This news article brightened my morning today: “‘Webcamping’ helps link Oklahoma rural teachers.” According to the article:

About 25 teachers visited the K20 Center at the University of Oklahoma to participate in “K20 Alt Goes Webcamping.” They received webcams and instructions on how to use them to connect with fellow teachers and other outside resources. They also learned about the K20 Center’s Web site dedicated to interactive alternative education lessons for math, science, social studies and English. Alternative education teachers can create a Web page on the site and interact with other teachers.

Way to go Laura Buxton, K-20 Center teacher-leaders, and Oklahoma AltEd teachers!

I’d love to see some short, digital stories created by Celebrate Oklahoma Voices and StoryChaser participants about how these webcams are used in the months ahead by Oklahoma AltEd students and teachers. Andrea Ford’s Video “Skype in the Classroom” (posted to COV by Tammy Parks) is one of the best Oklahoma examples I’ve seen to date of webcam/skype use to support learning.


Find more videos like this on Celebrate Oklahoma Voices!

The ISTEconnects posts “Interviews Over Skype” and “The Many Roles of Skype in the Classroom” include good links relating to the use of webcams and Skype to support classroom learning. My wiki curriculum page for “Videoconferencing Collaborations and Virtual Field Trips” also includes relevant links on this topic, including ways to “make connections” with other classrooms as well as experts outside of school. Brian Crosby’s presentation for the 2008 K-12 Online Conference, “Video-Conferencing It’s Easy, Free and Powerful” is one of the best resources to provide to teachers more interested in videoconferencing with Skype as well as other tools.

I haven’t posted the podcast yet, but two weeks ago at the PodStock conference I interviewed a teacher from Sterling, Kansas, who was able to bring former U.S. Senator Bob Dole into his classroom via Skype for the first time. (The first time Senator Dole had used Skype, but not his first time to videoconference.) Dean Mantz was/is the technology director extraordinaire “behind the scenes” who helped facilitate this classroom connection to Washington D.C. Sterling teachers and students (USD 376 in Kansas) are so fortunate to have a tech director like Dean!!! Perhaps Oklahoma AltEd teachers can convince Senator Jim Inhofe and Senator Tom Coburn to skype into their Oklahoma classrooms? If they do, it might help “Unmask the Digital Truth” for more Oklahoma school board members, school administrators, parents and community members when it comes to the constructive value of technology solutions like Skype in the classroom.

Hat tip to Dawn Danker for letting me know about the Webcamping event earlier in the week.

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