The Effectiveness of the “Jazz” Workshop

It’s the first day of another session of 123 VC: Jazzing Up Your Curriculum with Videoconferencing. I have 8 participants for this session: two high school teachers and six 1st and 2nd grade teachers.

Today I am just amazed at the eagerness and sharpness of my group! They are so excited!! In one day they have:

  • Experienced a simulation of Community Exchange, Animal Exchange, Read Around the Planet, and Monster Exchange
  • Experienced mini-lessons from The Mariners’ Museum and NASA
  • Met in small groups to get to know their group members from other states.

Attitude Changes
Due to these experiences, already attitudes have changed. Note these comments from their reflections:

  • I thought video conferencing was almost impossible to plan for in my class, but I know it is much easier than I thought. I can’t wait to see what trips I can plan for my class!
  • At first it was mind boggling to think about how we were going to put together a presentation in 30 minutes; however, once the creative juices started to flow, it became a race to see which idea could we make the most creative.
  • Even though I have already used some videoconferencing, already today I have seen other ways to incorporate more ideas into my current curriculum. I really like the sheet provided for recording the conferences that I might be interested in using each month. … When you are involved as the teacher, you’re so worried about your class and how they are behaving that it’s sometimes hard to notice the other small details that I had more time to pay attention to today.
  • The amount of things to do in VC is amazing. There is more to it than I actually thought would be. It is kind of intimidating at first. But wow, what a great thing to learn and use.

“We Need Equipment in our School!”
And, the piece I’m most excited about is that new equipment might come out of this workshop! I have a school that has dabbled in videoconferencing and has good sources of funding, but hasn’t been eligible for any of the grants we’ve written. They haven’t seen what they are missing to be motivated enough to pursue videoconferencing. But, after the exchange simulations, the three teachers from that school were ready to write a proposal for funding for a videoconferencing cart! Yay! I’ll be working with them further to get their system purchased and installed. I’m so glad!!


And it’s only the first day of Jazz! What a productive day we had!!

2 replies on “The Effectiveness of the “Jazz” Workshop”

  1. Every time we do JAZZ it is amazing at how much a group can learn in a short span of time. I always tell people, JAZZ is the hardest to prepare for and pull off, but the teachers always learn so much and by the end are not afraid of the equipment and are energized about using it with their students.

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