Today in the workshop I facilitated for 22 teachers in Miami, Texas, we had a short, interactive videoconference with the 3rd and 4th grade scholars in Bob Sprankle’s Room 208 classroom in Wells, Maine. The principal of Miami School told the Maine students a little about the Miami school and community, and the Room208 students talked about life in Maine and their experiences as student bloggers.

This was one of the most engaging professional development (“inservice”) activities I have participated in as an educator. In this case, iChat video-conferencing “just worked.” No firewall issues, a few times when packet loss led to degradation of the video quality and audio quality, but overall a very good connection and experience. This was done over our schools’ respective commodity Internet connections, with no prior coordination with IT personnel. At Miami in the library, we were actually connecting through a wireless Internet access point. The Miami teachers and I have talked about blogs, set them up, and visited classroom blogs in previous workshops, but it was great to actually SPEAK to a classroom of students during our workshop about what effect blogging has had on them as writers, and what advice they have for other teachers and students considering blogging.

Many thanks to Bob and all his students! Bob recorded the event as I did, hopefully one or both of us will share some of what we recorded in an upcoming podcast. Check out the Room 208 blog and podcast and Bob’s Bit by Bit podcast if you’re not already a regular subscriber, as I am. 🙂

If you want to connect with other educators for a collaborative project, involving email, videoconferencing, or other technologies, I recommend registering with ePals (for free) and using their resource database to connect with like-minded educators and students!

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2 Responses to iChat with Room 208 Scholars

  1. […] ePALS Classroom Exchange (Via Moving at the Speed of Creativity.) “ePALS is the Internet’s largest community of collaborative classrooms engaged in cross-cultural exchanges, project sharing and language learning. ePALS is also the leading provider of school-safe emailTM, eMentoring and web-browsing technology for the global educational market.” ‘Don’t know why I hadn’t noted this before, but I thought I’d pass it on now that I have. […]

  2. Cheryl Oakes says:

    This is such a great experience and I hope it shows “regular teachers and students” that all of us can participate in this type of collaboration and learning. Thanks for getting it started.

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