This afternoon I had a chat with one of my videoconference coordinators, Linda Johnson, coordinator for Mars Elementary, Berrien Springs. Mars is a K-2 building with 25 teachers. Last year was their first year with videoconferencing, and they did 44 videoconferences. This year they already have 26 programs scheduled.
A few weeks ago I sent a collaboration request from a school in Ontario to Linda. The Ontario school originally wanted to do one exchange, but now they have 10 exchanges in the process of scheduling. Here’s the interesting part: instead of the two videoconference coordinators hashing it out, Linda gave her teachers their Ontario partner’s email address. The teachers are negotiating their times & submitting several potential times to the coordinator to finalize the schedule after checking the district’s VC calendar.
As we all know, scheduling is the bane of videoconferencing. When we first started videoconferencing, I did the scheduling for all of our schools. This year is the first year I’ve started training my videoconference coordinators to do their own scheduling. And now Linda is sharing some of that scheduling labor with her teachers. It seems evident that the way to sustain growth is to keep training the next level down to create more independence in scheduling & planning collaborations.
Do you know any other tips for several collaborative projects between the same two schools?