Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How to use Videoconferencing in the Classroom

How to use Videoconferencing in the Classroom
What is video conferencing? It is a synchronous two way connection of two or more different locations via audio and video media.  

 Want to use video conferencing? What to do:
 1. Meet with technicians or IT professionals to be sure it can be done
 2. Be sure you are familiar with the location of your broadcast - what equipment is available and when 
3. Check out the lighting situation in the location
4. Also be sure to “check out” equipment if needed for the presentation
5. Develop a list of contact information for the participants
6. Understand how to use the video and audio equipment
7. Test it out
8. Discuss etiquette to participants - questions, audio, technical, etc.
9. Have a back up plan for equipment and technology - things happen! - have a backup plan
10. Be sure participants have access to any handouts, forms, or guidelines - include them in a pdf form so they can be read across platform (PC or MAC) 

Some great technologies to think about using when conducting a video conference:
- Document camera
 - Video examples
- Slides (be sure to number handouts or slides - participants can refer to them easily) made of PowerPoint, slide share, Google, Prezi (this is flash based and users who have MAC will not be able to access this format)
– Handouts
- Poll participants to encourage participation - can be done by 

Ideas to keep in mind to have a successful video conference:
- Have name tents or tags available for the participants
- Have microphone at each site so participants can ask questions
 - Participants can have small group discussion regarding topics
- Involve student response clickers or other polling software/freeware to incorporate into your presentation to ensure participation
- Create a Google doc. Google form, or type with me doc for people to add ideas or best practices
 - Create a twitter hash-tag for back chatting purposes
- Develop a backchat site where people can post ideas/comments/questions, one great one is:Todaysmeet
- Record the session for participants who could not attend - Have a co-moderator dictate the closed captioning for students who need that requirement
 - Also have image description available for students who are blind or visually impaired

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