Monthly Archives: April 2008
This was a busy week! The first half we were at the United States Distance Learning Association National Conference (USDLA). It was good to talk with folks from all over the world, especially those we interact with over videoconference frequently. Something that really stuck with me is that the challenges, as well as the benefits, of distance learning are nearly universal!
Moving on, mid-week, we had a two-hour evening videoconference. Wednesday night was MOREnet’s Internet Safety Night. Sites from all over the United States (55 over videoconference!) connected for a two hour videoconference on Internet Safety. Cooperating School Districts acted as a site in St. Louis. At the ISN website, you’ll find all sort of resources to educate yourself and your family on the importance of Internet Safety, and ways to implement it at home.
Finally, today is our official one year ‘blogiversary’. April 25th of last year was when we really got going with The Wired Classroom. In that year, we’ve posted 210 times with over 650 tags! We’re really excited to continue posting to the blog to update our readers about what is going on in the Virtual Learning Center. Thanks to those who take the time to read the blog.
On Tuesday, Janine Lim pulled together a group of K-12 educators for an impromptu “birds of a feather” session after our lunch keynote. While we were anticipating a group of about 10-15 folks, we had a much larger group- closer to 30. We introduced ourselves and there were people from the UK, Arkansas, New York, D.C., Michigan- all over. We split ourselves into two groups- those who wanted to focus on online learning, and those who wanted to focus on videoconferencing. The (larger) videoconferencing group included Tonya Muro from Global Nomads Group, Jan Zanetis from Tandberg, Ken Conn from Data Projections, Ruth Blankenbaker from CILC, my colleagues Ruth Litman-Block and Martha Bogart.
Topics of discussion included professional development & videoconferencing- both delivering PD over v/c and providing v/c PD over videoconference. The group included content providers, coordinators, teachers and administrators who all had great input. We all agreed, however, it is important to engage teachers in the videoconferencing process. In addition, even though it seems obvious, content providers need to be trained to deliver quality programming. We discussed the importance of evaluations and preparing teachers & students for videoconferences. The hour we allotted went by very fast! At the end of our session, we were asked how to get more K-12 educators at USDLA (we were outnumbered by university level participants). The answer? Spread the word. Tell our colleagues. Visit the website: www.usdla.org for conference/association updates.