Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Curriculum Videoconferencing: Read Around the Planet

Thanks to this month's EDTECH Magazine, I learned a new term today. "Curriculum Videoconferencing." I love the way it rolls off the tongue. "Curriculum Videoconferencing." I love the fact that it encompasses the notion of setting up videoconferences that tie directly to classroom curriculum. According to the article, "Knocking Down the Walls":

“Curriculum videoconferencing” comprises three main types of instructional events: connecting to content providers, such as zoos and museums; participating in organized student projects, such as Read Around the Planet; and creating and generating classroom-to-classroom collaborations. Students can be motivated through interaction with experts and peers; access to real-world learning with authors, specialists and scientists; and exposure to other viewpoints, which promotes cultural understanding. "

One of the projects highlighted within is Read Around the Planet. It's too late to get in on the action for this year, as the project ended in March, but you can plan early for next year. I will! The only question I have is about the "setup requirements." The article by Janine Lim references H.323 videoconferencing protocols. Does it really have to be so formal and complicated? Can't we use Skype?

1 comment:

Janine said...

Hi Alecia,

Glad to hear you're interested in curriculum videoconferencing! You're right you can do Read Around the Planet type activities with Skype, but you'd be on your own to find a partner. At this point, TWICE creates events for H.323 and H.320 videoconferencing because the room based systems are better designed for classroom quality audio. But there are definitely schools experimenting with Skype this way. I don't know of any resources to help Skype schools to connect to each other at this point. Hopefully someone will create something like that soon!