Thursday, January 22, 2015

Making connections with video chat

I recently had a chance to talk to grad students from South Hamilton CSD about using video conferencing technology to make connections for curriculum, community and continuing education.

To prepare for the Skype chat, I made a list of video connections I've facilitated over the last couple of years along with a list of resources and tips. Thank you to Cathy Stakey for this opportunity.

Connect with experts - Don’t be afraid to ask

Connect with authors - Especially if your students have read their books!

Connect with other educators - free professional development!

Connect with other classrooms

Connect with your community

Connect with your students

Resources and Tips

#mysteryskype - Twitter hashtag
Edmodo and ePals are also great way to find connections

Advice from personal experience

  • Check time zones
  • Practice in advance if possible
  • Connect directly to ethernet (hard wired connection) if possible
  • Locate the mute controls
  • Get a backup email or cell phone number so you can work out last minute issues quickly
  • Keep background noise to a minimum
  • Avoid glaring lights and backlighting
  • Don’t be afraid to ask experts to connect with you and your students
  • Mentor your colleagues once you get comfortable
  • Keep your open applications to a minimum
  • Try to orient your camera so you don’t have to crouch or lean down to get in the frame
  • Make sure you have good audio out so that your class can hear
  • I just use the built in microphone. A headset with mic would be good for a broadcast
  • Double check your equipment - power cord, extension cord, mic, projector, audio output

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