123VC! Jazz Reflections

This blog contains the reflections of participants in the three site videoconference workshop in Michigan and Texas: 123 VC: Jazzing Up Your Curriculum with Videoconferencing.

Friday, July 22, 2005


In a word that's all I can say is Awesome! This VC was everything I anticipated and more...
I cannot wait to get back to campus to recruit participants, and connect with the world.

So exhausting ... So exhilarating!

This VC workshop was an amazing collaboration between four truly dedicated professionals. I am so thankful to have Janine, Linda, Bennie, and Ken as resources for my projects. I had such a tough year last year and felt like a lone ranger. This year, even if I'm the lone ranger, I'm not going to let the nay sayers keep me from doing what I know the kids will enjoy and benefit from. Thanks again for a great week.

LAST DAY YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously though I really enjoyed everyone's presentations, I can't wait to sign up for some things, and also to implement the project my group did!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoyed the video, you go Bennie! I'm glad I came even though I'm one week closer to school starting. HA!HA!HA! Good job everyone, can't wait to hear how everyone's projects were implemented.

Day 5 Blog

Wow! I have learned so much!!! Everything has been really great! Lots of great resources. I'm glad I did this!

Renita's Reflections for Friday, July 22. 2005

Today was more than exciting. I was so inspired and informed by the various presentations that were done. I learned a lot. Everyone did a fantastic job in presenting their videoconference.

Linda and Benny have been awesome helpers. I feel more comfortable when dealing the issue of videoconferencing. I'm not as scared as I was in the very beginning. Now I am excited about meeting some new friends from afar.

It was hard work, but fun hard work!

Finally, the last day of class

We finally presented our projects using the equipment. It was fun seeing everyone's input come to fruition. There was a lot of good ideas presented today, as well as , throughout the week. I hope initiate some of these ideas with my students this year.

J. Flores

Friday VC Reflections

The end has come to a very interesting week! Linda Snapp was a wonderful facilitator, and Bennie did a great job of keeping us up and running. Thanks! I've learned alot about videoconferencing, and now it's time to put it to use. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Final Day

What a great week!!!! Thanks so much for everyone who made all this possible-- I know it was a big task but well worth the effort. I got a lot of great ideas and can't wait to get started on our project!!


This has been a great class. I would love to do this again.

Reflection: Friday

Well I made it through the week. I feel like I have learned so much this week. It is amazing how quickly I learned how to use the equipment & feel comfortable with the whole process.

I am excited to incorporate the ideas this year & implement a VC into my classroom activity. It was great to hear the other group projects. I hope I can tweak our project a little more to make sure that it is workable this year. We got a lot of the details ironed out the last couple days so I do feel pretty comfortable. I will need to explore Microsoft Money & learn how to use that.

I also feel like I learned a lot of other technology like the CPS unit & blogging. I appreciated the fact that the class itself was a VC to see how it works. It's been lots of fun.


Success! Friday - Kelly

I must admit that the week went rather fast. There were moments that I had my doubts (like when the chat room wasn't working:), but all in all it was a good experience. My mind continues to race with ideas, changes, etc. I hope to use video conferencing in the future. As we discussed, I hope to hook up with MSU first semester, if all goes well, I may be ready for another tech undertaking.

I really appreciate your help with foreign language. You have no idea how many times we go to classes and they simply say,"Well, you can adapt this to Spanish, right?" And that is that. No more discussion, direction, etc. Thank you Janine for helping me out in a local program. I push to go to the MFLA conference, but distance, cost, etc. is always prohibitive. I have been lucky since our French teacher is non-tenured; however, this will soon be changing and I will have to go back to fighting for the MFLA experience.

I feel much more comfortable with video conferencing. Thank you!

Adam's Final Reflection for the Week

My thoughts of the week's course will be one from an outside point of view. I am not a teacher nor have I every had a classroom. The experience of seeing it from a teacher's aspect, the creative thoughts back and forth, and the interactiveness over VC was quite impressive.
Though my particpation was limited, I have gained the knowledge of what to advise when asked "What can I do with this equipment?",and troubleshoot from a suppport point of view. Thanks everyone!

It's over

It has been a long but very informative week. I have learned so much that I can apply to my classroom and even more that I can pass on to my teachers.

I am proud that we accomplished all that we did.

Have a great year everyone.


I had such a great time this week. So glad to have that project out of the way and ready to roll with such fantastic enthusiam. I love my group and will try to continue our contact over the school year even if my new school does not have the things we need. I do have a contact that may loan the needed equipment. Love you guys in Lamar.

Last Day!

Reflection on article

I read the article on "Middle School VCing Fosters Global Citizenship" by Jody Howard-Kennedy. Her school was beginning to incorporate VCing into the curriculum & the staff & students & administrators were so excited.

I hope that I can incorporate what I've learned & can use that to spread the word to other teachers. It is so important for kids to see that there is more out there than just the kids the know. These kids got to talk with kids who are HIV positive in Africa. That puts a face to what they are learning in school.


Final Reflection -KWD

This staff development has been wonderful. I have really enjoyed experiencing the videoconferenece and am very excited about using videoconferencing in my classroom as often as possible. I am psyched about our group project and look forward to implementing it and refining it over the next few years. It was great to connect with other teachers that are excited about VC and see the value in linking our students across the country and world to learn as a global community. Thanks too the facilitators for all your hard work-it's apparent that you spent many many hours preparing this workshop!


Wow, what a great week! I had no idea that this is what we would get out of this week . I am so very glad that I decided to sign up for this workshop. I am looking forward to introducing this vc to my LA deprtment. I think I will probably have some bites for this. I am very excited about implementing the vc we worked on as well as tweaking some of the others that were presented.
I have learned a lot and can't wait to use it!!!!

Final reflection

I thought today was a good wrap up day. It was great to have the time in the morning to finish up the project. I thought all the projects were interesting, well thought out and organized. I felt all the presentations went smoothly. It is neat to see people from 3 areas coming together to create something and form friendships. The whole week has been a very positive experience. Good job everyone. I look forward to trying out some of the things I have learned. Many times we take these classes and there is nothing concrete to use in our classes. This time I feel like I do have something I can use to enhance my teaching.

The end is here KM

I feel like I have learned so much this week. I had never used VC, chat, or blogging. I also feel like the timing of the conference was great. I've had time to recover from the school year and now I am excited to go back and use some of the new things I've learned.

As for today I am amazed at how creative teachers can be. Everyone had very different project and it seemed like everyone was flexible and have created great VC.

It really is amazing what can be accomplished in 4 1/2 days.

It took a bit of an effort to get here....

For whatever reason, access to this blog was a bit of a challenge, but after a technology callous building week, it was just a mere bump in the road. We have been through minor turbulance with connections problems, chat rooms that threw us out every time we turned around, video calls that dropped and required redialing any number of times, printers that turned out to be ghost printers, or more likely just printers elsewhere in the building, and wireless connections that sometimes turned out to be less than connected. But all in all, it was a very successful and educational week, with a lot learned, and a lot of fun. It was a good way to earn two credits, and a good way to get profesional development. It was also very valuable information and an opportunity to work with other media people and teachers. The people from Texas were very nice as well. The presenter from New Jersey was very good also. It was a week well spent. I would not mind taking more classes in the same subject area.

I hope to get to do a lot of videoconferencing activities when I get back to school this fall. I think that it will be good for the schools.

Friday's reflections

Boy, I am surrounded by some incredible minds. I sure hope that I can persuade some of my peers in NBMS/NBHS/NBES in participating in these wonderful VC. Each group presented wonderful programs. I think it would be interesting to get together in a VC in June to see how these programs worked throughout the school year and do more program brainstorming!!!
Thank you for a wonderful week interlude during this long hot summer here in SW Michigan.

Article for Friday- Kelly

I read the article, "Videoconferencing in K-12 Education: Research Findinngs", by Katherine Hayden. This was actually a nice review to end the conference. It was written in table form so was very concise, direct, and easy understand. I think that I should put a copy of this on my desktop (yes, my real desktop, not the one on the computer) to serve as "cheat sheet".

The most applicable sections were the staff development. I have begun the process of knowledge and comfort. I have had some training (enough to be dangerous) and have had some hands-on. The article goes on to suggest release time (what is that!!!). Thank you Janine for taking care of the budget aspect! Adios!

Reading bolg 5 km


New Uses for Distance Education

It is interesting to to think of video as the first form of distance learn. When you think of distance learning and video my how things have changed.

I think vc sound great for science. The bio. Talk about high schools not labs. Well in elementary schools they usually don't have any labs. So science is taught in the regular classroom. So... Imagine how much more science could be taught using VCs. I think it could greatly improve science instruction at all age levels.

Interested in meeting authors using distance learning? Well, just "ASK"

Ask stands for Authors, Specialist and Knowledge. Students read a book and prepare to interview the author of the book. Students keep a journal about what they read. The reflect in the journals about what they read and how it relates to thir life or experiences. Students also write questions about what they have read. When the book is finished the teacher helps students edit their questions and pick the best one. Next the interview will take place. The author is the specialist and the questions are asked in a round robin fashion between the sites (usually 3).

Regina Beauchamp

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Almost There

Well, it is all coming together. I think that after clarifying the advertisement and setting up who is sayignwhat that we are about ready to roll. One thing we are seeming to find is that vcing is better for working out different ideas. at least for us. I seem to have a hard time tracking on chat. i lose focus. Now that certain expectations aremore clear I thin k we will be ready. This could shape up to be an incredibly fun experience for all of us.
REally enjoyed doing our exchanges this morning. Again, it was great to get some experience on the student side. Also, sharing ideas to improve was very helpful. I'll need to remember my notes.
SEarching with twice was neat. There were definitely some I would like to try. I'll have to investigate further.

Thurday's Blog

Today was a good day. I am finally beginning to see how I could use VC in my secondary classroom. All of the other VC workshops I have been to have been geared towards the primary grades. I can see being able to adapt both MysteryQuest and the Exchanges from today in my computer classroom. This has been really helpful! I am also excited to pass this on to some of the other teachers in my school. Perhaps we could team teach a unit and then VC with another school whose teachers have team taught the same subject matter.

Day 4

Today was a good work day. I enjoyed the activities in the morning. A little less intense than yesterday, which was a nice break. I liked having time to look at the video conference sites. There was plenty of time at the end to wrap up our projects. Things seem to really be falling into place.

Thursday Reflection by Adam

Today's reflection is going to be on how the exchange projects have an ability to express personal imagination by just reading descriptions. It brings out a reading tool on how to encourage children to read and bring out there imagination. It is a great idea and will be passing the ideas on.

Thursday VC Reflections

We're wrapping up our project handouts today through videoconferencing. The disadvantage to being in a room away from our computers is that anything saved on a particular computer in the lab has to be saved to a different computer to actually make editing changes. Even though I have a laptop in the videoconferencing room, it isn't the same one I've been using throughout the workshop so I have to pull everything down to this particular computer to be able to work on it. Not a big problem, but a little frustrating.

Reflections Day 4

Today was a little less exciting than the last 3 days. The activities were OK but not all that engaging. I did like the monster exchange and thought about ways I could adapt that for a high school math class, especially geometry. The science/community exchanges were not all that much fun. I am looking forward to tomorrow & seeing the other groups present.


end of day 4

As today comes to a close I am wondering how I am going to persuade my teacher to vc. I could do one or two , but my class time does not allow to do many.

I am hopeful that my teacher will be willing. I have a couple in mind that I know would be willing.


Today was fun. It was really neat to see the exchange vcs in action. I can see where this would be do-able in my class. My team project is moving along, it is almost finished.

This has been a great week to learn how to use vc.

Day 4 Blog

This is really informative. We had lots of interaction and participation. The videos were interesting. We also worked on and made final additions to our Video Conference Presentation.

Day 4 and still blogging

I must say we have been busy this week.......7:30 am is awfully early to rise though. I enjoyed the exchanges this morning.....I can see how that would be really easy to implement in my classroom......Only one more day to go..........All work and no play make me a very dull girl......

Day #4

My group finished our project today. We have done a really good job of working together all week long. Everyone was willing and open to take suggestions from each other. As a result, we came up with a very good idea that incorporated everyone's ideas. I can't wait to share our ideas with everyone tomorrow.


Today, was the best day of all. I enjoyed the activity after lunch with the student and World War II. This evening I learned how to us inspiration, and that was great! I have a lot of things I can use in the classroom.

end of day 4

Renita's Reflections for Thursday, July 21, 2005

Today was even better than yesterday. We had much excitement while participating in the videoconference sessions with our new-found friends. Dr. Seuss would be so proud of us if he saw us today. I learned a lot during the exchange activities with the other participants. We had fun!

Also, I was more informed about the Inspiration software. It is really cool!

Once again, everyone has been so helpful.

Day 4

Good day- Enjoyed the video about Pearl Harbor. It's amazing how seeing the towers hit can still give me chills and bring tears to my eyes. Learned about interesting ways to find out about videoconferencing materials. Our project is complete and now we just have to organize who will say what!!!

It's better today.

Well, it's better today. The work pace gave me time to think and not feel rushed.
We did a short skit on the author Theodore Giesel, or "Dr. Seuss".
This lent itself to have a reading besides showing the pictures from the book of "Hooray For Diffendoofer Day!"
I am definitely enjoying in typing through a chat room. I never did that before. While everyone was in different mind sets, it was interesting to converse and find our footing discussing our vc project.
I guess that's all for now.

Thursday wrap up

I found it difficult to concentrate when the audio was not loud enough and the images on the monitors would pixelize.

However, my mind has been overflowing with the possibilities ahead and I didn't have that feeling after last year's workshop.

reflections on New Uses for Distance Education

I read the article by Jan Zanetis called "New Uses for Distance Education." This article gives an example of middle-schoolers who used a VC to learn about bacteria & algae. They met with a doctor who talked about anthrax & other bacteria.

It's great to see the opportunites that VCing has given students. This was an urban district that would not otherwise have the opportunity.

I am getting pretty excited about the possibilities that VCing creates. It's fun to see all the educational tools available to students now. It makes me wish this technology was available when I was in high school.


Reflection 4 km


Videoconferencing in Education

Videoconferencing seems to open the door to endless resources, tolerance and global awareness and a great way to make human connections. It also seems like a great way to do cross curricular education.

I have worked in districts where the student come from economically disadvantaged homes. I can see VC giving the all students similar prior knowledge. Which would be a huge advantage for lessons to come.

I am so thankful that I took this class over the summer because it gives me time to really become comfortable with VC and to become more aware of the opportunities available.

Class Reading for Thursday -Kelly

I read the article, "TWICE connects readers across America via two-way videoconferencing", by Debbie Glasgow and Diane Zoellmer. I have heard quite a lot about Read Across America this week. I know that it is open to K-12, but I wondered how many high schools actually participate. Perhaps this perception (rather correct or not) is because it seems the footage and examples that I recall focused on elementary. Do they simple pick a poem or write a story as directed in article. Could they pick a sample from a commonly read novel and share their reaction after reading this or is this moving away from the TWICE original idea.

This article made me question whether we have done any vc in our high school. I believe the media specialist did this last spring with the One Book One Community project. I am not sure of any beyond that. I think there is some definite advantages. Maybe I will try next year. Hmmmm. . . well, not Read Across America, but maybe our class project will pan out. Time will tell. - Kelly

Reflection 3 KM

Twice connects readers across America via two-way vc

Wow! What a big project for Janine. How brave she is for taking this on and making it such a large project.

I really see my position working well for this vc. The media aspect of the my job lends itself to read across America. I think I could do this and not have to reschedule with the teacher. It maybe one of the few that I would not have to work closely with a classroom teacher.

Videoconferencing introduction

Video conferencing allows 2 or more people in different locations to see and hear each other at the same time. This allows you to share computer applications, internet pages etc. Schools can share courses, lessons and tutoring. Guest speakers and experts can be invited in. Videoconferencing also makes it possible to conduct meetings and interviews and sponser community events. To video conference you must have audio-visual equipment and a means of transmitting information. Lower costs in technology have created a greater interest in VC. The benefits of VC are: it is almost like being there, the visual and interation enhances understanding, builds relationships, and improves retention by appealing to a variety of learning styles and heightend motivation. When students participate in VC it improves communication and management skills. VC increases connection to the outside world. Students see places they may never get a chance to see otherwise. Depth of learning is also inhanced. Students learn to ask better questions, use primary sources, and learn how to plan activities.

Regina Beauchamp

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Reflections for Wednesday

I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Alsbro presentation. It was sincere and touching. The format was wonderful and not too stagnant. Mysteryquest was challenging:). At least I know how to say "thick brush" in Spanish. You learn something everyday!

I am mostly stressing out about the project. I am always like this, but none the less, I do not have my advertisement uploaded for my group like I had hoped. Brenda seems very knowledgeable and quick. I am lucky to have Deb by my side to help me with the other stuff too. My group rocks!

It's All Coming Together

This experience is so dynamic! The facilitators, speakers and programs are awesome. The best part is taking an actual project back to school to implement this year. There are so many ideas and applications for videoconferencing. I'm an advocate!


I LOVE MY GROUP!!!! I can not count the number of times a group or person said something and it was EXACTLY what I, or another group member, was thinking!!!! Unfortunately, our project is probably going to be too time-consuming for all three of us to participate; however, I would LOVE to be able to stay in touch with these awesome, talented, creative people and produce other projects.

Wednesday reflection

Today was a very productive day. You can tell that I am only concerned with getting the project done. My group is fab and works so great together. I enjoyed the Veteran coming and sharing with us today also.

Day #3

I really enjoyed the two projects we did today. The Mystery Beach quest was a blast to participate in, and I can see students really enjoying it. I also enjoyed the ASK program. The speaker that we had from the Vietnam War was really interesting, and I enjoyed listening to his stories and seeing his pictures. Students would really enjoy hearing speakers like him, and it would really reinforce the particular unit of study.

Wednesday, Wednesday

Wow, I did not know that so much could be completed in one day. I really enjoyed the Beach Quest but did not feel that I had enough time to get the presentation as creative as I saw at other sites. They did great at Paris!!!. Hearing our expert talk about his experience in Vietnam, I can almost volunteer some of my school's history class into participating. In my opinion it is better to VC than chat to get communicating. I feel that our agenda is a good one and can be used by my district as well as someone else.

Wednesday, Wednesday

Wow, I did not know that so much could be completed in one day. I really enjoyed the Beach Quest but did not feel that I had enough time to get the presentation as creative as I saw at other sites. They did great at Paris!!!. Hearing our expert talk about his experience in Vietnam, I can almost volunteer some of my school's history class into participating. In my opinion it is better to VC than chat to get communicating. I feel that our agenda is a good one and can be used by my district as well as someone else.


This was a very challenging day! We were able to finish the biggest part of our task. I enjoyed the author and the vet.

Reflection Blog for the Day by Adam

I found out that when bringing a subject to VC; there is never a point over doing it when presenting, only under doing.

Third Day

We had some great info. today. Played neat games and had a lot of fun with each other!! Our project is really starting to come together and we are starting to see the pieces of the puzzle fall together!!! Thanks so much to our group for making everything run so smoothly and working great together!!
Sheila E.

Day 3

Today was a great day. I enjoyed the Mystery Quest project although my geography skills are a little lacking. The ASK program with the veteran was also great. Both programs were shorter than I would have liked, but obviously there would be more time with kids in an actual setting.

My group is shaping up very well also so that feels good to feel that coming together. I'm sure tomorrow will be great as well.


Day 3 Reflection

Today was an interesting day. Mysteryquest was a little daunting for me. I liked the ASK activity and feel this is something I would like to try. The speaker was very good. I feel we accomplished a lot towards our project. Being able to video conference is definately easier than conferencing. I have enjoyed this conference so far because there are enough activities, and varied activities that I do not get bored, the day goes by very quickly. I feel like I have learned much, but still have a long way to go.

Day 3 Blog

Whew! It's been a long day... This morning was a bit slow, but interesting. This afternoon was better, we had an opportunity to work in our specific group to plan our Video Conferencing Lesson Plan and Presentation.

Renita's Reflections for Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Today has been so overwhelming and fast paced. I am trying real hard to retain all of this important/helpful information, but I still have to ask questions from time to time. Today, we played some real challenging games with our video conferencing friends from other places. Everyone has been so helpful throughout the day.

I have really enjoyed myself during this third day's session and look forward to tomorrow's session and learning more to assist me with my video conferencing project.

Its Wednesday Already!

It is hard to believe that we are more than halfway done! Today was pretty busy, and was also pretty fast moving with the day's activities. The Beach quest was fun and yet went way too fast for the kind of people who are inclined to want to get everything done, and done correctly. No way that we could do that with the time we had to work on it, but we did get the process down pretty well, and then this afternoon's activities with the ASK were really good. I would have been engrossed with that for the whole afternoon, and I would have enjoyed seeing the video presentations that he had. I would like to have a chance to see those.

Now, the big challenge is going to be getting our lesson done for our project. It is do-able with our group members, I think, we just have to get on it hard tomorrow afternoon. I think that it has been a productive day!

Wednesday's reflection

Today was much better than yesterday as far as the VC project went. I enjoyed the guest speaker and learning about the ASK program; however, I felt as though we spent way too much time going over the program. We did not need to be introduced to the program both before and after lunch. I also felt that the debriefing could have been made shorter. Anywho, the rest of the day was wonderful! I really enjoyed MysteryQuest! See you all tomorrow.

Too Much

Too much to take all at once. I feel overwhelmed by the amount of activities. I am still on summer time mode cleaning flower beds and not ready to be blown over with so much info. I feel my emotions are running tense and rushed from one activity to the next.

I did enjoy the interview with the Vietnam Vet. from Michigan. It was really engaging passing questions in real time and get an immediate response. And, it was nice to see his pictures from his personal experience and the explanations he depicted from each.

J. Flores

Forward, march!

Wow, what a busy day! The time just seemed to fly by today! TheMystery Quest was lots of fun. I really enjoyed being ableto participate in one. Hopefully, I will be able to remember how I felt when putting it together and using the clues to find and answer. If I can remember that, I should be able better help and facilitate a similar vc for my students.
I think I most enjoyedthe ASK session. It was such a pleasure to speak with and hear from our veteran. It was refreshing to hear a man who is not afraid to speak outside the "pc" box. And his experiences helped to put another face on the Vietnam war for me.
Finally, Our group planning session was incredibly productive. We agreeed that it was easier for us to plan via vc as compared to chat. More emotion. Once we got past the time constraints and trying to figure out how we would connect, we strted to have more fun and getting more done. I am truly looking forward to trying this during the year.

Wednesday VC Reflections

Things seem to be going a little better today. The chat session was much more successful than earlier in the week, and we're all starting to upload documents to the forum for the others in our group to see and edit. I really enjoyed the Vietnam veteran's presentation, but the pictures might have been more effective with more zoom on each individual one. Overall, it was an enjoyable videoconferencing session. Thanks!

Wednesday session

The most valuable things I have been learning are all the wonderfully dynamic activities that have been modeled for us. I came into the workshop anticipating that I would not be able to use VC in my situations but now I'm overflowing with ideas. Thanks to all the presenters and VC "pioneers" who have designed the various challenges and examples.

Video conferences also students to meet experts face to face. Real time dialogue takes place. Distance ed. refers to learning enviornments where the instructor and learner are separated. Early efforts were televised courses. Hardware and software were introduced in the 1990's, and there was a new interest in videoconferencing. Recently, costs of technology are decreasing and more schools are looking at videoconferencing. VC makes it possible to demonstrate science labs and have experts visit schools without high costs. VC allows teachers to meet with collegues to help students share learning experiences. VC allows teachers in specialized areas to service more than one school. VC allows administrators to meet simultaneously. VC allows students to take field trips without leaving school, which saves time and money. VC also enables students to see positive role models and realize what it means to devote your life to a certain area.

Regina Beauchamp

Wild About Science reflection

I read the article "Wild About Science" by Brian McDonough. He wrote about his experience using VCing with elementary students connecting with zoos & other animal parks. He used VCing as a way for kids to research. Kids prepared questions (like the ASK program) and asked the experts at the zoos. Then the kids had to write their own papers using that information. What a great way to introduce young kids to research.

The kids also incorporated digital cameras and Power Point into their reports. I could see this being a great way to start doing VCing especially for young kids.


Reading for Wednesday - Kelly M

I read "Relating Online" by Darrick Mosser (Sept. 1, 2002) for my article review. This article differed from my previous readings in so much that this particular program tied an emailing component to the video conferencing communication. My personal thoughts about how it would apply to my personal situation is as follows:

I always wondered when teachers incorporate email if they have the ability to and actually do monitor all of the responses from the students. I think that my administrators, and especially my tech people, might cringe to think that the students might be sending personal info, etc. over the internet.

I am sure that there must be a way to do this in some type of secure fashion. The foreign language department jumped through numerous hoops last year to get permission to use a MSU service that recorded voice and video of our students. We will be implementing the program into our program this year so wish us luck.

Reflection day 3

I have to leave early today. I am very disappointed that I will be missing the ASk project. It seems very interesting.

Mystery Beach seems a little overwhelming. I am sure that with practice it would seem a little less confusing. I really enjoyed the math project more. It was more fast moving. Quicker responses. It seems like mystery location project would take a great deal more prep for the teachers and student.


In "The Wall" , the young boy ponders about viewing the various people visiting the mounument for Vietnam Veterans. He notices the reactions with that of his own fathers as his grandfather's name is encountered. At the end, he leaves with the feeling that he had his granddad by side like the boy he saw at the wall.

In the "Patrol", the account of the Vietnam Vet delivers his experience through verse.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Day 2 VC

I still feel overwhelmed by the various components involved. I would like to learn more about the technical end in promoting a vc. How could I support the teachers at my campus?
Do I just forward them to K. Conn?

I did get some other ideas for vc that can be passed along to others.

In order to get some practice in this, we should do several in-district vc before venturing onto long distance site.

J. Flores

Renita's Reflections for Tuesday, July19, 2005

Today was a very busy day. We learned a lot from listening to others on the video. We did manage to decide on a lesson for video conferencing project in the near future. Everyone has been so helpful.

The math marvels were very challenging. Numbers are not my favorite, although I do like money.

I am overwhelmed by the information that has been given out these past two days.

I'll do better tomorrow!

See Ya!

Day two

Today was a lot of information!!! It was kind of hard to compact the information to our grade level. Once I got in the kindergarten mind frame we were able -in our group -to collaborate and come together to work through our ideas. Looking forward to making this a reality!!

Day 2 Blog

Day 2 Learned alot... Bombarded with info, but lots of good websites and how-to resources. I see more and more ideas and possibilities.

Reflection for 7-19-05

Today, was very long. We were able to come up with our lesson for our Videos conferencing.
The conference from New Jersey, was great. I loved the math marvels.

Joy! Joy! Joe!

Joe was a wealth of information and possibilities...he really got the creative juices flowing. I'm excited and I know the kids will be too!

Day #2

Today was a good day. I am really enjoying this workshop. I am learning a lot, and I am excited to share my new ideas when I get back to school. I think this was a great time to have this, because it gets everyone's ideas flowing right before we head back to school. I can't wait for tomorrow.

Adam's Blogging of the Day

I found out that we need to have more Distance Learning in our region. The east coast is so far ahead of us.

Tuesday reflections

I had a great day. My groups has worked so well together and we are getting so much done and I am so excited about this project!

Relating Online KM

Relating Online

Relating Online is about an on going relationship that was created by two elementary teachers. One in the United States and the other living in Japan. The teachers and their students have been VCing for five years. They also use other forms of tech communications to help build their interactions and relationships.

There were so many different things the students could learn in an on going project like this. It started for the cultural exchange, but has lead to much more. They have done weather exchanges and many others.

We often hear the word global awareness. This on going VC is a great way to help make students more globally aware. If you have a relationship or even a greater knowledge of a place half way around the world, I believe the students would be more globally aware. Meaning they would be more aware that their actions may have a greater impact than they are conscious of. For example taking care of the environment. The rewards of this kind of VC are imaginable.

Katherine's Day 2 Reflections

I found it very exciting to learn about all of the possibilities that exist with VC. I really liked having Joe Cataline share how his district is using distance learning, specifically the summer programs, Read Across America, COSI, Center for Puppetry Arts, and Unsolved Mysteries. It was valuable to me for him to reinforce with research that children are more visual and hands-on learners than in the past, which reinforces the use of VC and other face-to-face, hands on learning.
I'm excited, too,about our group's VC program...it will be really an enriching experience for our students!

Tuesday in Michigan

I am feeling a little better about the group project today. We finally got some direction. I liked the math activity we did this morning. I definitely see how I could use that at my level. The kids would love getting together with another school and trying to stump them. I am lokking forward to learning more tomorrow.


day 2 reflections

This has been a slow process. We still haven't started our lesson plan. I am so glad that we finally have a working topic. I hope that we can get something moving now. I think that we need to stay focused and quit changing topics.

Tuesday, Tuesday...

Okay, today was more about the technical side (at least for me) I have never been in a chatroom until about 8 hrs ago. Our school has very strick policies about those and I do not go on a computer much after hours. I find them kind of fustrating if something is trying to get done or solved but fun if ideas are just being typed in for "Funzie."

Frustration of the day

I was very frustrated today about the progress we made on our VC. We have just now come up with a feasible VC between the two subject areas. We haven't even started working on our lesson plan yet. I feel very behind. I was also very frustrated because I felt as though we talked in circles today and didn't get anything accomplished!

Tuesday Reflection at 3:22 p.m.

Today was a great day for new information. The day flew by- it feels like we just got here. The speaker that we had this afternoon was very good, and we also worked in our group, but the only difficult part was dealing with math, oh horror of horrors. That part lasted forever.

Day 2 Reflection

I thought today was interesting and informing. I enjoyed the math activity and experiencing it from a students perspective. The speaker was informative. I had my first experience in a chat room and that was interesting. I feel more comfortable on the computer even though I still forget what to do at times. Planning the project is a little confusing doing this way but I hope all will come together in the end.


I felt successful when we were able to draft 90 percent of our VC lesson plan.

Rflection Day 2

Ok, today I enjoyed meeting Joe, he had lots of good ideas....I REALLY enjoyed Math Marvels, I can't wait to sign up my classes.....I think the kids will get a lot out of it!!! Our project is coming along.......still a little unsure about it, but I have confidence we'll make it....

Thoughts for Tuesday

Today was more comfortable than yesterday. I think that the biggest thing that stands out for me is that when conducting a multipoint conference is to remember to somehow include the other sites. This seems to be especially relavent when working with kids. I experienced times when I felt that I was almost watching a video format instead of conferencing. My fault too, I know, but none the less, I enjoyed those times when the site was able to interact with the other people. I appreciate the need for "lecture" at times, but fear that unless the expert is a good speaker kids might fall into "video" mode and shut down. Plus they need to remember that the speaker CAN see them and that it is not a video. Food for thought is all.

On the upside, my mind is racing about the many possibilities in my own classroom. I jot down notes to myself all of the time. I even jotted down notes for other departments in my building. I am anxious to try a Math Marvels or Spanish Spendors in my own room.

Enough for now. I will dream about vc.

Tuesday VC Reflections

Today's connection was much better than yesterday's telephone chat---we actually connected over videoconferencing. Yea! It was so much easier to communicate face-to-face in planning our project.

Day 2 reflection

Today I found that it is must easier to communicate through vc than a chat room. I feel like my group got so much more done when there was no delay.

Also the hands on vc, math marvels, really gave me a good idea of what a vc would look like with students. I really hope I can encourage my teachers to be brave enough to try a vc this year. I think with my support they will be willing to try.

Also on day two I am feeling more comfortable using the different pieces of equipment and seeing myself on camera.

Out on a Lim with Technology

A good use of videoconferencing is to take tours to other places students may never get to actually see. The programs are used as mini-lessons or to enrich a program. There are currently 900 programs available. Some of the possible programs include: A rare underwater Adventure (visiting a zoo), The Fine Are of Persuasion (visiting a museum of radio and television), An Octopus is amazing, Animal Adaptations (visiting a zoo), Body Building (designing a mechanical leg),Bridging the Gap (Museum of Tolerence), Surgical Suite (viewing heart surgery), Searching the Database.

I thought the Underwater Adventure sounded good. It appeared to have many interesting hands on activities for children to enjoy. I also liked the Animal Adaptations program. It sounded like it would be interesting for children and a good addition for any science program. I was also liked the Bridging the Gap. I think hearing from real holocaust survivors would have a real impact on children. Teaching tolerence is so important now. Finally, I thought the Surgical Suite sounded awesome. Again, the element of materials that accompany the program to further engage students is excellent.

For the next year, I would like to visit the Bridging the Gap program. We read Anne Frank and this would be a great addition to the unit.

Regina Beauchamp

Tuesday Reading Reflection

Today I chose to read "Room with a View", by Wesley A. Fryer (March 15, 2005). My first impression was that I am glad that I am not a tech coordinator. Much of the article focused on the technical aspects of video conferencing that I hope my in -house coordinator will take care of for me. I believe that Dee loves chocoalate and will find out what Randy's weakness is if I must resort to bribing them:). However, I do realize that I do recognize ( I use that term loosely) some of the terms today and that I would not have known them at all yesterday. In terms of academic growth, I have made great strides (easy to do when you start with very little knowledge). You know it is all about growth, AYP, etc.

The article went on to discuss portability, product reputation (Yes, they mentioned Polycom and I knew that was the type that we are using in Michigan). Code licensing, MPEG4 and all the other "techy" type stuff was written in a foreign language. I will let my tech department go from there. Job security!

Application to my classroom is easy. Rely on the knowledgeable people and ask lots of questions if needed.

Adios! Kelly M.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Great Expectations

Bad weather leads to all kinds of situations...even when you can't see it coming. Having been delayed on my return to Houston, I'm now in "catch up" mode. I look forward to tomorrow. Perhaps, our group will be successful in coming up with a great project we can work on together this school year. Great expectations!

Lots to Learn

Well, I guess right now I feel a little overwhelmed. With a new core subject this year, I am not totally familiar with all the requirements. However, I am also excited with the possibilities and opportunities that this exchange creates for my students. I feel that my students will be challenged to do the best work possible especially when they can see the work being created by other students across the nation.
At first, I felt awkward talking to a screen (even though there were friendly faces on it!), but that changed as the day progressed. This experience has helped me understand some of the obstacles that I may be faced with in getting students to communicate using videoconferencing.

I am looking forward to creating a unit to share.

Day 1 Reflection

Today my group came up with some really good ideas for our project. It was hard for one of my group members (who was sitting behind me) and I to remember to type in the chat instead of turning around and discussing it. I am excited for the rest of the week when we can video conference with our other teammate. I think it will be a lot easier to communicate our ideas face to face. I was surprised how easy it was to come up with ideas together.

My fun day

I think I am going to have a little trouble finding meaningful ways to implement a videoconference into my curriculum. Of course we have pressure from administrators & state tests to "cover" all the material we need to during the school year. I think the students will love participating in a VC, but as the teacher, it will need to be tied heavily into what I am already doing to make it worth my while. Hopefully I will come up with a good idea tonight.

Reflection for Monday 7-18-05

I was surprised that so many of us did not know how to do this Video Conferencing.
Bennie and Linda were great.

Day 1 Blog

I was glad I came, learned alot. Excited about tommorow. I think this will be very intersting.

Renita's Reflections From Monday's Video Conferencing Class

One of many helpful things that I learned about Video Conferencing was how to be a technical facilitatoras I maneuvered the remmote control. At first, I was a bit nervous, but the more I practiced, the better I did. Before long, the race was on, and Linda Snapp and I were racing against each other seeing who could mute the fastest. (Smiles!)

I learned a lot on the first day. Benny and Linda were great facilitators of learning. I was glad that I hauled out of bed early and came to an exciting day of learning!

I found out....

I found out that videoconferencing can be an easy task. Hopefully it will not be a hard task to complete with my own students. I also found out that vc can be a fun and laid back atmosphere.
I am looking forward to tomorrow and to begin working on our group project.

VCF Day 1

I think today was a beneficial day. I learned about new technology that was foreign to me. I look forward to learning more. Everyone was very helpful. Things moved at a good pace. There was plenty of time to get work accomplished. I am still a bit overwhelmed but I hope to have more cleared up as the week progress (info. overload).

Reflection Day 1

I was glad to get to actually share ideas with different people, and gain different insights and perspectives. I think that the best part is that you can actually implement what you are planning, because you are already partnered with people from other areas. :)

Reflections for Monday

I was very excited to actually see/participate in a video conference. I tried one once before at WMU, but like today, we had technical difficulties-no sound. I enjoy being able to attach a face to the name that I am using. I will certainly look for Brenda at the Paris site tomorrow. She had a very pleasant voice:)

I was most frustrated by the technical problems that we experienced in the chat room setting. I can easily see why you should have a plan B. I could only wonder how my high schoolers would have handled the down time. I am sure that they would have been searching google images for pictures of who knows what.

As I classroom teacher, I feel the need to incorporate technology into the curriculum, but worry about the pitfalls that come with that. I certainly have had many laughs while using technology.

The most valuable thing that I learned was certainly the endless number of possibilities for video conferencing. I am amazed. - Kelly

Day 1

This has been a full day. I am excited to get started planning. I have been looking for a vc for over a year. I have been discouraged. I have a mental block about what would make a good vc for high school computer class. Any ideas are welcome. I tend to be a concrete sequential person with a lack of creativity.

Reflection for Monday

I found it difficult to come up with a good project. It was difficult to find something in common across the different curriculums. Many ideas were shared but nothing seemed to get accomplished. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Monday VC Reflections

I found out that www.smarterkids.org is a website for grants for CPS systems. I was particularly frustrated because the chat system didn't work with our Michigan connection for group 6. I had a really good conversation with my Michigan counterparts and look forward to getting the chat system up and running so we can continue with our project.

I'm awake now!!!!

I was glad when we split into our groups. I felt more like a participant, rather than a "viewer" of the workshop. I enjoyed all of the ideas that were thrown around!


I was glad to know that others had good ideas and I was able to add to their ideas. This does not seem so overwhelming now that day 1 is over.

Reflections for today, Monday

Today's ruminations....

I found that I spent the morning drive in still in summer "I am not supposed to be working" mode but quickly snapped out of it when I walked in the door to see the bright screen with the running horses on it. I guess I knew I was in the right place, doing the things I liked to be doing. I found that the hardest part was not wandering off on a tangent and then getting behind the group and getting lost because I was going somewhere I shouldn't have been. Then we yell at kids for doing the same things.


I'm excited about all of the possibilities that exist for distance learning! My students LOVED our one experience with it last year, and I am really excited about what our1-2 grade group has come up with for a project idea. Videoconferencing really brings learning to life and motivates the kids to do their best work. Distance learning will be a wonderful way to reinforce and practice reading skills and motivate students to read. I didn't realize that my school has such easy access to technology needed for videoconferencing and I intend to use it several times this year.

Monday, Monday...

I have done DL or VC as the set up person for the last three years; however, I have not been on the creative side of VC. I was the dial in, preset camera personal, facility set up and time keeper personel This side of VC is a lot more interesting (so far) I can see many possible curriculum connections. I enjoyed making the nameplate with WordArt. I found it interesting to connect to Texas and interact both verbally and as we watched non-verbal. Ken's presentation, while wordy, was very entertaining, interesting, and of course educational. I liked the CPS presentation. My school is just getting into the "whiteboard" generation and I know a couple of teachers who would also like the CPS; I know it is old in technology terms but would be new and innovated to my district. I am looking forward to being present in class on Tuesday!

vc day1

Elementary Stuents "Go The Distance " with Video Coferencing

This bibliography is about two lower elementray teachers that started with email pen pals and to extened to video conferencing.

I love that they started out small and worked to larger projects. It was the first experience for both teacher with VC. They helped eacher other learn as the went. It may be more helpful to VC with someone who has some experience to help guid the way.

I could see myself starting with something small the way the teachers did in the bibliography and moving on. One thing I will diffently do that they did was take a paper project with in case of any tech difficulties. They had the student bring library books.

As with anything new if find it helpful to start small and work your way up. It helps build that comfort level. I am sure that VC works the same way.

NASA Videoconferencing

I was interested to read about some virtual field trips offered by NASA. There are some videoconferences and some vitual visits which do not include interaction with another person, I'm guessing. There are several ones offered, like moon landings, robotics and rocketry. As a math teacher, I need to find out if there are ways to implement these topics into my curriculum.

One activity that was described in detail was about space imagry. This used pictures taken from space. I could see using this activity while teaching my students about scale drawings and ratios.

I once taught geology and this technology would have been awesome to teach kids about volconoes and other rock formations. I think that this type of experience could really influence a student to pursue a career in space, or at least science & technology. I am excited to learn more about how I can use this in a math class.

Middle School Videoconferencing Fosters Global Citizenship

I liked this article because it addressed middle school aged students and their concerns. StudI I like the idea of videoconferencing because it appeals to all learning styles of students. I work with special education students and they have many different ways of learning. I like the fact that students can actually interact with experts who can more clearly answer questions that I may not be able to answer. I think it is a great opportunity for students to hear from people who have first hand knowledge of the topic being studied.

Using vidoeconferencing there is also a great opportunity to have more global experiences. These experences are more relevant to the lives of the students. Students can express their views on many different topics and learn the views of someone from another part of the world. Students can share knowledge and debate. I like the idea of international contacts to discuss universal ideas.

I liked the VCF project on HIV in South Africa. I was inspired that the students were so moved that they took action and set up a fundraiser for the South African Foundation.

I would use VCF in the future to enhance any research project or reading project. I think it could be used to give students background information for a project or follow up a project. I would also like to use it as a tool to discuss current important issues. Ithink it is important for students to hear and understand there are all sorts of opions on topics of interest to all of us.

Regina Beauchamp

Yeah! There is something for Spanish too or Hay algo para el espanol tambien!

I must admit that it is not usually the case that I might sit down at a conference and actually get to read an article geared specifically to my subject area. I was pleasantly surprised to find "Best virtual field trips give students many quality experiences," by Janine Lim, a refreshing change. With the budget constraints facing many schools, video conferencing seems to be a logical option to still get the students "out" of the classroom.

The article specifically talks about the Indianapolis Museum of Art and its ability to share art in the target language in a game show type format. The format itself, the game show, lends itself well to students at all levels. Kids love the challenge of teaming up to test their knowledge and as a teacher I am always looking for creative ways to examine art and culture within the curriculum.

I think that this conferencing idea might work very nicely for my advanced Spanish groups. At this level, the students are asked to read a novel/reader in the target language. Last semester, I chose a reader that was set in Spain. I developed a power point presentation about Pablo Picasso to accompany the reading. How awesome would it have been to have the kids take the video conference with the Indianapolis Mueum of Art! I will definitely check out the possibility of using this resource in the future.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Daily Reflections

Welcome to the 123 VC! Workshop Blog!

We'll be sharing our reflections and thoughts on the readings and experiences via this blog. I'm looking forward to all the great ideas each of you has to share! Remember that all the class and all the world can read your thoughts, so think before you post! You may also wish to read this essay on WebLog Ethics. At least skim the bullet points!

Then, since we're all posting in the same blog, please sign at your first name and location at the bottom of each post so we know who you are!

Off we go to jazz up our curriculum with videoconferencing!

Berrien County ISD