Getting Organized for RAP

Now that most of the match emails are out, it’s time to get organized for all our Read Around the Planet connections this year. (I say “most” of the match emails because some get caught in spam filters, and the world language ones haven’t been sent out yet.) Locally last year I had 30ish connections and this year I have 76!

Stats
I thought you might be interested in some quick stats on the whole project. More detailed ones later. There are 1251 match requests for the regular English event. 30ish are still in the leftover/working on it pile. For World Languages there are 70 requests and 26 are still in the leftover pile with progress coming along for most of them except the ones I mentioned yesterday. Estimating 30 students per class (some are smaller and some double up), we’re looking at an estimate of 40,000 students impacted by this project. Pretty amazing, really! It would not be possible without the sponsorship of Polycom, the hard work of TWICE board members, the huge assistance from our verification partners, the coordinators at all levels supporting teachers, and of course the teachers who prepare the students and make it all happen.

Organization Tips
This morning I sent some tips to my local building coordinators for keeping organized with RAP and I thought you might be able to use some of this too. I’m posting it how I sent it out; but feel free to copy & paste and tweak this to use with your own coordinators.

  • Copy the data into Word. You can login to the TWICE registration system now http://treg.remc11.k12.mi.us/rap/ – and go to Big Match Reports at the bottom. This will give you a nice list with a place for notes of all your connections. I like to copy & paste this into a big Word file that I can work on. Or you can print and highlight etc. Note: You may want to wait a day or two as many buildings are updating their building data (coordinator info, IP addresses, etc. so that the match info is more accurate). This can be updated by logging into the system and editing the building. If contact people information is listed with no name or phone number, it’s because that person hasn’t logged into the system yet.
  • Test Calls. I’d recommend setting aside a few afternoons or whatever works for your schedule, and try to convince your partners to do the test calls all at the same time. If you have a lot this makes it easier because you’re just working on one thing at a time.
  • Directory. Now is the time to get to know the directory feature on your Polycom VSX 7000s. Especially for those of you with a lot of connections. Here’s how it works:

From the front screen of the Polycom go to Directory.
On the left choose New.
Enter the name of the site at the top using the keypad like a cell phone.
Put in the IP number. The rest of the fields you don’t have to worry about.
Then Save.
Then to dial, just select that site from the directory.

  • Leftovers. There are only a few match requests that are in the leftover pile that the TWICE team is still working on. Other than that you should all have a match.
  • Keeping Sane. This project is crazy and can seem overwhelming, but we’ll just work through these connections one at a time. It’s so worth it for the kids – I keep reminding myself of that!

If you have any other tips you are sharing with your schools, please comment!

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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2 Responses to Getting Organized for RAP

  1. Pingback: VC Rox » Read Around the Planet 2007: Get Organized!

  2. Thanks for posting these tips. I copied and edited them for my coordinators. This is our first year and we have 48 classes participating and are a bit overwhelmed right now. I appreciate the help!

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