Guest blogged by Roxanne Glaser
In any survey that we conduct, one of the main roadblocks to implementing videoconferencing in the curriculum is the time crunch felt by building coordinators. Most coordinators are classroom teachers, campus instructional technologists, media specialists, or even the district technology director.
1. Create a binder to keep organized. Divide it by months. Print out copies of the confirmation emails that you receive. Don’t print out an email until you have an agreement on the project. Highlight phone numbers, dates, and times.
Here is my binder that I used to manage my 56 Read Around the Planet connections in 2007.
2. Conduct all your test calls on a certain day of the week / time that’s good for you. Always ask first for the test call to increase the chance of it fitting into your schedule.
3. Give two choices when communicating with content provider or partner. “We can connect with you on April 15 or April 18 between 9:00-11:00 Central time.” Instead of saying, “What time is good for you?”
4. Check out the time zone for the other site. Use this handy online planner to see the times for the date you are planning a connection. Remember about daylight savings time! http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html
5. Add time zones for all participating sites in written communications.
6. Use manila folders to manage data that doesn’t change much and you need to access quickly. (This is for information that only you need!)
I make a manila folder for projects that have 20 or fewer classes. This is the one I use to help manage Bluebonnet Conference.
7. Pick up the phone! If it is going to take a long paragraph to explain something in an email, call the other person. Janine wrote about the efficiency of the phone during Read Around the Planet connections. (Make sure your phone number is included on all your emails.)
Bonus Tip for Advanced Collaborators:
Use Google Docs or Zoho or a wiki to manage data that you AND your partners need to access.
Challenge for today:
- Make either a notebook or a manila folder to start your organization.
- Find the last email that you sent related to a videoconference.
- Check your email for the following: time zones, dates, and your phone number. If you received that email, would you know what the next steps are? Would you have any questions about it?
- Add an organization or time management tip that makes your life easier in the comments section.