Here’s a great article from Techlearning that I stumbled across recently: Three Steps to Eliminating Teacher Tech Phobia. While the article is focused generally on technology and mostly on Internet resources, the principles and concepts can be applied to videoconferencing as well.
First, the article makes some great points about the busyness of teachers and their need to see a direct curriculum application to any technology we’re encouraging them to use. We must always remember that curriculum drives teachers’ perception of resources. They won’t use VC just for the fun of it! And they shouldn’t either!
There are three tips given which we can apply to helping teachers use videoconferencing appropriately in their curriculum:
- Database. The database idea is an interesting one, and you should read the whole description in the article. Now for videoconferencing there are several tools for finding VCs that apply to your curriculum, but they still aren’t “next to the teacher” as described in the article. So we still need media specialists and building coordinators to see what’s available and suggest options to teachers. This filtering of resources and opportunities is a nice fit for a media specialist’s work. Some of my coordinators forward emails to specific teachers; others print descriptions of programs and put it in the teacher’s inbox.
- Survey. This is an interesting idea too. Ask the teachers what media they need. Or in VC’s case, ask them what curriculum topics they are focusing on. This information helps you make connections between the teachers’ curriculum topics and the opportunities available.
- Weekly Email. Well, weekly might be a bit too often for VC. But emails of opportunities are a great way for teachers to find out about the options. There are still many teachers in my county who only know about the VC opportunities that I email out. They don’t have time or the energy to check out my website and do their own searches.
What other tips can you think of after reading the article?