Reading with New York

Note: This post was written for the MACUL conference blog 2008 with attendees in mind. However I’m reposting it here because it seems it would be useful for readers here too.

Session: Collaborations Around the Planet: Social Networking for Educational Videoconferencing

In my session today, we started with two connections to New York State. Unfortunately, since I was presenting, I couldn’t grab any pictures. But those kids were so cute! The first class presented the animal riddles. Each first grader had a 3-4 sentence riddle about an animal. The teachers guessed the animals. The teachers loved it and it was a great model of how to get the audience involved in your presentation.

In the second connection, the students presented a skit based on the book Andrew’s Loose Tooth. Most of the students took turns narrating, and other students acted out the story. After both presentations, the teachers and students asked each other questions. “How many snow days have you had?” “What do you like about videoconferencing?” “Where are you?” etc.

These connections were illustrations of the project Read Around the Planet. We were also able to compare a 384K videoconference (standard definition) with an HD (high definition) 2M connection from Polycom HDX to HDX. We saw an obvious difference in the clarity. We still got some packet loss and pixelation, but we’re pretty sure the conference didn’t give us QoS on our connection so it was probably on this end.

Afterwards, we talked about how to get videoconferencing going, participating in Michigan Week Connections, how to use the Collaborations Around the Planet website, and shared stories of other videoconferences we’ve done.

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