Hey, as a member of the ISTE SigIVC "Renegade Committee," I'd like to pose this question: ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRK (sound of brakes slamming on dry pavement)--better give you some background...

I've been involved in IVC (Interactive Videoconferencing) since 1996, when I attended a Vanderbilt Virtual School conference on Watershed curricula and discovered CUSeeMe interactions with scientists, an element of the proposed program for getting young children involved in exploring the health of our water systems.

Since then, I've connected my Nashville 3rd graders to 4th graders in Japan, shared in-class experts with remote classrooms, brought a dog musher into my school from Alaska for a long discussion with my 2nd graders, designed and delivered a program connecting Astronomy experts with K12 classrooms (and created a long-lasting podcast to support that), facilitated a science outreach IVC program, participated in NASA interactions with my 4th graders, brought "Boowa" into my school from Mauritius to chat and sing with my Kindergarteners, and who knows what else.

There's a lot to do. Oh, here's the question:

What are YOU doing, and--more importantly--why, with IVC?

See my personal website for all kinds of stuff :)

Tags: Videoconferencing

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Dog mushers, that is awesome - how did you find them??? Scott, if not using ITv, IVC... to make your connections, what are YOU doing? We are a rural county in central AZ and our county connected several districts through IP ITv with the intention of using it for early college courses at the community college. We have since used it to connect AP classes where one school has a teacher and many schools have the students and that's all well and good! But my fav... I absconded with the process and took it to the masses (with the help of MANY a fine, creative and willing human). We have HS students interested in medical fields attending autopsies live and participating in the discussion as the autopsy is being performed, using what they know and what they see to determine cause of death. Elem's sitting in AZ going to Alaska, archeology students chatting casually with the curator or the USS AZ Memorial at Pearl Harbor, HI, 8th graders reading 'Number the Stars' followed by a virtual visit to talk to Holocaust survivors who had quite a different life experience when they were 14. It's all amazing and engaging. For aboard presentation last year I worked up what state standards were addressed by one kinder class during one 'content-provider' event, and they covered nearly a dozen (in nearly all content areas) rather robustly! indeed a fine example of 21st Century Learning.

How curious to be sitting in AZ (with a record breaking 135 days of no rain) talking to a class in Alberta, Canada who was snow mobile-ing to school!

We have one hard mounted room with visual concert, one newly acquired portable unit with a plasma on a cart and a codec on the plasma (just getting that one fine tuned now). It's maiden voyage will be something we call Read Across Arizona (modeled after http://www.twice.cc/read/index.html"">Read Around the Planet), in the next few weeks! Saves some students a field trip bus trip to our mounted unit at the HS. Bandwidth not supporting the feed at this time, so we installed dedicated DSL lines to carry the signal. We used to ask everyone NOT vc'ing to stay off the internet during critical events! Irck! Crash! Talk about a party downer. We are in the ongoing money battle for high speed or wireless and hope to get more portable setups in the future so each school has access. If we get high speed then we can go video cam crazy! So, where'd you find those mushers?
Hi, Amy, one group of mushers in Alaska are Rich Hum at Kigluait Adventures. Really great stuff and includes an online environment to extend the IVC connection.


If you book a connection, tell Rich that Roxanne from the MysteryGuest Showcase says, "Hi!"
Scott, I coordinate IVC projects for 56 districts in central Texas and we do all sorts of IVC stuff. Our biggest is Monster Match with 86 classes this year.

Our most popular-project-stemming-from-a-phone-call is www.weatherwithrusty.com

Our current is our Holiday Extravaganza including a separate PreK-2 project and a challenge project for grades 2-6.

Our schools do lots of other stuff: Read Around the Planet, NASA, COSI Columbus' Gadget Works and surgeries, Baseball Hall of Fame, and Cleveland Museum of Art. Those are the most recent off the top of my head!

I'm a teacher-educator who is trying desperately to connect my pre-service teachers to the best examples of inquiry-based science teachers and problem-based math teachers (elementary). I found one of these teachers nearby, and rather than making field trips and bringing 25 pre-service teachers in to her classroom I want to use videoconferencing to expose my students to her teaching. We have been engaging in live, reflective discussions of her teaching. but we haven't tuned in for a live teaching event yet.

I imagine a time when the best teachers have people constantly "in" their classrooms through the use of this sort of technology. Heck, maybe there will come a time when one "live" teacher can teach in several classrooms at once through video hookups. There could be a teacher aide in the remote classrooms to help keep the kids involved in what the lead teacher is doing. These lead teachers could be well-known experts that school districts contract with for their superior teaching services. At very least, these lead teachers would certainly be worth a much higher salary than the average, wouldn't you say?
Hi, Scott,

I worked with pre-service teachers in 1998 and tried to convince my boss that this would be a great model (at the time, the technology was not even close to what it is now!) I think that this could be a powerful use of videoconferencing. One of the most effective staff developments I ever attended was one where we watched a "live" teacher bring together a group of students and teach them each morning for a week. The time we watched her was about 2.5 hours. Then the students went with another teacher and we got to participate in a reflection with the teacher on the decisions she made as she taught the group. It was so amazing.

Now, flash forward to now. I know some of our larger districts in TX are beginning to use their mobile Polycom systems in this way. The monitor is left off so the students in the room do not know that they are being watched. The lead teacher teaches a lesson and then the students go to PE or music and then the reflection between the lead teacher and the new teachers.

Given the time constraints, accountability pressures, and teacher attrition, in the US we are going to have to begin to look at how to actually do things differently. IVC has potential to assist with this. I work with people from all over the US and Canada through IVC and it has transformed my practice.
Greetings all:

I hope you still check this for new replies. I'm searching for an effective demo that shows what interactive video conferencing can look like in the classroom for our technology resource teams to see. Do any of you trail blazers have something or know someone who has something that captures the excitement when kids forget about the technology and are fully in the moment? Thanks for your help.
I think this is what you're looking for:


Scott, I am SO impressed with the projects you have done. I am new to the practice alhtough the idea was bouncing around in my head for a long time.

My Current Issues class uses IVC to connect with other high school students to get their ideas on topics we study. We were in contact with schools in Russia and Georgia after the crisis there broke out in August. Our discussions with the Russian high school is now a regular part of my class's routine, and we have stayed in touch throughout the recent economic decline. We hope to add schools from Thailand and China in January and we are planning a humanitarian project with a school in Cameroon.

This article explains a lot as to why we do it and student responses.

My question for you is how you found and coordinated such wonderful events with your students?
Jonathan Henderson
Hi Scott -- I want to set up a pro-d session (to be followed by collaborative student workshops) where to begin with teachers in 2 locations can see each other and participate in a hands-on workshop together. I can get the facilities of the local university, but I have no idea of what software to use. I would like the video to be real time, 2 way, & full screen if possible so the 2 groups will do the workshop together. Is this possible? What do people out there recommend? Thanks.
Hi Scott, I just started using videoconferencing in my second grade classroom at Kingston Elementary. We are actually the first classroom in the Roane County School District in East Tennessee to use this type of technology. I use it to help the kids work on their communcation skills as well as building self confidence when speaking (in front of others). We use Skype to VC but are in the process of researching other types of softeware downloads for VCing. So far, we have found it easy to use and my kids are really enjoy talking and sharing with other classrooms all around the world. My principal and superintendent are also really excited about the endless possibilities it presents. As a rookie, I am open to suggestions for different uses and ideas!
I am looking for a class that is interesting in a skype long distance debate with my class this semester. I teach 8th grade U.S. History. Last year we debated against Terry Parent's class out of Hollywood, California. The topic was Democratic Republicans vs. Federalists. I would like to repeat this event yearly. Perhaps even more than once a year. Anyone interested...especially a class in a time zone that is closer to us, please email me at susan.gorman@gcisd.net. I am in Central Time Zone. The time zone is important to consider because working with the class in California (I am in Texas) was a "juggle." Although, it was worth all of the effort.

Hopefully you pioneers can help! We have a fancy new camera and we have hooked it up and done interactive events with the fine folks at NASA. THis has happened in our media center with a Tandberg camera. But there must be a way to send it out so all the other classrooms can join in too. Today we used a simple video camera and filmed the screen and then sent that through closed circuit to the rest of the school---- But isn't there a way to do this via the internet? Our Tandberg has a video out port...



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