Stretching Classroom Boundaries

We had a great time in the tele today during the New Links in the Classroom with Videoconferencing and Skype class. Ten participants from schools in the bi-state region showed up to learning about H323 videoconferencing, Skype, collaborations, content providers, bridging and much, much more! We even played with the Blue Jeans Network for the first time- bridging an H323 vc call with a Skype account!

In the morning, we connected to the Center for Puppetry Arts for a vc demo and had a great connection with Iyabo Shabazz, a DL Program Presentation Specialist with the Center. She had the teachers wiggle their fingers and stretch just has should would with a group of younger students. Iyabo shared what kind of programming they do over H323 vc (Butterflies, Mexico, and Edgar Allan Poe) and said they had started using Elluminate to deliver programs as webinars to schools who do not have H323 vc equipment (such as Polycom, LifeSize or Tandberg).

In the afternoon, we had a couple of Skype connections- one with Martha Bogart, who was at the Support Staff Academy Mini-Conference talking about… Skype! We also connected to Manuel Hererra, who Skyped in using the iPad he won at the 2011 Midwest Education Technology Conference. We talked about all the Skype resources out there, including education.skype.com.

It was great to work such an enthusiastic group! I’m looking forward to working with them in the future- in person, or at a distance. Thanks again for coming, ladies!

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