This blog will be about one distance learning coordinator’s experiences, curriculum thoughts, and technology rants related to k12 videoconferencing. As of this writing, I coordinate videoconferencing for 24 Polycom units in 18 school districts in southwest Michigan. We’ve been doing videoconferencing since 1999. You can read about our program online here: Southwestnet Distance Learning.
I have a teaching background and bring that curriculum knowledge to videoconferencing. This background helps me look at VC from the teacher’s perspective. From that perspective, I’ve created several tools that are useful for assisting teachers with finding quality VC content. One is the annual “Two Page Selected List”… I do two versions – one for my local teachers posted on my distance learning website and including information on how my teachers register with me for VCs – and one for everyone else to use posted on the TWICE website (look in the top right column). We’ll look at other tools later…
In addition, I have a knack and love for learning new technologies so I am also the “techie” for our distance learning program. I run our MCU bridge; assist our local distance learning coordinators with using their Polycoms, and interact with our network guys on the issues related to IP videoconferencing. All this I’ve learned as it has come my way – from colleagues, from our wonderful SBC helpdesk, from VTCTalk.com and any other source I can find from which to learn! So in my blog, I’ll also be commenting on the technical side of videoconferencing
I also am serving as TWICE president this year (2004-2005). TWICE stands for Two Way Interactive Connections in Education. TWICE is Michigan’s videoconferencing organization. We started in 2001 when several of us, mostly at the ISD level (Michigan educational service agency term) decided we ought to be collaborating and sharing great resources.
So, come back again and see what I’m learning, creating, or thinking about related to videoconferencing in k12 education!