Pedagogy _ Videoconferencing

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Pedagogy _ Videoconferencing Powered By Docstoc
					          Pedagogy &
Using new technologies in the classroom
 Using Videoconference Technologies
     Effectively in the Classroom

                       Robert Gusnowski October 2006
                       Buffalo Trail Public Schools
 Good Teaching is Always
     Good Teaching
• In the simplest of terms technologies
  and classroom environments are always
• The principles of Good Teaching
  remain fairly constant no matter what
  mode of delivery is being used
         Loss versus Gain
• Some may view videoconferencing as a loss
   – i.e. they lose the presence of physical teacher in a
     classroom to a virtual teacher elsewhere
• The FACT, however, is that videoconferencing
  most often replaces paper based distance
• The reality is that students participating in
  programs using videoconference technologies have
  far higher completion rate than students using
  traditional paper based distance education
A Look At Two Separate
• Classroom management and the logistics
  of working with this new environment are
  one issue
• Second – what are the Exemplary
  Practices that can be used as a starting
  point for effective delivery of curriculum
  using these new technologies
 Classroom Management
• Always start with planning

    One hour of planning saves three in execution……
   Procedures For The Use Of
    Videoconferencing In The
• Establish rules, guidelines, and standards
  of behavior for videoconferencing sessions
• Prepare the audience for any new
  terminology that may used during the
• Create a timeline for the video
  conferencing session
  Procedures For The Use Of
   Videoconferencing In The
• Determine the need and establish goals
  for the videoconference
• Learn the basic set up of the equipment
  and how to operate all sending and
  receiving equipment
• Learn the basic skills of using any related
  software or hardware such as Bridgeit,
  Smartboard, document camera, etc.

       Remember to smile and be yourself. Whether in person or
       on the screen you are still the same person and projecting
       the same self-image.
Classroom Management Issues
    and Videoconferencing
• There are many components to the classroom
  management issues in a regular classroom
• Videoconferencing plans should include
  management issues in the design of sessions
• Videoconferencing adds additional management
  issues because of the new and unfamiliar
  environment, the collaboration with others at a
  distance, the management of technology
  equipment, and the newness of the situation

         “Teachers should guide without dictating, and participate without
         C.B. Neblette
Classroom Management Issues
    and Videoconferencing
   Classroom Management issues can often be
     mitigated by using these strategies:

     • Preparation and delivery - allow more prep and
       delivery time, have materials ready, follow a
       schedule, and be flexible
     • Development of videoconferencing plans with the
       collaborating team
     • Working with student behaviors to have active
       roles in the videoconference session
     • Working with technical support to mitigate
       technology problems
  Classroom Management
        Issues and
 Make sure that the classroom is set-up to work for
 Communication - display a clock to follow the timeline,
  display an image to identify each site, designate a
  spokesperson for each site, and plan ways to
  communicate offline between teaching partners and
  students (e-mail, chat, etc.)
 Follow-up - make contact with teaching partners after
  the session to discuss the videoconferencing issues
  and solutions for the next encounter
Otherwise known as Netiquette in the networking world, these e-rules for
behavior simply take common sense and modeling of appropriate behavior in
all settings. These are a few guidelines to follow to make sure that all students
are aware of the extra care that needs to be taken in a videoconferencing
•Voice: Be sure that your speech is clear and loud enough to be heard
•Noise: Be aware that regular classroom noise must be kept at a minimum to
insure that the far-end site can hear
•Interruptions: Plan ahead for interruptions and have a plan for how to
handle them.
•Lighting: Be sure that all participants are able to be seen when on camera
•Body presence on camera: Be aware of camera placement and image you
are projecting

                 This is not all that different than what needs to be
                 considered when in a traditional classroom.
Student Interaction strategies
    for videoconferencing
   Students who are practiced and comfortable with the
     videoconferencing environment will take the actual
     connected time more seriously if the roles and
     responsibilities during the conference are spelled out.
     It is important to make sure that all students have the
     experience of time in front of the camera prior to the
     videoconference. Experience in front of the camera will
     alleviate some of the behavior problems that can occur
     due to nervous energy and the discomfort of not knowing
     what is happening.

       Make the students active participants in the teaching
       process as opposed to passive listeners.
Student Interaction strategies
    for videoconferencing
   A few strategies and types of interactions that might be
      included in a videoconferencing situation are:
        Student self introductions should be scheduled at
          the beginning of the session to get students talking
          to each other. Student lists with first names and
          personal profiles can be exchanged electronically
          before the session to stimulate interest in student
        Question and answer periods should be included in
          the planning to stimulate conversation about the
        Pair students at one site with students from
          anotherto focus on the project with outlined areas
          for discussion. Students need a personal connection
         and reason to interact
Student Interaction strategies
    for videoconferencing
   Plan for interaction with a sequence and
    student list of those participating in
    interactions for each scheduled session. Be
    sure all students are included in a planned
   Record student interaction instances with a
    checklist to make sure all are participating in
    free-flowing events
   Follow-up with individual students to comment
    on interactions
Its All About Engagement
• It requires no research other than our own
  memories about being in school to recognize that
  engagement is key in the learning process
• When we – or students – are active engaged in
  anything we remember the event
• It is these moments – moments when we are
  engaged and acutely aware - that we remember
• In the classroom when students are actively
  engaged in an activity the maximum potential for
  learning is achieved

         As in a traditional classroom engagement has been identified
         as critical factor in terms of student success.
Instructional Approaches for
• It all comes down to presentation and communication
• Good teaching techniques in any classroom translates to good
• It is important to balance face-to-face interactions with the
  more anonymous interactions of cyberspace
   – The use of email, chat rooms, phone calls, etc. must be
      included as a means of allowing students to speak privately
      with the teacher and with each other
• It is important to develop inter-site group cohesiveness
Instructional Approaches for
•   Teaching is more than just “talk and chalk” – good program
    design should utilize all available resources: web/technology
    based, paper based and people based
•   Technology is blurring the boundaries between what classroom
    education is and what education – as a whole – can be.
•   Videoconferencing should be used to facilitate the best of
    distance and conventional teaching. Distance learning is
    normally associated with more class materials and better
    preparation of teaching materials. Conventional with lectures
    and face to face meetings.
•   Video conferencing does not support open learning, students
    must still register and attend classes at pre-set times and
    progress at the pace established by the course.
Start With A Structured Plan
It is vital to have a videoconferencing plan of
  events, or timeline, in order to maximize the
  use of the videoconferencing connection
  time. The plan can be a simple outline, a
  detailed chain of events, or an outlined step
  by step process.

        The additional challenges associated with delivering program
        and content to multiple sites makes planning a critical step in
        the teaching process. Trying to “wing it” or “make it up as you
        go” is not only not sound educational practice but rather a
        recipe for disaster when used in a videoconference
        Stick to the plan
Whatever method is used, it is vital to develop
 the project/lesson plan with the
 videoconferencing partner in order to
 ensure smooth sessions during a

         Have a plan, work the plan and, if necessary, adapt the plan.
         Start with the end in mind and have a clear roadmap of what,
         how and why.
         What if technical
         problems arise?
You may experience problems with the technology during
  a session.
• Bear in mind what you, and others, need to know in this
•   make sure you know where to get help
•   check that participants at the remote site know enough
    about using the technology for it to run smoothly
•   make sure they know where to get help
•   have the telephone number of the remote site you are
    contacting at hand in case your connection goes wrong

             Always have a plan “B”
        What if technical
        problems arise?
You should also - as much as reasonable - have some
  contingency plans in case the link does fail. Does it make
  sense to continue on audio channel only if that is still
  working? Is it possible to provide overheads or handouts to
  the facilitator at the remote end so that some useful work
  can continue? Can some of the work be done via bulletin
  boards or computer conferencing? If the session is critical,
  are there possibilities of rescheduling the session or
  delivering it conventionally?

          Always have a plan “B” - if in doubt have a plan “C”
          Be adaptive and
• As with any new technology, successful integration of video
  conferencing into existing activities requires attention to
  the needs of the people who will be using it
• The determination of what is acceptable and useful must be
  based on the reaction and comfort level of the end users
• In the case of simple point-to-point meetings, there is not a
  lot of new learning required for participants to successfully
  interact with each other as long as the video and audio
  quality do not interfere
• Care should be taken to ensure that participants feel they
  can see and hear each other clearly

                          Work your plan!
Critical Factors for success
• Most projects have initial teething problems, sometimes with
  serious negative consequences for learning such as
  cancellation of courses. There must be a back up to
  established in case the technology fails!
• Prepare students to understand that this is new technology
  and that we are all learning and that things may go wrong.
  Admit there are special challenges in video conferencing
• Prepare students for the form of learning to be adopted
  during the course. Ask students to take some responsibility
  for their own learning
• Plan for a large amount of instructional preparation time
  (including running a pilot trial) if you have not used video
  conferencing before
Critical Factors for success
• Sessions should be well structured and defined with clear
  time constraints
• Allow each site to work by itself on various things and bring
  people back at a specified time and with a specified signal.
  Build site camaraderie as well as cross-site relationships
• Voice, animation, energy and enthusiasm are critical
  motivating factors in distance learning
   – These key factors are also critical in a traditional classroom
• Practice participation and involvement
• During each session ensure that there is a lot of opportunity
  to interact with others, either at the site or across sites.
  Individual reports, team reports, presentations and feedback
            The nature of the technology and the environment necessitates that creating
            “presence” is of even greater importance than a traditional classroom. The end
            goal is to make the technology transparent – creating “presence” for both the
            teacher and students is what makes “what’s happening” in the classroom of
            greater importance than the technology being used.
This Really Is Important
   Enough to Repeat
The nature of the technology and the
environment necessitates that creating
“presence” is of even greater importance than a
traditional classroom. The end goal is to make
the technology transparent – creating “presence”
for both the teacher and students is what makes
“what’s happening” in the classroom of greater
importance than the technology being used.
3 Most Important VC Factors
Identified By BTPS Teachers
1. Smartboard + Bridgit collaboration
2. Sound quality
3. Picture quality

       Based on BTPS survey results, VC Teachers all seem to
       agree that the Smartboard and Bridgit collaboration
       server is perhaps the most important and critical factor
       when it comes to delivering curriculum.
       Work cooperatively
• This is a new and evolving area in the
  world of education
• Share what you have learned and look
  to others for new ideas

“You can observe a lot by just looking around.”
    Yogi Berra
           The Journey

“The path to our destination is not
  always a straight one. We go down
  the wrong road, we get lost, we turn
  back. Maybe it doesn't matter which
  road we embark on. Maybe what
  matters is that we embark.”
Barbara Hall, Northern Exposure, Rosebud, 1993