Eco-Conversations Videoconference: Wikispaces Archive

Girl’s hands holding globe — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!


Project Description: Middle and high school students connect to discuss current environmental issues and their impact locally. Students present their research and the local perspectives and then discuss the issues with the partner class. See the Resources section for potential topics.

Teacher Quote: My students absolutely LOVED IT. You know they really liked it when they are telling other teachers and students about it!!! Talking to another country is by far the best VC out there!! I would talk to another country any time it was available! -Karen Ennesser, Dowagiac Middle School

Blog Report: Carbon Emissions

VC Agenda:

  • Introductions
  • Both class present
  • Question & answer time / discuss the implications / differences

How To Create Posters for Videoconferencing

This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.

PowerPoint Tips

  • Use a large font.
  • Don’t put too much text on the page.
  • Don’t use red for background or text.
  • Have a good contrast between text and background.
  • Blue backgrounds with white or yellow text work best.


Preparation Steps
  1. Talk to your partner teacher via phone or email and negotiate the details.
  2. Have students list prior knowledge on the topic.
  3. Explore the topic by using the websites and resources listed for that topic and/or supplementing with your own activities & resources.
  4. Students prepare a presentation to explain the issue from their perspective(s) and how the issue affects their community. This presentation is then shared with the partner class. Divide the students into groups and involve as many students as possible (see page 36 in this booklet). Use these Tips for Posters to help you prepare any visuals. Possible groups include:
    • Background science knowledge
    • Analysis of scientific method’s use
    • Environmental perspectives
    • Economic perspectives
    • Local perspectives
    • Recommended actions / solutions
  5. Discuss and process together in the videoconference what you learned. What conclusions did you reach together? Which issues are still unresolved?
  6. After the videoconference, compare conclusions to listed prior knowledge.
  7. You may also wish to have the students prepare questions for each other.


Note: I am not maintaining this list of resources. It is here for reference and archive only.

Teachers should have agreed on a topic.
Use the resources and activities listed to explore the issues and prepare a presentation.
If you want to contribute other resources or topics, click “join” above to request access to this web site so you can edit it too.
For a plethora of green resources, visit Edutopia’s Go Green Database.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Climate Change

Warming Oceans

Fresh Water

Water Bottles

Invasive Species


This project used this Google Spreadsheet evaluation form for feedback.

Facilitator Confirmation Letter

Email Confirmation Template

To: Teachers & techs on both sides, cc [coordinator]
Subject: Eco-Conversations [topic] Confirmation: [date]

Greetings and welcome to our Eco-Conversations Videoconference Project. The goal of this project is to present and hear different perspectives on environmental issues.

Dates & Times
[date & time in both time zones]

Technical Information:
[who] will dial.
[IP address]
If there are problems, please call [phone].

The lead teacher for this project is [local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].

The other participating school is:
[local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].

Preparation materials and resources are online:

For the actual connection, I recommend this format as a rough guideline:
5 min. Introductions (be sure to prepare a map for each other)
15 min. One class presents
15 min. The other class presents.
10 min. Ask each other questions.

Action Items
Here’s what needs to happen next.

  • Teachers: Please email each other to discuss further.
  • Techs: We’re trying to do test calls for this event on November 23. Please email with the best time to test.

Let me know if you have any questions along the way. We really appreciate you participating in this project with us!


Wikispaces to Blog Conversion Feedback

Thoughts on the conversion of wikispaces videoconference projects to this blog format? This conversion is a summer project for me, and feedback is welcome.

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