It’s the third day of Read Around the Planet, and so I thought I’d write a bit about how it’s going in our little corner of Michigan. I have 72 RAP connections, but it doesn’t beat Amy Yager’s 125! Aren’t we all crazy!?
This year most of my schools are doing their own test calls and connections. It’s great to see them become more independent, but I’m having RAP withdrawal. I’m not wearing my outfit this year because I am making so few of the connections and the event runs over 8 days!
On Monday, one of our kindergarten classes was connecting to Alberta. This one was on my bridge, and I watched it for the first few minutes and got a couple of snapshots.
They had a nice video with pictures and clips from their community. This one was of ice fishing.
The students did a skit from the wolves perspective on the Three Little Pigs story. Our class had read the book their skit was based on, so that tied in nicely. Notice their sign! We always learn best practices from other classes.
However, after a few minutes, another one of my schools had trouble with their Alberta connection and I ended up spending the next 45 minutes trying to figure it out. Ultimately we decided to reschedule and connect through the Alberta Ed MCU. Thankfully with these connections, usually there’s another way to try it.
I have multipoint Polycom VSX 7000 in my office set up as our “emergency multipoint”. If my schools tested fine with a connection and then can’t make it on the day of the event, they both dial in (it’s set to auto answer), and meet there. This method seems to be working great so far. I’ve had two RAP connections happen that way already.
I’m also spending more time helping with preparation this year. My RUS Grant buildings all have new document cameras, and many of them are using it for the first time with their RAP connections. So I’m reminding them how to use it, listening while they practice, helping them set presets to jump easily from students to document camera and back again. Yesterday a first grade teacher asked me to give the students a little lecture on being quiet in a videoconference.
So, how are your Read Around the Planet connections going?