Teacher Strategies to Support VC

As many of you know, I have a session of Planning Interactive Curriculum Connections running right now. In the first week, participants are asked to write about the challenges they see for implementing VC in their building/district/region, and how they might overcome them. Here is a quote from one of the teachers [who gave permission to quote him/her anonymously]. I’ve bolded & highlighted a few of the comments.

I see our district as having three challenges. First, some teachers have had a bad experience with videoconferences. Either they have had technical difficulties with the equipment or have seen other teachers have those difficulties. They use that bad impression to justify not wanting to schedule a videoconference, not paying attention to all of the good experiences people have had. To overcome this, I think we should try as many good videoconferences as possible at each grade level, hoping that teachers will go to their teams and say how positive the experience can be. For example, I scheduled ASK with one fourth grade teacher and The People of Three Fires (Cranbrook) with another. I’m hoping they’ll go to each other afterward and suggest everyone at fourth grade level do these programs.

The second challenge is time. We already feel so crunched with MEAP tests and curriculum, that finding time to look for, schedule, and participate in a videoconference makes some people reluctant. In the short term, I am finding and applying for minigrants on behalf of my school. In baby steps, we’ll get everyone hooked on the VCs, then show them how to find their own, then have them schedule them themselves. Devious!
The final challenge is the rut some people find themselves in. They aren’ t comfortable with using the equipment or the process so they aren’t actively searching for ways to use the equipment. To solve this problem, I’m working on the people that are least likely to say no first, then with other teacher support, we can get to those who don’t want to move out of their comfort zone.

This teacher is the sole videoconference champion in the building and is supporting this and learning about it without any release time. Amazing, isn’t it? There are quite a few teachers in my class this time who are also trying to encourage others in their building to use it. Reminds me of our continued discussion on my Demand is High post. If you haven’t read the comments on that post, you might want to… & also join the conversation!

And just a reminder that Kid2Kid Videoconference Connections, our other online class, starts next Monday, October 2. There’s still room for you!

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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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