Last May (2008), I asked twenty of my teachers who used VC most often to complete a little survey. This is the beginning of sharing the results. Each teacher had used videoconferencing at least 6 times in the school year, and the teacher using it the most had done 12 videoconferences in the 2007-2008 school year. All of these were “curriculum videoconferencing” or using VC to support curriculum instruction.
In this post, I’ll share the answers to one of the questions. I decided to use Wordle to represent the data visually. Interestingly, it’s quantitative data (counting the number of times the word is using) represented in a more qualitative way.
Please identify three to five positive things about using videoconferencing in your classroom.
Isn’t it interesting that the word students is so huge?! Learning, experiences, and opportunity jump out at me. It’s all about the students, isn’t it! Click the graphic to see the words much larger. Think about each of those other descriptive words.
And, I selected one full answer to share with you. This answer is by Peggy Clore, 6th and 7th grade language arts teacher at the Coloma Middle School, Coloma, Michigan (one of our RUS grant schools). She took the Jazz workshop a couple years ago and has been hooked on VC since. One of her more memorable VCs was the Around the World project in April 2008. She has also participated in the ASK interview with Jim Stovall and Read Around the Planet.
1) Students have an authentic audience, causing them to take greater care with their work.
2) Students learn to create valid questions through the ASK kit.
3) Students reflect upon what they learn and sometimes change their thinking or make connections to what they know.
4) Some of our challenging students’ behavior is so much better because they’re interested in what we’re doing.
5) When we connect to another part of the country or a foreign country, we open our students’ world to ideas they may not learn through a text book. Most of our students do not have opportunity to travel or see areas outside of our rural community and county.
So, how would you answer this question? Please comment – either with your own list of positive things about using VC in the classroom, or with your own interpretation of the data represented above.