Videoconferencing in the Classroom

Posted on May 9, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

by Tim Van Heule
Coordinator of Distance Learning

This post is also available on GCSDL, the blog for Distance Learning in Greenville County.

Collaboration isn’t always easy.

Collaboration between two classes with the same content isn’t always easy either.

Collaboration between two classes with the same content from different schools really isn’t easy at all… or is it?

Recently the Greenville News ran an article about some of the collaborative efforts that are being realized within the district in our foreign language classrooms. The article, Virtual Classroom Connects Blue Ridge, Hillcrest, focused on two of our schools that are using videoconferencing in an effort to provide Latin to students in a school that does not have a Latin teacher. The article also mentioned the efforts of two of our other schools that are doing the same thing with a German class.

These opportunities are made possible with our Tandberg 770 MXP units. Each classroom that is participating in these opportunities has one of these units. The camera can be controlled by either the class that is receiving, or the class that is presenting – including the options to pan and zoom. The external microphone is highly sensitive and makes the two-way verbal communication possible. We have been very pleased with these solutions that are offered by Tandberg.

Is this limited to foreign language classrooms? Absolutely not, in the coming weeks one of our third grade classrooms will be involved in a videoconferencing activity, e-Mission: Moon, Mars and Beyond! Our students will participate in this exciting program that focuses on math and science skills with the Challenger Learning Center in Kentucky.

Videoconferencing is a great way to bring students together from across the county, and even from across the country. One of goals for the 2008-2009 school year is to increase the videoconferencing opportunities that are available to our students.

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