Hovering Makes Videconferencing Look Hard

Do you know any techs who insist on being “onsite” for every videoconference?

I’m coming to the conclusion that hovering makes it look hard. If the tech has to come out for every videoconference, how can the teacher or media aide feel that they can do it themselves?

The fact is, teachers can use the VC remote on their own!

A teacher in Jazz Workshop uses the videoconference remote.

In the Jazz Workshop, on Monday afternoon, we send participants off to small groups to practice dialing, moving the camera, setting presets, and adjusting the volume. On their own! And they do fine!!

Here is a comment from a teacher participating in the July Jazz 2010 workshop. Emphasis is mine.

There are a plethora of resources to enhance learning with students with videoconferencing.  Why haven’t I used these resources before?  Fear of technology is the response. However, after this workshop, my perception has been changed.  It is easy to use the equipment and find a videoconference appropriate for your classroom.

I came into this class very apprehensive about videoconferencing.  I wasn’t sure I could run the equipment and felt it was going to be over my head. However, I feel I have grown so much as a VC newbie!  I feel comfortable looking for programs, filling out registration forms, and confident in my ability to be a leader in our building.  I am really excited about sharing this information with our school through a staff meeting or allowing teachers to come in and observe during a videoconference.

How do we help teachers move past their fear?

  • Give them the remote!
  • Let them play with it!!
  • Give them short, easy cheatsheets and let them practice in a non-threatening environment (i.e. first when they aren’t in front of kids!)
  • Help them see how easy it us!

What do you think? Do you agree? How do you reduce the fear for your teachers?

4 replies on “Hovering Makes Videconferencing Look Hard”

  1. I totally agree and share this sentiment with my cart managers. I’m going to print this out to share with them at my “back to school” meeting. Maybe it will sink in coming from someone other than myself. 🙂

    • Lori – are your cart managers “techies”? Mine tend to be teachers or media aides – so I don’t mind at all if they stay during a VC if they can. But it’s the district or ISD/RESA tech contact having to be onsite that gives the idea of it being hard. Teachers get the message that if the technology guru has to be there, certainly I can’t do it on my own. When in reality, they can!

  2. “Give them the remote!” So simple yet such great advice! Fear and pride are the only barriers standing between a user and a video conferencing system. They just need someone to give them 5 minutes, judgement-free, to realize that VC is not as intimidating as it first appears!

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