Lit Review: Lights, Camera, Action: Videoconferencing in Kindergarten

Yost, N. (2001). Lights, Camera, Action: Videoconferencing in Kindergarten. Paper presented at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference.

Author: Nancy Yost
Title of paper:
Lights, Camera, Action: Videoconferencing in Kindergarten.
Publication year: 2001
Database source: ERIC (at the end of the PDF)
Name of journal: n/a
My Codes: VCProjects

Main Point: Daily desktop videoconferencing between two kindergarten classes resulted in greater weather understanding for students, as well as greater understanding on time, distance, and understanding other children.

Method: A description of a project, not a research study.

Desktop videoconferencing was used to connect two kindergarten classes, one in Pennsylvania, and one in Illinois. The classes reported local weather to each other daily for a six week period. They would share the weather and then visit for a while. Sometimes they asked questions of the other class for their daily graph. Each daily VC was 10-20 minutes long, in a three hour half day kindergarten.

Other Internet activities were: the “meteorologist” classroom job included checking out a weather cam of personal choice, visiting a local TV station to learn about weather reporting, and practiced weather reporting within the classroom. I linked the site they used, which still exists, but most of the links are broken.

The author felt that the learning that came from the questions and understanding the other children was worth the time committed to the daily videoconference. The project focusing on weather grew to be an interdisciplinary project in several curriculum areas.

It’s interesting that the last two studies I’ve read are from university laboratory schools. I wonder if there is a difference between students in university lab schools and “regular kids”.

The planning started with a common long term curriculum within the classroom: weather reporting. It’s important to start with existing curriculum.

Author/Audience: The author was from a university, and was presenting this paper to an educational technology audience. The lessons were used as a demonstration for preservice teachers as well.

Relevance: This is K-12 project that fits my definition of curriculum videoconferencing. Right on target.

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