Polycom Remote Practice Causes Laughing

Last week I conducted the first two days of training for my new building distance learning contacts as part of our USDA RUS DLT grant.

I scheduled four days of all day trainings over the fall, and each of the 35 buildings with new Polycoms has to send at least one person to the training. Many of my buildings are sending two people. Since many of the buildings are small and rural (the population targeted by the USDA RUS grant), we have a wide variety of positions that were assigned support of the new system. In some buildings there is a media specialist or library aide, in others, a secretary who has a knack for technology, in others, one or two teachers are the new distance learning contacts.

The agenda for the day was:

My favorite part was the Polycom practice. I gave them an overview and an “assignment” sheet with different kinds of calls to make (IP, ISDN, multipoint) and things to practice (muting, moving the camera, setting presets, etc.). Then I divided them into groups and sent them off to our VC rooms around the ISD to practice. And I left them alone! But I could hear lots of giggling and laughing going on as they played with the remote. In about 30 minutes they came back to the main room excited and ready to go. They said the remote was easy to use and they felt very comfortable with it.

This was the first time I’d used this strategy and I was very pleased with the results. One of the participants said in the evaluation,

This was a great conference!!!! I’ve learned so much and I can’t wait to “play” with the equipment. I’m so looking forward to the first videoconference. I know it’ll be worth it.

So this is another reason demand is high! Many new building contacts who were concerned about their new role of supporting VC caught the big picture of possibilities, are comfortable with the tech, know they can call me if they are stuck, and are ready with tools & resources to support VC in their building. Yeah!

0 replies on “Polycom Remote Practice Causes Laughing”

  1. Teresa Hudson says:

    Hello, I am interested in attending a conference on how to teach on the polycom system.
    Thank you for your help.
    Teresa

  2. Janine Lim says:

    Teresa, I don’t know of a conference specifically on that, but there are a lot of resources online for teaching via videoconferencing. You can find some here:
    http://www.twice.cc/shared.html

    There are a couple conferences coming up you should look into:
    http://www.cilcsymposium.org/
    http://www.vcalberta.ca/elevate2008/

    Hope this helps…

    Janine

  3. I think that introducing video conferencing technologies into the classroom is a fantastic idea ! With technology getting more pervasive and video conferencing equipments are getting cheaper everyday, no doubt when these students go out to the working world, they will be exposed to video conferencing equipments.

    Getting them familiar and excited about the technology by engaging them in ways like that is a great idea !

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