Yesterday I team presented an all day pre-conference workshop at MAME with Diane Nye, media specialist at E. P. Clarke Elementary, our local building who consistently uses videoconferencing most often every year. We did much of the content from my RUS grant training, with extra emphasis on the Voices project, and quite a bit of time on the role of the media specialist in supporting the videoconferencing.
We had great discussions on managing the equipment location / cart, supporting teachers, knowing how the connections work, etc.
I know a big part of the success of our implementation in our area is due to the building level coordinators who make it happen.
They are the ones who help take the edge of disappointment when a content provider cancels a program due to technical difficulties. (Happened to us yesterday.)
They are the ones who help a teacher adjust to the frustration caused by what their partner teacher did for their project. (Happened to us this week.) Calming the teacher & helping them model flexibility and resourcefulness, and respect for the other site.
Media specialists already have a relationship with their teachers and often have a good grasp of their curriculum as well. They are already well skilled in helping teachers find resources to meet their curriculum.
I realize that this is a position that is getting cut in many places, but from my point of view, media specialists are an indispensible piece of successful videoconferencing!
Filed under: Professional Dev.