Stories from the Classroom: Our First Year of Videoconferencing

Cross-posted with the MACUL conference blog.

It’s Thursday afternoon and Danielle Letter is hosting a session in the TWICE room called Stories from the Classroom: Our First Year of Videoconferencing. We are videoconferencing with a class in Bridgeport-Spaulding and they are sharing about all the videoconferences they’ve done this year.

Guess Who

First the students explained about a project they participated in – the class connected to a class in Canada. Each student had written descriptions of themselves and they had to figure out who was who from the descriptions. Danielle had posted this in CAPspace to get a partner. Here’s a snippet of the collaboration and you can read the whole thing here.

Students will begin preparation for their connection by drawing their face using principles of Art. After the drawing is done, students will write a short descriptive piece about their art detailing their characteristics.

On the day of the connection students will gather in groups and each teacher will show one drawing. After reading the description, students from the connecting site will guess which student created the drawing and writing. Finally classes will have time to get to know each other through questions and answers.

Native American Beads

Next the students shared about how they learned about Native American Beadwork talking to an expert at the Hartley Outdoor Learning Center. They learned all about Native Americans and created their own bead necklaces.

Monster Match

Next some students described about their Monster Match project. They connected to a class in Pennsylvania. Each student drew a colorful monster and described it. During the session two or three students from each class describe their monster while everyone tries to draw it. You can read the full description of the collaboration in CAPspace here.

Experiencing It!

After the students described their videoconferences, we got to experience them with the students.

For Guess Who, we saw a self-portrait that student had drawn, and then listened to the characteristics. Then we picked the student from a group of 5 students. After that the group of students introduced themselves. We did this several times. Here’s what it looked like. Students were lined up and we were guessing which student:

Then the students shared why they liked distance learning:

  • We get to see people on camera from other places.
  • We get to see different objects (from the Native Americans session).
  • We learn lots of new stuff.
  • 100% more fun than a paper!
  • We get to learn about other states and countries.

After this, we tried out the Monster Match. One of the students gave us directions and we followed as shown:

After this, the audience asked the students & teacher questions. Great interaction and the audience was enthralled and engaged during the whole session. One of the 1st grade teachers in the audience said this was the best session I’ve been to because I got to color! Great work, Danielle Letter, TWICE President!

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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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