal point to the research.

Revealing Your Answer
A visual aid for revealing your answer is also a nice touch, especially if your city has a long and complicated spelling. A visual with a map is great too!


How To

Creating Posters for Videoconferencing

This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.

PowerPoint Tips

  • Use a large font.
  • Don’t put too much text on the page.
  • Don’t use red for background or text.
  • Have a good contrast between text and background.
  • Blue backgrounds with white or yellow text work best.

Involve All Your Students
During a videoconference, it’s wise to include as many students as possible. Here is a suggested list of jobs to assign students.

  1. Art crew-design backdrop and paint.
  2. Directors-(usually one girl and one boy).
  3. Stage hands-move props.
  4. Lighting and sound crew-turn on and off lights/adjust microphone.
  5. Narrators-(usually good readers and who are not shy to speak in front of the camera).
  6. Actors
  7. Costume and make-up-help put together costumes and help with make-up.
  8. Writers-help write and edit script-help with timing and what scenes can be deleted or added.
  9. Cue card holders-hold up cards with lines on them for anyone who might get stuck-hold up scene or act cards during a transition.
  10. Question and Answer team-These will be the ones who answer and ask questions to the other class at the end of the conference.
  11. Judges-These students watch the performance by both schools and write down any changes that might improve the conference for the next time-we must always learn from our mistakes.
  12. Take Down crew-cleans up after conference.

This list was presented by Kim Pearce, Gatesville Intermediate School, Language Arts 6th grade teacher, at the 123 Jazzing Up Your Curriculum Workshop Summer 2006. Used by permission.


Preparation

This works best with 4 – 6 sites participating; however you can make it work with just two sites as well.

Assign each group an area of the world (i.e. Australia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America, etc.).

(This is the professional development version of MysteryQuest, so instead of being narrowed to a specific area of the world like other MysteryQuests, the teachers have to research from the whole world.)

Each group should select and present a specific beach (not just a city close to a beach).

Preparing Your Group Presentation:

  1. Choose a specific beach to present from your assigned area. Each site will present a beach.
  2. In the presentation, give the required clues in your presentation.
  3. Divide the participants into groups to ensure everyone is involved. Some suggested groups:
    • Researchers [Region clues, Location clues, Place clues], Script Writers, Prop & Visuals/Decorations
  4. Prepare a visual to reveal the answer to your presentation (beach, city, & country).
  5. Make sure all participants have paper to take notes on all the presentations. This way if one team figures out a mystery quickly they can help another team.

Required Clues

If you prefer, you may add additional information to your presentation. Be sure to keep the presentation very concise: (3-5 minutes or less).

Developing Your Clues

When developing your clues try to make sure each one is challenging. The other participants should not be able to determine your beach and country just from hearing one or two clues and not doing any research. For example, if you were presenting a clue for Orlando, Florida you would never want to come out and say you can visit Disney World. Also, you would not want to give a clue that the other classes can Google and find in the first few search result descriptions.

Country & Beach Clues

Region
Answer at least one question from this category.
1. Describe how land and sea areas define the country’s borders.
2. What other landmarks are close to the beach?

Location
Answer both questions from this category.
1. What is the relative location of this beach? (i.e. Describe it’s location compared to another significant location of your choice. Be fairly specific as our time is short for guessing.)
2. Which direction from the country capitol do you travel to reach the beach?

Place
Answer at least four questions from this category.
1. What body of water is closest to the beach?
2. What is the area of the country in which the beach is located?
3. What is the primary language of the country in which the beach is located?
4. What is the population of the country in which the beach is located?
5. Give a clue about a tourist attraction near your beach (other than the beach). Illustrate if possible.
6. What is the population of the nearest city?
7. Describe one or more notable physical land forms in or near this city.

Finally: Check over your clues and make sure the other group can actually figure it out! Not too easy; but not too hard either!


Resources

Note: I am not maintaining these links. They are here for reference and history only.


Other MysteryQuests

You can use any of these ideas and create your own point-to-point Quest using these materials. Use CAPspace to get a collaborative partner.

MysteryQuest – The Format: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

MysteryQuest

A “MysteryQuest” is a specific videoconference collaborative project made popular by Janine Lim at Berrien RESA between 2002 and 2011. Please visit the History section to learn more about how this developed.

In a MysteryQuest videoconference, 2 – 6 classes connect together to share clues about geography, history, or other content; and then research to find out what the other classes presented. Here are some of the different agendas used in MysteryQuests:

Original 2.5 Hour Agenda
(used by LearningSpace and the first middle school world geography sessions by Berrien RESA)

  • 10 min. Introductions and Videoconference Directions (moderated)
  • 50 min. Classroom Presentations (5-7 min. each for 6 presentations)
  • 30 min. The Quest: Locating Sites. Classrooms divide into 5 teams to pin-point the mystery locations presented by the other 5 classrooms. During this time each team will come up with one yes/no question to ask each of the other classrooms.
  • 20 min. Question and Answers: Be prepared and efficient! This section will be tightly moderated.
    Classroom 1 answers all questions.
    Classroom 2 answers all questions.
    Classroom 3 answers all questions.
    Classroom 4 answers all questions.
    Classroom 5 answers all questions.
    Classroom 6 answers all questions.
  • 10 min. Classroom teams ‘reevaluate’ their answers.
  • 10 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 10 min. Correct mystery locations revealed by each classroom.
  • Congratulations and sign-off.

2 Hour Agenda for 4th-5th Grade US Geography

  • 5 min. Introductions and Videoconference Directions (moderated) (NO SCHOOL INTRODUCTIONS as some people are presenting their actual location).
  • 55 min. Classroom Presentations (5-7 min. each for 6 presentations)
  • 30 min. The Quest: Locating Sites (Classrooms divide into 5 teams to pin-point the mystery locations presented by the other 5 classrooms. During this time each team will come up with one yes/no question to ask each of the other classrooms.)
  • 10 min. Question and Answers: Be prepared and efficient! This section will be tightly moderated. (Classroom 1 answers all questions. Classroom 2 answers all questions, etc. )
  • 10 min. Classroom teams ‘reevaluate’ their answers.
  • 5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 5 min. Correct mystery locations revealed by each classroom.
  • Congratulations and sign-off.

1 Hour Agenda for Middle School World Geography with 4 classes max

  • 1 min Intro & Directions (no more school intros; you can add two sentences max to your presentation if you keep the total to 7 minutes or less)
  • 4 groups x 7 min presentations = 30 min. for group presentations
  • 15 minutes for research (can use computers from the start)
  • We’re SKIPPING the Q&A and re-evaluate to increase the pressure, make it harder, and make it shorter.
  • 5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 5 min. Correct mystery locations revealed by each classroom.
  • Note: World geography has more required clues than the HistoryQuests

45 min. HistoryQuest8 with 4 classes max

  • 1 min: Intro & Directions
  • 20 min: 4 classes do 5 min presentations or (25 min for 5 classes)
  • 15 min: Research and solve (students can use computers from the start)
  • 3-5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 3-5 min. Correct history mysteries revealed by each classroom.
  • no Q&A to make it harder!

1.5 hour Agenda for 5th grade HistoryQuest with 4-6 classes

  • 5 min. Introductions and Videoconference Directions (moderated)
  • 30 min. Classroom Presentations (5 min. each for 5-6 presentations)
  • 20 min. The Quest (Classrooms divide into 5 teams to pin-point the mystery clues presented by the other 5 classrooms. During this time each team will come up with one yes/no question to ask each of the other classrooms.)
  • 10 min. Question and Answers: Be prepared and efficient! This section will be tightly moderated. (i.e. Classroom 1 answers all questions; classroom 2 answers all questions; etc.)
  • 5 min. Classroom teams ‘reevaluate’ their answers.
  • 5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 5 min. Correct mystery answers revealed by each classroom.
  • Congratulations, goodbye cheers, and sign-off.

Point to Point MysteryQuest

  • 5 min. Welcome and introductions. Each class shares their location and brief information about their school.
    Visuals: Use document camera or PowerPoint to share a few local pictures of interest.
  • 15 min. Clues presentation. Each class shares a 5-7 minute presentation of clues.
    Visuals: Skit, iMovie illustration, or PowerPoint with digital pictures, posters with large letters.
  • 20-30 min. Silence on the videoconference. Each class works busily solve the mystery or guess the event, person, location.
  • 20 min. Answers and discussion. Each class presents their solution and discusses the answer with the other class. Students can ask each other questions regarding the problem solving process and content. If extra time, students may enjoy asking each other questions about their respective locations and schools.

Facilitating Your Own MysteryQuest

If you would like to facilitate your own MysteryQuest project, please feel free to do so. This document provides some tips on doing so.

Using the Website
You are welcome to use this page to support your own MysteryQuest project. If you feel you need your own website, please give credit to the original project created by Janine Lim and Kelly Gaideski, Berrien RESA. Please link to this page.

Communication with Participating Classrooms
I send a confirmation letter to the teachers participating to confirm their date and CC the tech coordinators. Also, I keep track of the countries being presented so that there are no duplicates. In addition, I email the Curriculum and Planning Packet to the teachers so they can effectively prepare for the project. Don’t forget to edit the contact information in the file! Please leave the credit information in the footer. Reminders & count down information should be emailed to teachers as well. Test calls need to be scheduled with the tech coordinators at each site. In addition, you’ll be answering various questions from teachers as they prepare for the event.

Keeping Track
I create a Word table with the crucial event information: School Name & Letter (A-F), Teacher Name, Teacher Phone, Dial Information/Number, Country they are presenting, Tech Name, Tech Phone, Phone Number in Room, Test Date. As test calls are finished and details completed, I shade the cell so I know it is done.

Facilitating the Event
These notes follow the agenda. For ease of reading, the 9:00 start time will be used. Of course, adapt this to the time frame you are using for your event. And feel free to tweak with these instructions. There isn’t just one right way to do this!
I create a little chart for myself such as the one below to keep track of who I’m calling on when (it can get confusing if you lose track, and then everyone’s confused! :>) I include the school name with the number, as well as the country. I also print the agenda to write notes as well as notes on which schools are each number.
I also jot down Y or N for yes or no on what the answer was. This also helps me gauge how much time the classes need for reconsidering the answers.

1 2 3 4 5 6
1 x
2 Y x
3 Y x
4 N x
5 Y x
6 N x

T-30 min. Have the connection up for everyone to dial in. Hopefully all your sites will have dialed in by 15 min. before the connection. Keep a list of the six sites in front of you. Use the same order for referring to everyone (1-6). Call on each site as they get connected and check audio and video. Make sure everyone can hear and see everyone else.

9:00: Introductions and Videoconference Directions (Janine Lim will moderate)

  • Introduce yourself and welcome everyone to the project. List the places connected. Give a quick overview again of the schedule.
  • Remind everyone to mute when it’s not their turn to talk.
  • Encourage students to speak up, speak slowly, loudly, and clearly.
  • Remind everyone to get out their note taking forms.
  • Encourage students to listen carefully to the presentations.
  • Tell them to relax and enjoy the connection! This is about fun and learning, not about competing with each other!
  • Call on each site in order to do a quick introduction of their school and where they are located.

9:10-10:00: Classroom Presentations (5-7 min. each for 6 presentations)

  • Announce each site before they present. (Now we’ll turn it over to Classroom 1 for their presentation. …. Thank you classroom 1. Classroom 2?) Be sure to refer to the classrooms by number, as this is how the teachers are keeping track of which group is taking notes.
  • If you have the ability, force the video to the presenting class each time so that any extraneous noise doesn’t switch the video so visual clues are missed.
  • If a presentation is hard to understand or hear, stop them and get the problem fixed. It’s no use letting them continue when no one can understand or take notes on their presentation. Don’t be afraid to interrupt! The clues are soooo important!!
  • After a class does their presentation, ask the other classrooms in order (1-6) if they need any repeats of the clues. Encourage teachers to find out if the rest of the class has the information already before asking for something to be repeated. Ask schools not to ask for a repeat unless none of the students have the information. Don’t take more than 3-4 repeats per school, otherwise you’ll run out of time later.
  • After doing repeats, then ask Classroom 2 if they are ready or need a little time to set up. Don’t rush a school if they are setting up. Indicate that it is fine and we’ll wait till you’re ready.

10:00-10:40: The Quest: Locating Sites

Classrooms divide into 5 teams to pin-point the mystery locations presented by the other 5 classrooms.
During this time each team will come up with one yes/no question to ask each of the other classrooms.

  • After each presentation, schools have 40 minutes to research. You may be tempted to shorten this time, but they really do need the full time.
  • I use BigClock on my Palm and set it to count down 40 minutes. I zoom the document camera in close on the clock. Kids love to see that clock and know how much time they have left.
  • Remind schools to have their questions ready when they come back. Remind them of the rules – that the question is a yes/no answer, it shouldn’t ask the name of the country (don’t give it away for the other schools), and that they only get one question per classroom. Ask teachers to have students up at the mic ready to ask the questions, as that section will move quickly.
  • You could allow schools to disconnect during this time if you want (personally I prefer that they don’t).

10:40-11:00 Question and Answers: Be prepared and efficient! This section will be tightly moderated.

Classroom 1 answers all questions.
Classroom 2 answers all questions.
Classroom 3 answers all questions.
Classroom 4 answers all questions.
Classroom 5 answers all questions.
Classroom 6 answers all questions.

  • This section should be tightly moderated. If possible force the video to the classroom answering the questions.
  • Remind schools again of the rules. They shouldn’t ask “is your country the USA?” One question per classroom, and it should be a yes/no question.
  • Encourage teachers to have students up at the mic ready to ask and answer the questions.
  • You may facilitate as follows:
    • Classrooom 1, are you ready to answer questions?
    • Classroom 2, your question for Classroom 1? … Thank you.
    • Classroom 3, your question for Classroom 1? … Alright, Classroom 5?
    • Classroom 4, your question for CLassroom 1? … Thanks. Classroom 6?
    • Classroom 2 are you ready to answer questions?
    • Classroom 1, what is your question for Classroom 2? … Ok. Classroom 3? etc.
  • I find that I have to keep a finger on who is answering as I go down the list of the classes to keep them straight!

11:00-11:10: Classroom teams ‘reevaluate’ their answers.

  • After the Q&A, give classes the full 10 minutes to re evaluate their answers. Use the BigClock again if possible.
  • Encourage teams who are sure of the answer to help the other teams.

11:10-11:20: Each classroom presents their ‘answers’ to the clues.

  • When everyone comes back after 10 minutes, then have each class present their answers. Encourage teachers to have the students saying the answer come right up to the mic and be ready.
  • It could go like this:
    • Classroom 1, your answer for Classroom 2? Your answer for Classroom 3? Your answer for Classroom 4? …
    • Alright, classroom 2. What are your answers? for Classroom 1? ….
  • Have them say it again if it isn’t clear or they said it too fast to understand.
  • Remind kids that they won’t find out right now if they are right or not. They should frame their answer as: “Our guess for classroom 1 is that the country is * and the city is *.” (Sometimes they say, is it xxx? and then wait for a reply.)

11:20-11:30: Correct mystery locations revealed by each classroom.

  • Then have each classroom present the correct answer. Again go in order (1-6).

11:30: Congratulations and sign-off.

  • At the end, congratulate everyone for a job well done, creative presentations, etc.
  • Remind teachers to fill out the evaluation (if you are doing one).
  • Encourage kids to clap for each other, and to wave goodbye.

History

Learning Space
This project is modeled after the Where in the USA project by Learning Space (1996-2004). LearningSpace ran two projects like this: Where in Washington and Where in the USA?

Berrien RESA
In 2002, Berrien RESA created the MysteryQuest World: middle school world geography version and offered it widely across the U.S. and internationally.

In 2005, when LearningSpace was no longer running Where in the USA?; Berrien RESA started running MysteryQuest USA which was also offered widely across the U.S.

In 2008, Berrien RESA ran LiteratureQuest, designed by Kim Fritz, a teacher who participated in the 123 VC: Jazzing Up Your Curriculum with Videoconferencing workshop.

In 2009, inspired by the Texas History Mystery and Wisconsin History Mystery based on MysteryQuest; Berrien RESA added HistoryQuest5: Beginnings to 1800 and HistoryQuest8: Civil War or Revolutionary War.

In May 2011, Berrien RESA bequeathed these popular projects to Whirlidurb to run in the future, as Roxanne Glaser is an incredible facilitator and has contributed to the quality of materials and facilitation materials for MysteryQuest since 2007.

TWICE
In 2007, TWICE started running an annual Where in MI?


MysteryQuest Lesson Ideas

These are a sampling of lesson ideas written by teachers in various classes… all of them are based on the MysteryQuest format:

A sampling of projects posted in CAPspace based on the MysteryQuest format:

Math Fridays Videoconference: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

Description: Math Fridays are intended to give students a chance to practice and develop their problem solving skills and to practice sharing and discussing problem solving strategies. Classes will create an interactive activity for their partner class to engage in.

VC Agenda:

  • 5 min. Introductions (be sure to prepare a map for each other)
  • 2-3 min. Both classes present to each other a problem (visually and orally).
  • 3-5 min. Sites mute. One site puts up a timer. Students work in small groups to solve the other class’ problem. Teacher facilitate but don’t help!
  • 3-5 min. Classes present solutions and discuss problem solving strategies.
  • 3-5 min. Classes share a math joke.
  • Repeat until you run out of time.
  • If desired, allow students 5 min or so to ask each other questions.

Examples

Problem Solving Strategies

  • Find a pattern
  • Make a table
  • Work backwards
  • Guess and check
  • Draw a picture
  • Make a list
  • Write a number sentence
  • Use logical reasoning

How To

Make sure you have a visual to explain the math problem(s) to the other class. These tips will assist you.

Creating Posters for Videoconferencing
This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.

PowerPoint Tips

  • Use a large font.
  • Don’t put too much text on the page.
  • Don’t use red for background or text.
  • Have a good contrast between text and background.
  • Blue backgrounds with white or yellow text work best.

Preparation

Note: I am not maintaining these links. They are here for reference and history only.

Interaction Choices

Preparation Steps

  1. Talk to your partner teacher via phone or email and negotiate the details.
  2. Review math problem solving skills with the students ahead of time.
  3. Practice communication the method of solving the math problem (sharing strategies and discussing solutions).
  4. Organize students in small work groups of 3-5 students to solve the problems together. Make sure each group has pencils and paper and something hard to write on if you are moving to another room to videoconference.
  5. Designate a “game show host” type personality student at each site to welcome classes, congratulate each other, and keep score.
  6. Gather some math jokes to share with your partner class.
  7. Plan for a fun way to congratulate the other class when they solve a problem or share a good problem solving strategy (cheers, waving visuals etc.)

Resources

The following websites may assist your preparation. If you have other sites to add, click Join above so you can have access to edit this page.

Online Stopwatch
One class could use this (or another stopwatch on the document camera) while classes are problem solving:


Standards

Michigan Math Standards:

  • Standard V.2 Algebraic and Analytic Thinking. Students analyze problems to determine an appropriate process
    for solution.
  • Plus the standards for the skill set you’ve chosen.

VC Evaluation

Evaluation


Facilitator Resources

Email Confirmation Template

To: Teachers & techs on both sides, cc
Subject: Math Fridays: [topic] Confirmation: [date]

Greetings and welcome to our Math Fridays Videoconference Project. The goal of this project is to give students a chance to practice their math problem solving skills.

Dates & Times
[date & time in both time zones]

Technical Information:
[who] will dial.
[IP address]
If there are problems, please call [phone].

Introductions
The lead teacher for this project is [local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].
Topic & Format: [add it here]

The other participating school is:
[local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].
Topic & Format: [add it here]

Preparation
Preparation materials and resources are online:

Format
For the actual connection, I recommend this format as a rough guideline:
5 min. Introductions (be sure to prepare a map for each other)
15-20 min. Challenge each other with math problems.
10 min. Ask each other questions if desired.

Action Items
Here’s what needs to happen next.
Teachers: Please email each other to discuss further.

  • Techs: Please confirm the connection details on the schedule and then set up a test call.

Let me know if you have any questions along the way. We really appreciate you participating in this project with us!

-facilitator name

LiteratureQuest Videoconference: Wikispaces Archive

Boy Searching Through Books at Library 2003

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

A High School Literature Project

Welcome to the LiteratureQuest video conference project. This project is designed for high school students studying literature. Through video conference technology students are able to meet other students while learning about literature.

Prior to the video conference each classroom will create a three presentations with clues about their three pieces of literature. The other classrooms, using print resources, will try to discover the mystery literature presented by each participating classrooms.

New Short Agenda

  • 1 min: Intro & Directions by Janine
  • 20 min: 4 classes do 5 min presentations
  • 15 min: Research and solve (students can use computers from the start)
  • 5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 5 min. Correct history mysteries revealed by each classroom.

Credit: This project is modeled after the Where in the USA project by Learning Space (1996-2004).

Process:

  • A) Pick a work of literature/poetry
  • B) Prepare clues for other classes
  • C) Practice your presentation
  • D) Present your clues by VC; listen to one other school’s presentation
  • E) Research using your classroom textbook to figure out the mysterious literature/poetry (Please NO INTERNET USAGE)
  • F) Come back together; ask one more “yes/no” question. After 5 minutes. Each school gives their answer.

Standards

Language Arts
Content Standard 3: All students will focus on meaning and communication as they listen, speak, view, read, and write in personal, social, occupational, and civic contexts.
1. Integrate listening, viewing, speaking, reading, and writing skills for multiple purposes and in varied contexts. An example is using all the language arts to prepare and present a unit project on career exploration.
3. Read and write fluently, speak confidently, listen and interact appropriately, view critically, and represent creatively. Examples include reporting formally to an audience, debating issues, and interviewing members of the public.
Content Standard 6: All students will learn to communicate information accurately and effectively and demonstrate their expressive abilities by creating oral, written, and visual texts that enlighten and engage an audience.
2. Demonstrate their ability to use different voices in oral and written communication to persuade, inform, entertain, and inspire their audiences.
4. Document and enhance a developing voice through multiple media. Examples include reflections for their portfolios, audio and video tapes, and submissions for publications.
Content Standard 10: All students will apply knowledge, ideas, and issues drawn from texts to their lives and the lives of others.
2. Perform the daily functions of a literate individual. Examples include acquiring information from multiple sources and then evaluating, organizing, and communicating it in various contexts.
Content Standard 11: All students will define and investigate important issues and problems using a variety of resources, including technology, to explore and create texts.
2. Explain and use resources that are most appropriate and readily available for investigating a particular question or topic. Examples include knowledgeable people, field trips, tables of contents, indexes, glossaries, icons/headings, hypertext, storage addresses, CDROM/ laser disks, electronic mail, and library catalogue databases.
3. Organize, analyze, and synthesize information to draw conclusions and implications based on their investigation of an issue or problem.
Technology
Content Standard 2: All students will use technologies to input, retrieve, organize, manipulate, evaluate, and communicate information.
1. Demonstrate skill using technologies to prepare, evaluate and synthesize information collected and stored (voice, data, video, graphics, etc).
3. Retrieve, communicate and input information using a technological system (voice, data, video, graphics, etc).
4. Evaluate information received through technologies.
Content Standard 3: All students will apply appropriate technologies to critical thinking, creative expression, and decision making skills.
2. Use technologies as tools for creative expression and communication of ideas (voice, data, video, graphics, etc).
4. Use technologies to organize thoughts in a logical process (voice, data, video, graphics, etc).