Starting Your VC Program

Still cleaning out draft posts!

The end of May a team from The Talking Directory in the UK came to visit Berrien RESA to learn about our distance learning program. After watching me facilitate a MysteryQuest USA and HistoryQuest5, we videoconferenced with Arnie Comer, Macomb ISD and Roxanne Glaser and Shane Howard from Region 12, TX. Arnie and Roxanne and Shane shared some great tips for starting a VC program and I took notes. We all shared our signature programs too: ASK for Macomb; Singing with Shane, Monster Match, Weather with Rusty for Region 12.

Arnie’s Top Tips

  1. Hold teachers’ hands tightly at the beginning.
  2. Take the tech burdens on yourself so the teachers can focus on the students

Roxanne and Shane’s Core Philosophy

  • Teachers spend time teaching
  • Coordinators in the school or at least the district as our liaison with the teacher

Tips from the conversation
I didn’t record who said what, but here are more ideas:

  • Not everyone’s going to be as passionate about VC as you are – give them time!
  • Have meaningful programming for your teachers and share that with colleagues across the country so your schools can benefit from each others programs
  • Call coordinators in schools that aren’t using it much to see what’s going on – maybe they have a family emergency or some challenge

What is a “quick win”?

  • Start out by providing an ASK program or a project – something with a date & time and all the materials – and step by step what to do.
  • Create programs that are videoconferencing with training wheels – a way to hand hold teachers as they get started.
  • Get teachers involved in one project with success then they try out something else.

Your Turn: What are your tips for schools just getting started with videoconferencing?

0 replies on “Starting Your VC Program”

  1. Be a listener! Ask what about the critical target objectives based on testing data. Ask about areas of curriculum that teacher think are important but don’t seem to have time to teach. Ask which content students struggle understanding.

    Help teachers build VC projects based on the answers above and you will have a “product you can sell”

    • Linda – these are AWESOME questions – and they strike to the heart of it – without a strong curriculum application, teachers won’t use any technology, period!

      Thanks for commenting!!

  2. Hi Janine: Great tips from everyone! Hand holding, coordinating and testing for the teachers, facilitating,
    Its one thing to show the teachers a “simulation” but if a VC coordinator actually facilitates it they are more likely to participate and understand how the medium works.

  3. These are great tips!

    A couple of things that I do, is that I try to train a team from the school. Usually 2-3 teachers. That way they are not alone on the campus if they hit a snag. Then one of those teachers is designated as the liason to my department.

    I also try to have some very simple, low stress, VCs planned that the teachers don’t have to do a lot of prep for in order to be successful. We do a 100 days of school project (patterened after Linda McDonald’s project), where the classes just come together to share. I also do a storytelling project, where teachers can either sign up to read to another class, or they can sign up to have their class read to. Whatever meets their comfort level. This worked really well to get some teachers involved that were a little fearful of using the technology.

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