Last year, a teacher from one of my poorer and more urban districts took the Planning Interactive Curriculum Connections class and got really excited about videoconferencing! They weren’t included in our recent RUS grant due to their high population, and so last spring she took the kids over to the high school to access videoconferencing several times. One time they walked through the snow, and each time they took a bus over they were struggling to find funding to get to the high school.
One of the programs was the ASK program with the book Ice Bear and Little Fox, and the students talked to Rebecca at the Buffalo Zoo. The kids loved it and afterwards the teachers found out two of the students had never been to the zoo!
Then, another teacher from this same school took the Jazz class this summer. With such enthusiasm and dedication from the school, what could I do but figure out how to get a unit to them!
Thankfully, due to closing a building in another district, I was able to reclaim an old Polycom Viewstation purchased by grant funds that we applied for. (Those things are like the energizer bunny – they just keep going!!)
Last Friday, my supervisor and I went out to deliver the Viewstation and discuss the details. We did a contract similar to the RUS grant contracts. They laughed when I said you need to do at least 5 VCs a year. I KNOW they won’t have a problem at all meeting that goal! And they have more than half of the required professional development done already.
So that was pretty exciting. It was fun to see the joy in their eyes over the opportunities they can now bring to their students!