We began our journey setting up our equipment and email signatures. Next we learned how to find content and some tips about preparing for a videoconference connection. This week we will move into what to do DURING a connection to maximize learning and the quality of the connection.
Videoconferencing is interactive. You can see and hear all parties that are involved. Remember your first videoconference? How do you know if anyone can hear or see you?
As you facilitate for your teachers and students remember the following:
- Assume that the other sites can see and hear you.
- If you cannot see or hear something, be sure to let the other sites know.
- Check to make sure other sites can see documents or objects that you are showing.
- Remind students and teachers to speak slowly and then mute the microphone after they finish speaking.
The simplest form of interactions is for one class to make a presentation then the other class makes a presentation and then you have a Q and A. This is a great way to begin. After a couple of simple connections, then teachers can expand their types of interactions.
The key to successful interactions is to think in terms of what each site will be doing. Challenges or quests work well with students. It is also an effective use of classroom videoconferencing systems.
Examples of Quality Interactions
Math Challenges–A class could develop two or three math problems related to a pre-defined theme for the other classes to solve. Classes will present the math problem and then let the other classes solve it. Possible Topics: Holiday Math, Transportation Math, 100th Day of School, Population Math (Math problem-solving). Or just take the objectives that your students are struggling with on the state-mandated tests and partner with another class to go head-to-head in a challenge.
NOTE: Maybe, SuperMathGirl will have additional ideas for us.
Theme-related Mad-libs–Presenting class has the mad-lib. The class will call on other classes for the parts of speech to complete the mad-lib. Then the presenting class will read the completed mad-lib. If there are three classes participating, the class leading the Mad-lib will give each of the other classes a list of words that they need. (Reviews parts of speech!)
Where is ______? (Think MysteryQuest, but smaller.) Presenting class sets the scene for whatever is missing. Presenting class will give clues to his location and the other classes can guess. (US Geography)
Twenty Questions–Presenting class has some person, place, or thing related to the conetnt being reviewed. The other classes try to guess it within 20 “yes/no” questions. (Higher order thinking skills)
Customs and Traditions Exchange–A class can research customs and traditions in their county, state, province, or country and present clues about them to the other class. The other classes would reciprocate. Then both classes determine similarities and differences. (Social studies and geography)
Here are some more ideas for student interactions
Read Around the Planet ideas
Brain-based Learning blog post from Elevate 2008
Janine Lim’s Project Booklet with templates for all content areas
- Add any other interaction idea that you have seen work well in a videoconference environment.
- Add a pet peeve for interactions during the videoconference.