Yesterday afternoon I was chatting with Daniel Maas, RAP Verification Partner for Alberta, about the upcoming Read Around the Planet 2008. I’ve been doing training for our RAP Verification Partners the last couple days. As we talked about the benefits to kids, Danny mentioned the ways that Read Around the Planet plants seeds for other videoconferences.
- It’s professional development. Teachers (and sometimes whole schools and districts) who see videoconferencing as a tool for full length classes and meetings suddenly realize the potential for classroom-to-classroom VC projects. After they have one great experience, they begin to brainstorm other curriculum ways to use videoconferencing for collaborative projects.
- It spawns additional projects. We always hear stories of teachers who create continuing projects with the RAP partners. Teachers also design new curriculum projects based on what they learned in Read Around the Planet. There are many copy cat RAP projects as well. The model is easily replicated.
- It’s easy. Danny shared how RAP can be easily adapted to whatever the students are covering in their curriculum during the event. Having students present their learning fits well into most curriculum areas.
After sharing these ideas, Danny quipped, “RAP is like the gateway drug to videoconferencing.” I thought that was funny enough to share with you! It’s an apt metaphor, isn’t it? Do you agree? Has your participation in Read Around the Planet spawned other projects and use of videoconferencing? Leave a comment & share!