Top Five Read Around the Planet Pitfalls

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Note: This post is written from my role as a member of the TWICE CAPspace and Read Around the Planet Committee.

Yesterday (December 1) registration opened for Read Around the Planet 2011. As you prepare to register, be careful of these top five Read Around the Planet pitfalls.

5. Procrastinate until the last minute.

  • Verification ends January 7.
  • Teacher registration ends January 13.
  • Don’t wait till the last minute.

Especially if this is your first year, it takes a little time to get your account set up, get your equipment entered, have a test call with one of our faithful RAP Verification Partners. THEN, you can register teachers. Give yourself some time and get verification done NOW!

4. Don’t plan any time in February to make it happen.

Here’s what happens in February:

  • Test calls with each partner class. 20 registrations = 20 different places to connect with! Fun, but it takes time to test!
  • Teachers need to contact each other and discuss the interactive agenda.
  • Any problems or issues that arise need to be solved.

Plan some time for these activities!

3. Be inflexible.

Some connections will have to be rescheduled due to weather, illness, or other unforeseeable events. If you have to reschedule, be kind and understanding. Read more on preparing yourself mentally for RAP.

2. Enter only one registration for multiple sections.

Let’s say your 6th grade teacher needs 5 partners for her 5 sections. Then, you need five registrations. A common mistake is to only do one registration. Then you only get one partner.

One registration = one partner class.

Here’s how it could look:

  • Registration A: Monday, Wednesday or Friday at 8:00 am
  • Registration B: Tuesday or Thursday at 9:00 am
  • Registration C: Monday, Wed, or Friday at 10:00 am
  • Registration D: Tuesday or Thursday at 12:00 noon
  • Registration E: Monday, Tues, Wed, or Friday at 1:00 pm

You know your situation, but enter all the dates a teacher can do for that class period.

1. And the all time, most common and problematic pitfall: Enter only one date & time for your registration.

What’s the likelihood of an exact match when you only enter one day & time? What if there aren’t any other 4th grade classes that chose that time? You’d think with 1950 classes participating, it wouldn’t be a problem, but it still is! Situations that are particularly hard to match include:

  • Only one date & time late in the afternoon
  • Only one date & time and any language (only about 100-150 classes participate in a language other than English each year)
  • Schools that book the RAP dates solid, but each class has only one date & time (these are especially hard to match)

Trust the matching system to make sure you don’t have two RAP connections scheduled at the same time. It checks!!

Enter ALL the dates and times each teacher can do!

So, now, what are you waiting for?! Go register for Read Around the Planet!

Follow me on Twitter to get the daily totals of RAP registrations. Did you know that NY hopes to beat TX this year and AB is planning to beat ON again?

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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