Monthly Archives: August 2007
Trying to explain my job to people can be complicated. Somedays, I wish I could just say, “I’m a nurse” – people would nod, understand, and the conversation would move on. When I tell people about my work- “I’m videoconference coordinator, I bring educational programs into schools” I get sort of an eye squint or head tilt and then “oh” from people. There are two groups- those who know about v/c and have participated in one, or those who have no idea of what a v/c is and what it can bring (to classrooms). Then when I start talking about content providers, people either perk up or tune out- too much lingo!
My job as videoconference coordinator is to help teachers find content that will enrich their curriculum. I’ve connected to everything from knee replacement surgery for high school students to zoos and baby animals for kindergarteners. Math, history, current events- covered. Human anatomy, music education, test prep- been there, done that. Authors in St. Louis come to my office and connect to classrooms across the country- in our “backyard” or several states away.
It’s pretty neat to watch it all take place. It is also amusing to see a teacher quickly step out of camera shot (“bad hair day!”) and then see her first grade students immediately understand the the man in the TV can in fact see them, and is talking to them, even though he is not in the same place.
We’re always looking for other classrooms and experts to connect to for videoconferences! Members of New Links, you can contact me and ask me to find videoconferences for you on topics you’re covering in class. On Tuesday, I’m connecting some high school psychology classes to a chiropractor (content provider) in St. Louis to talk about the mind/body connection. It should be a really good presentation. Don’t be afraid to ask!
New Links is continuing its Mental Health videoconference series this year! Educators can learn about various mental health issues in students. Participants will learn about causes, treatment, and how to access mental health professionals if they spot children in their classrooms whom they feel need help. These presentations are interactive, and include question and answers sessions. Don’t be afraid to come to the videoconference with questions and scenarios! They have been very popular with St. Louis area teachers. Here are the descriptions. Interested? Contact me!
Meeting time for all sessions is 4-5 p.m. CT; free to New Links members; $50 for non-members. Sept. 18: Factoring in Forgiveness: This presentation will discuss teaching strategies that can encourage students and adults to interact with civility and ways to make discipline more effective. Oct. 23: Suicide and Depression: This presentation will review depression and other mood disorders; discuss pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions used to manage mood disorders; describe risk factors and protective factors for suicide; discuss warning signs and intervention strategies and identify suicide prevention resources. Nov. 20: Teens and Prescription Drug Abuse description coming soon Jan. 15: Teaching Emotional Literacy Through Empathy: Learn strategies for teaching empathy in your classroom and in handling disciplinary issues. Lessons in empathy can truly have a positive impact for learners of all ages. Feb. 19: Recognizing Bullying Behaviors in Adults: Learn to communicate in nonviolent ways, no matter what age you are or what grade you teach.
Independence Elementary in Francis Howell School District is connecting to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum today for a videoconference on the economics of baseball.
According to the website, “You mean a hot dog only cost 10-cents in 1929, and a World Series ticket was just $5.50 in 1940?” The varying worth of money is the basis of this lesson for teaching students how baseball history reflects American economics since the early 20th century. Hands-on math applications and factors of trade and industry – such as labor, transportation, materials, energy and the concept of supply and demand – are illustrated through primary source documents from baseball’s olden days and modern age to help students analyze the ever-changing value of a dollar.”
I really like the BBHoF videoconferences- our schools, do, too. Their programs cover women’s history, communication arts, cultural diversity, character education, and many more. I’ve never seen this particular program. I will let you know how it goes!
Technology is a tool that excites and engages students to learn.
Save the date: February 4-6, 2008 | Registration begins October 1, 2007
As I said, the VLC does more than videoconferencing… another popular tool in the classroom these days is the SMARTBoard (which, for those of you who do videoconference often, know is a valuable tool in distance learning presentations!) Here’s some info on CSD’s SMARTBoard professional development class~
Transforming Learning with a SMARTBoard
$109 CSD member; $169 non-member / The SMARTBoard is an interactive whiteboard that improves the way you teach, train and present. It combines the look and feel of a regular whiteboard with the power of a computer so you can save and print notes, collaborate on electronic documents, share information and run multimedia materials. When combined with an LCD panel or projector, the SMARTBoard becomes a large, touch-sensitive screen. St. Louis teachers, come learn how to use this new technology tool in your classroom. Then, develop lesson plans that make use of this fabulous tool and motivate students to learn. After this tele class, walk away with a usable lesson on the SMARTBoard! For more information on any tele class, contact Joan Forrest at 314-692-1259. All Day Trainings from 9am to 3pm: Oct. 18, Nov. 8, Jan. 17, Feb. 21, March 20 / Evenings from 4-7pm: Sept. 25 & 26, Jan. 7 & 9, April 8 & 10
Author Edward P. Jones will participate in an interactive videoconference for high school students October 18 at 1 p.m. He will be at Cooperating School Districts and we have set a four site limit for participating schools, for social studies and language arts students. We’re very excited by this opportunity! The New York Times bestselling author has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Lannan Literary Award for The Known World; he also received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2004. His first collection of short stories, Lost in the City, won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was short-listed for the National Book Award. He has taught fiction writing at several universities. His newest collection is called All Aunt Hagar’s Children. Jones will answer students’ questions on the writing process and his historical research. A question and answer session will conclude the videoconference. For historians and writers alike, this is a videoconference not to be missed!
Independence Elementary in the Francis Howell School District participated in the first v/c for the 2007-2008 school year! A very bright, enthusiastic group of students learned all about amphibians from Ryan and his friends at the Lee Richardson Zoo in Kansas. We’re off to a great start!
The deadline for registration for our ACT Prep class over videoconference is rapidly approaching! My colleague Stephanie sent me a news release from DESE (Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) on ACT scores in the state of Missouri. Some highlights directly from the release:
- Missouri’s average score on the ACT college-entry exam stayed the same for the third year in a row, but the number of 2007 graduates taking the test increased to an all-time high.
- Missouri’s average ACT score this year is 21.6, compared to the national average of 21.2, which increased this year by one-tenth of a point. The maximum possible score on the ACT is 36. The ACT is the most popular college-entry exam in Missouri and most other Midwestern states.
- Among states in which at least 50 percent of all high school graduates take the ACT exam, Missouri now ranks ninth with its average state score of 21.6.
The Princeton Review’s class with CSD over videoconference has helped students raise their ACT scores. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take a test prep class led by trained instructors. Let’s get those scores even higher!