flock together

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.

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