On the plane home from NECC, I read the latest Wainhouse Research study, Taking the Wraps off Videoconferencing in the U.S. Classroom: A State-by-State Analysis. (The paper is on the Tandberg site right now because they sponsored it, but it will be on the Wainhouse site soon.)
I was most interested in the section titled, The Coming Third Wave for Videoconferencing in the Classroom.
Wave 3 will consist of increased student-to-student collaborative projects and even student creation and delivery of content. Connecting groups of students to participate in real-world, real-time learning engagements is a very powerful use of this technology and educators are just beginning to explore this application.
And we in Michigan having been leading this application of videoconferencing for almost 10 years!
- Michigan Collaborative, now Michigan Week Exchange Projects, started in the 1997-1998 school year! This project, consisting of matching 4th grade classrooms to present to each other about their community (4th grade studies Michigan), has been a consistent success throughout the years. The model of ISDs (educational service agencies) gathering together to pool resources to provide such learning experiences served as an early precursor to TWICE, Michigan’s K12 videoconferencing organization. The model of matching classrooms for a 45 minute exchange (you present 15 min.; we present 15 min.; and 15 min. of Q&A) has proved to be a model for many other similar projects designed by teachers and curriculum people.
- Michigan Collaborative was the model for Read Across America, started in March 2002 with 200 classrooms, expanded to 1042 classrooms in 2006, and growing to Read Around the Planet for 2007.
- Then there are the projects like MysteryQuest: World Geography, MysteryQuest USA, RegionQuest, LAPS, and other classroom to classroom events that model the value of classroom to classroom or Kid2Kid videoconferences. These projects are being replicated in other states as well (see Wisconsin History Mystery).
So, if you haven’t already, catch the third wave of collaborative projects!
If you need some help along the way, try one of these resources:
- TWICE Projects Page – Lots of sample projects as well as projects you can join.
- Project Template Workshop Booklet by Berrien and Macomb ISDs
- Collaborative VCs Wiki – Resources, templates, workshop handouts & more
Planning Interactive Curriculum Connections. (Intro to VC, field trips & projects)
Next session, September 18 – October 13, 2006
Also offered January 22 – February 16, 2007; and April 23 – May 18, 2007.
- Kid2Kid Videoconference Connections. (Learning community for developing and implementing projects)
Next session: October 2, 2006 through May 11, 2007