Reflections on Read Across America

Many of you reading this blog know that I’ve been coordinating the TWICE Read Across America VC Celebration this year. It’s been busy and crazy!

But now, all but three of the 1042 RAA teacher registrations have been emailed their match information, so now it’s back to doing my work and scheduling test calls for 38 of my own RAA connections!

I thought some of you reading my blog might be interested in some statistics about the event this year. It’s definitely telling on the trends in K12 videoconferencing. Here are snippets of the report I sent to the TWICE board.

Total Numbers
We had 842 teacher registrations.
We have 24 building registrations, representing 201 teachers.
That equals 1043 total teachers participating this year. (last year – 650; first year of RAA – 200)

IP & ISDN is interesting:
Of the 842 teacher registrations:
715 of them can do IP
268 of them can do ISDN
How actual matches will be able to connect:
IP 80%
ISDN 10%
Both 7%
Begged a bridge: 3%
(Thanks to Teri Dougherty, COOR ISD, MI; Kathy Mohr, NOECA, OH; Carol Willis, TETN, TX)

The grade level breakdown is interesting:
Teacher Match Building Match
High School: 36 or 4% 2
Middle School: 135 or 6% 2
Elementary 670 or 80% 20

The times breakdown is interesting too. These are all the times converted to EST.
8:30-9:30 37
9:00-10:00 73
9:30-10:30 76
10:00-11:00 107
10:30-11:30 58
11:00-12:00 75
11:30-12:30 34
12:00-1:00 46
12:30-1:30 44
1:00-2:00 86
1:30-2:30 75
2:00-3:00 78
2:30-3:30 24
3:00-4:00 16
3:30-4:30 10

Days Breakdown of Teacher Matches
Wed: 277; Thursday 304; Friday 242

Here’s the state totals for teacher registrations.
AZ 26
CA 9
CO 6
CT 11
IN 4
KS 15
KY 3
MI 290
MN 11
MO 2
NC 1
ND 15
NJ 54
NY 132
OH 44
OK 18
OR 9
PA 56
SC 6
SD 1
TX 74
VA 16
WA 1
WI 6

The IP/ISDN stats were very interesting to me. I knew that we were moving quickly to IP videoconferencing in K12, but I didn’t realize it was happening this fast. I think this is important to share with our content providers, as they decide how best to serve the schools who use their services.

RAA’s Effects on K12 Use of Videoconferencing
It’s amazing, really, how many teachers are new to RAA this year. 65% of the teachers participating haven’t done it before. My sense is that we get a lot of people new to videoconferencing who are looking for something free and tied to the curriculum. And I believe that RAA affects people’s perceptions of what they can do with videoconferencing. If they were just thinking of content providers, now they can see how powerful are connections with classes in different places. The simple suggested format for RAA (we read 15 min.; you read 15 min.; then we ask each other questions) is very easy to follow and to adapt for other content area projects.

I know there are many other copycat projects out there — for state schedules, state testing, and other reasons. I’m very glad for that! The more we experience these types of projects, the more ideas our teachers have for connecting to partner classes for meaningful engaging lessons.

How has Read Across America affected distance learning in your service area? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment!

0 replies on “Reflections on Read Across America”

  1. Is it ok to leave a comment on your own blog?!

    Here’s a note from an email from Kim Owen in North Dakota: “Thanks to your great idea of RAA, our own school video consortiums last year requested we consider something similar within our own state. So you’ll be happy to know we’re holding our first “Read Across North Dakota” (RAND) tomorrow and Wednesday, and have also scheduled a “Foreign Language Across North Dakota “(FLAND) for April. Teachers are excited and we’re looking forward to it! You can add this as another testament to the value of RAA!”


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