Day 13: Who Are You? and Where Are You?

20 Days to Being a Better VC Coordinator

Videoconferencing is a communication technology. “I know that,” I hear you say. But think about this. When was the last time you were in a videoconference and you didn’t know the name of the person you were talking to? I bet it was recently. It happens all too often!

Introductions

So for today’s challenge, let’s think about some tips to polish your introductions.

  1. Introduce yourself soon after you connect. Roxanne reminded us of this yesterday. Say, “Hello, this is ______ from ______ school in __________.” We want to know who you are and where you are!
  2. In large discussions with multiple sites, before stating your perspective, begin with “I’m _____ from _____ and my comment is…”
  3. Be sure to say the city and state. Sometimes it’s very helpful to include a frame of reference. For example, you probably don’t know where Berrien Springs is! So, I say, I’m Janine and I’m from Berrien RESA in southwest Michigan about an hour and a half around the lake from Chicago. Now, don’t you have a better picture of where I am?
  4. Prominently display a sign to identify your location.

Student Introductions

If you participate in many collaborations with other schools, here are two tips for making these introductions quick and easy.

  1. Create a little script that can be used for each videoconference. Write it on a note card and keep it by the videoconference cart/system. Tell us something unique about your area so we can get to know you. The next time you participate in a collaboration (Read Around the Planet?), hand the card to a student to read!
  2. Create a little PowerPoint with three to five slides starting with a map of your country, a map of your state/province, and pictures from around your town/city. Use a star or other large marker on the maps to show where you are. Every videoconference is an opportunity to reinforce geography!

Comment Challenge

Your challenge for today is to write your introduction script on a notecard or make a little PowerPoint or slideshow with pictures about your community. Have a couple students help you! Tell us what you included in it.

Comment Comment

What other tips or stories do you have on introductions?

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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