Polycom Remote Practice Causes Laughing

Last week I conducted the first two days of training for my new building distance learning contacts as part of our USDA RUS DLT grant.

I scheduled four days of all day trainings over the fall, and each of the 35 buildings with new Polycoms has to send at least one person to the training. Many of my buildings are sending two people. Since many of the buildings are small and rural (the population targeted by the USDA RUS grant), we have a wide variety of positions that were assigned support of the new system. In some buildings there is a media specialist or library aide, in others, a secretary who has a knack for technology, in others, one or two teachers are the new distance learning contacts.

The agenda for the day was:

My favorite part was the Polycom practice. I gave them an overview and an “assignment” sheet with different kinds of calls to make (IP, ISDN, multipoint) and things to practice (muting, moving the camera, setting presets, etc.). Then I divided them into groups and sent them off to our VC rooms around the ISD to practice. And I left them alone! But I could hear lots of giggling and laughing going on as they played with the remote. In about 30 minutes they came back to the main room excited and ready to go. They said the remote was easy to use and they felt very comfortable with it.

This was the first time I’d used this strategy and I was very pleased with the results. One of the participants said in the evaluation,

This was a great conference!!!! I’ve learned so much and I can’t wait to “play” with the equipment. I’m so looking forward to the first videoconference. I know it’ll be worth it.

So this is another reason demand is high! Many new building contacts who were concerned about their new role of supporting VC caught the big picture of possibilities, are comfortable with the tech, know they can call me if they are stuck, and are ready with tools & resources to support VC in their building. Yeah!

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About Janine Lim

Janine Lim, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
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3 Responses to Polycom Remote Practice Causes Laughing

  1. Teresa Hudson says:

    Hello, I am interested in attending a conference on how to teach on the polycom system.
    Thank you for your help.
    Teresa

  2. Janine Lim says:

    Teresa, I don’t know of a conference specifically on that, but there are a lot of resources online for teaching via videoconferencing. You can find some here:
    http://www.twice.cc/shared.html

    There are a couple conferences coming up you should look into:
    http://www.cilcsymposium.org/
    http://www.vcalberta.ca/elevate2008/

    Hope this helps…

    Janine

  3. I think that introducing video conferencing technologies into the classroom is a fantastic idea ! With technology getting more pervasive and video conferencing equipments are getting cheaper everyday, no doubt when these students go out to the working world, they will be exposed to video conferencing equipments.

    Getting them familiar and excited about the technology by engaging them in ways like that is a great idea !

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