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The videoconferencing playground, a first at the ISTE conference, was a smashing success! More detailed posts coming as I sort through my notes and pictures. I want to share a report from each of the six videoconference solutions featured at the playground, as well as some reflections on the learning that occurred. I thought in the meantime that you might like to see this picture to get a feel for the fun we had!
Everyone in the picture tweets about VC:
Back row: @hairynomas, @outonalim, @lcolwill, @shanehoward, @roxanneglaser, @museumgds
@amyspath, @sckdln, @cmollerstuen
This isn’t the whole crew – just a few of us! My copy of the whole group pic didn’t turn out well.
The playground was set up with six islands with different videoconferencing solutions (mostly H323). Attendees first visited the pirate queen to get a letter of marque so they could explore the islands. If they visited at least 3, they were entitled to some pirate treasure, and their names entered in a drawing for over $4000 worth of content provider programs and professional development.
You can read more about it at the official wiki for the IVC playground. More information to come in future posts! And if you’re planning to go to ISTE 2011, keep us in mind & volunteer!
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Yesterday I snapped a picture of the cart that was used to go out and about on the conference floor to send sessions and posters etc back to the IVC ops room and then out to the remote ISTE sites.
It’s a Logitech HD 9000 on the top of the cart – hooked up to Vidyo (GCI Alaska supplied logins).
Nice setup, huh?!
Poster Session: Amy Colucci, Jefferson County Public School with Jeremy Renner
Just stopped by a poster session on the way that Jefferson County Public Schools uses classroom-based videoconferencing systems to facilitate real-time lesson studies without interrupting the classroom instructional.
I talked to Pam Caudill, who is the videoconferencing contact supporting the project. It’s a really cool professional development model. (In case you’re interested, they are using Tandberg equipment.)
So imagine this:
- The model teacher is in the classroom – and videoconferences back with a group of teachers at another site.
- She explains the idea for the lesson; prep etc.
- She teaches the lesson. The teachers at the other site are watching. A mic is on the teacher, and a room mic is used also. Someone in the room unobtrusively manages the camera so the far site sees everything going on.
- After the lesson, the model teacher debriefs with the teachers at the far site.
- THEN, the teachers at the far site learn how to use the technology tools they just saw used with the students.
Think of this:
- Teachers see the technology tool used WITH kids! BEFORE they are taught how to use it.
- Teachers see the benefits to learning and how it fits into instruction; and THEN they learn how to use it and develops their own lessons.
Neat use of VC!
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Remote ISTE picture taken by Paul Hieronymus
This morning I popped into the SIG IVC Ops room to see what’s happening. Today at ISTE the videoconferencing peeps are running remote ISTE. Remote ISTE is a way to bring a day full of ISTE experiences to a site that is remote.
Every year one of the sites is always from the state that is hosting ISTE the following year – so this year MAGPI is hosting Remote ISTE for Pennsylvania. You can check out their website here to see how they are organizing it. There are three other places across the U.S. hosting Remote ISTE.
It costs about $1500 to host a remote ISTE; and you have to have videoconferencing capabilities (H323!). Some places pay the cost for their attendees, other places charge their attendees to recoup the cost.
The agenda for today includes:
- Introduction to the ISTE Conference
- Keynote: Innovation and Excellence: Buzz Words or Global Imperative?
- Virtual Environments (Second Life) with Scott Merrick
- Workshop: Google Guide: 29 Secrets for Using Google in the Classroom with Howie DiBlasi
- Afternoon poster sessions
- Concurrent session: Digital Learning Farm: Students as Contributers
- Wrap up
So if you ever wondered why there aren’t any more SIG IVC sessions on Tuesday, it’s because the crew is busy with remote NECC. I did find a couple other poster/sessions and will blog those later today. Don’t forget also that you can follow ISTE remotely with ISTE Unplugged.
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Just learned in the SIG IVC Forum that there are two new content providers: Denver Museum of Nature and Science; and the Minnesota Historical Society is launching this fall. Watch for their new programs to be posted on www.VCcontentproviders.org soon!
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It’s ISTE SIG IVC Forum time, and we’re getting our tickets for the prize drawing!
First, we’re hearing some presentations on various things going on in VC land:
- KC3 Kids Creating Community Content (check out the Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy if you haven’t seen it before)
- CET Challenger Learning Center (they are almost ready to unveil a new CyberSurgeons program, where students are surgeons on a mercy ship – cool!) It’s not on their website yet. Students will work in teams to solve diagnoses and treatments for several pages. NIH funded this mission because they want the next generation of young people to be familiar with clinical trials and to be willing to do them (they are running out of people to participate in the trials). The e-missions are listed here. We got to see a bit of the new e-mission – which has great use of Google Earth, and other visuals.
- Blended Learning with the Arkansas Department of Education – we heard about all their full courses offered via videoconferencing, online learning, and a combination of both. They are also using technology that allows them to push content to every student’s computer as well. (I didn’t catch what it was.)
- Marci Powell, Polycom hosted several people sharing what universities are doing with videoconferencing: Dr. Thomas Kane from Prescience Communications on videoconferencing in the UK – administrative meetings, higher ed meetings with industry, some classes. He’s also doing a lot of work in K12: connecting K12 students to higher ed, etc. We also heard from another person how schools in California are using videoconferencing for 3d simulations, live performances, and others within colleges and community colleges. California is also working on K20 Video: a common scheduling system for all of California.
After that there was some time to share business cards & eat snacks; some items of business from the leadership; and some time to share what everyone is doing, and a whole bunch of prizes. If you missed it, you missed out!
One of the most interesting pieces of information I learned at ISTE today was through @kusdiva who visited the Avermedia booth. She found out and shared via Twitter that they will offer this fall a new HD videoconference system – small and low cost – but cost not set yet as you can’t buy it yet!
Check out the picture from their website. You can sign up to learn more about it when it comes out. I’m hoping to get a chance to stop by their booth.
(Who says H323 is dead? Certainly not with new players entering the market!!)
SIG IVC Showcase: Charice Black, Utah Education Network
Charice described the full length courses they offer and coordinate across the state. You can see their website describing their network and courses here.
Utah Education Network has been operating the state-owned videoconferencing system for over 25 years, currently managing approximately 250 events per day. The classes and training events are broadcast to over 500 IVC sites and thousands of students in every corner of the state. The courses highlighted in this session are operating at the highest standards and with consistent positive feedback and student performance outcomes.
All sites are equipped with the capability to broadcast video and content over two separate channels, allowing for the use of document cameras, video, computer presentations and other media without losing the ability to see and interact with the instructor. Instructors from highlighted courses will share ideas and techniques they use to deliver their content in effective and interesting ways.
We VCed with one of their broadcast sites to hear about what they are doing; we also talked to one of the teachers in a automotive class with an SUV in the auto shop behind him as he talked to us. We also heard little video clips from various teachers across the state who teach on the system, including clips of students in an American Sign Language class. I get the sense that Utah really has the full course method of VCing down pat! They are experts at making it work well! Nicely zoomed in; great best practice use of VC demonstrated.
They usually do their calls at 768 or 1080+ – so they usually do high speeds and high definition – so doing 384K for the conference was “coming down” for them!
It was great to talk to the automotive teacher and hear how he’s teaching and ask him questions!
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SIG IVC Showcase: Helen Headrick, Higher Education Channel-Television with Tim Gore
HEC-TV’s programs are not available on demand – because they take videoconferencing onsite live to a location. The programs are also live on television and streamed through HEC-TV. Their programs are also archived on their website, and also in iTunes University. You can be view only in the session, or you can be interactive. Each session has only 4 interactive sites. These are television shows, and hosted by a producer and includes “b-roll” video clips to include in the program.
While their funding is from St. Louis and they do their programs free; they welcome participation from other areas and states.
Sweet – they have a Tricaster for their programs -and they gave a great overview of how it works.
Your students are interacting with a LIVE TELEVISION program – in terms of videoconference and production quality of the session.
We watched a clips where they went onsite to Shakespeare in the Park; an explosion in a quarry actually onsite (The Science Behind Explosions) – and an artist in a contemporary art museum. Students are interacting with the experts onsite.
Tim Gore and his team did a by request program for us a couple years ago where we needed a judicial program – and they went onsite and we talked to the judge and court reporter and saw a bit of an actual trial. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for requests too. A few years ago Tim was involved in the Lewis and Clark re-enactment and VCed live from the trip. Amazing programs!
They totally allow bridges to dial in and connect to a whole bunch of schools behind it.
They are doing a program on Sept 17 for Constitution Day and they are doing it on the Supreme Court selection process. Sweet! Gotta sign up for that! Sign up for their e-list here. Registrations open up about a month before the program. They are doing a The Giver program next year! They are starting a new series of programs on The Civil War. They also have a series of Holocaust survivors.
Their programs are an hour long; and they don’t mind – you just need to let Tim, the host know that’s what you are doing.
A nice ending to the session was a comment to Tim from the audience: “you retired after 29 years of teaching and landed the most awesome job in the world. Thank you for staying passionate about education, as this is exactly what we need in our schools.” Awesome!!
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IVC Showcase: Cathy Ryan-Smith, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with Jason Schafer
In this session, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo gave an overview of their videoconference programs, specifically a session on exhibit design. They are redesigning their elephant exhibit, so they brought the students at Springmill Intermediate in Mansfield, OH to participate in the design.
With this program, the Springmill Intermediate principal approached the Cleveland Zoo to integrate their changes with the math, science and technology curriculum for their students. The project they created included students designing their own exhibit.
The program included:
- a proposal and approval from everyone
- a Professor Wylde Animal Presentation (a traveling animal show)
- 5 videoconference sessions: Exhibit Design, Animal Care, Horticulture, Education, Guest Relations
- and a field trip to the zoo
I really like the combination of on site visit at school, on site visit at the zoo, and the videoconference sessions; along with the inquiry learning and student designed projects/exhibits.
Students asked some great questions during the programs:
- What tools are used to trim an animal’s feet?
- How do zoo keepers handle elephants when they get scared?
Students had to take notes during the sessions so they could use the information later as they designed their exhibits.
How awesome – the Cleveland Zoo got a picture of the ISTE Blue Bear during one of their videoconferences.
Then we got to talk to one of the teachers involved in the program – and she told about her students’ reaction and engagement in the project and showed examples of the student work.
Cleveland Zoo programs are FREE!!
Note also that their registration opens on August 2, and their programs fill up very quickly, so make plans to get in!