Here’s a blog post I wrote a few years ago about my job; it’s largely accurate as of July 2011, though my work has expanded to connecting classes via Skype as well as H323 videoconferences. I also conduct PD on videoconferences for educators. (There are a a few more things as well, but you’ll have to wait until next week for that!)
The New Links program is evolving; we’re going to publish our new membership tiers next week. We’re hoping the changes we’ve made will help our schools even more with connecting students over distance learning.
what I do, part II posted Monday, September 22, 2008
Note: I originally posted this to the blog in August 2007; the information is still current, so for those new to the blog (and maybe not going back a year + for entries), this is for you!
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!
If you want info on New Links, visit here. If you’d like to be added to our e-mail list to learn about distance learning opportunities, e-mail me and let me know. A great place to look up videoconferences is www.cilc.org. I encourage you to check it out!