In some Barrow County School System classrooms, instructional videoconferencing (VC) is nothing new. One of my STEAM education goals is for videoconferencing to become a commonplace tool in all of our classrooms. Almost all of the technical and logistical hurdles that used to exist as recently as a year ago no longer exist. The scales are now greatly tipped in VC’s favor as a classroom resource that is well worth the minimal initial investment.
However, despite our easy access to VC, we are nowhere close to having reached the full potential benefits of integrating VC into our day-to-day classroom environment. For example, this site has numerous examples of how we use VC to enhance student learning through connections with outside experts. Those types of VCs are wonderful, and we continue to expand our list of available STEAM partners, but there is another area of untapped VC opportunity at all of our fingertips: class to class VCs with one another. To aid growth in that area, I have created a simple directory of who currently has webcams and Zoom accounts that would allow you to connect with them.
To access the directory, log into your Barrow Google account and open this spreadsheet.
If you would are interested in getting the necessary equipment and software to be added to this list, let me know in the comments below.
Imagine your students collaborating with other students in real time across curriculums or grade levels.
How about when your students are doing their presentations at the end of a unit, you dial up a class 2 years younger and have those students listen in and ask questions at the end? Two interactive lesson plans in one with a guaranteed increase in student engagement!
What if the next time your students are working on persuasive writing, they try to persuade an audience from an entirely different school rather than an audience of their friends and classmates that they have know for years? Immediate transition to real life!
Let your gears spin on that for a second, and if it sounds like a tool that you would like at your disposal, let me know. I’d love to work with you.