Posted on November 11, 2009 by Janine Lim
To celebrate Veterans Day today, we have 4 sessions with panels of our World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Students from MI and TX are interviewing our local veterans. Here are some of the questions students asked today:
- Where did you sleep when you were in active duty?
- Have you ever been back to where you fought?
- What was the worst thing you ever ate?
- How were you treated when you came home from the war?
- What advice would you give a student who is being encouraged to go into the service?
- Do you feel it was necessary to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima?
- Was it hard to run with all the supplies on your back?
- Who inspired you to serve our country?
- Tell us about the medals on your uniform.
- Would you really give your life for our country?
- How would you compare the war you fought with the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan?
This is the first group that I have noticed actually used the new note taking sheet I created. It has four squares for locations (to look up on the map later), historical facts, stories, and service/patriotism. It was great to see the students taking notes!
One of the classes was a Jr. ROTC group, and our veterans really enjoyed seeing the uniforms!
Throughout the day, we had several different veterans participate:
9:30 EST / 8:30 CST
left-to-right: Ray Sreboth, WW II; Lynn Rayle, Vietnam; Jess Bowman, Vietnam
10:45 EST / 9:45 CST
left-to-right: Ray Sreboth, WW II; Don Sprung, WW II; Al Rosinski, Korea; Jess Bowman, Vietnam
12:30 EST / 11:30 CST and 1:45 EST / 12:45 CST
left-to-right: Arden Pridgeon, WW II; Al Rosinski, Korea; Edwin Heiden, Vietnam; Weldon Burden, Vietnam
We have additional interviews coming up, including December 7 with World War II. We’d love to have you join us!
Filed under: ASK Programs | Tagged: Korean War, Lest We Forget, Vietnam, World War II | Comments Off
Posted on November 10, 2009 by Janine Lim
Yesterday and today I’ve been running our first attempt at HistoryQuest8: Revolutionary War. Last year we tried running it in the spring on the whole year’s curriculum and were only able to get enough classes to sign up for one session. This year, in talking to one of my teachers, we decided to try running it with a narrower focus: Revolutionary War. It’s going so well that I think I’ll be doing HistoryQuest8: Civil War in April/May for sure.
I had several scheduling problems, so the sessions today and yesterday have only two classes in them, which is never ideal. Still we are learning some things:
- HistoryQuest doesn’t really need the Q&A. The history mysteries aren’t as challenging as finding out a country and a city with MysteryQuest.
- Running it in 45 minutes seems like it will work great. The true test will be the sessions with four classes on November 23 & 24.
- Giving dates for a clue is definitely a bad idea. Too easy! It’s like showing the flag or map of the country in MysteryQuest World Geography.
- Also, mysteries like the Boston Tea Party are too easy because it is something the students should know off the top of their head if they have studied the Revolutionary War. The mystery and clues should be obscure enough that students have to use their knowledge of the Revolutionary War and their research skills to figure it out.
We’ve had time at the end of the sessions for the students to ask each other questions, and the classes have enjoyed that. I put up the timer for a minute to have them brainstorm questions first, and then let them ask questions. This gave the teacher time to get the questions organized and made it a little less like a free for all!
Stay tuned for updates on this project in a couple weeks! Also I have one spot left on Nov. 24 if you want to join us! (FREE)
Filed under: MysteryQuests | Tagged: HistoryQuest8, Revolutionary War | Comments Off
Posted on November 5, 2009 by Janine Lim
I’ve been watching a lot of multipoint VCs lately, and so I thought I’d write today about what seems to work well. Most of these tips I’ve learned from COSI Columbus with their surgery and expert interviews or from Arnie Comer’s ASK and LAPS programs at Macomb ISD.
- Make sure all sites are muted in the waiting time before the session.
- Have a splash screen with a logo or graphic representing the program.
- Greet each site as they enter.
- Connect all sites 15 min early with 3-4 sites; 20-30 minutes early with 5 or more sites.
These simple rules can tighten up a multipoint meeting and make it much more professional.
Sometimes issues and problems can happen, but there are ways to address them:
- If sites are unmuted, ask them to mute. If they don’t hear respond, the bridge operator can hard mute them on the bridge. Yes, I’m one of those control freak bridge operators! Silence at all costs!
- If sites are not connected, call them on the phone to figure out what is wrong and trouble shoot/solve before the program starts.
- If a participating (not presenting) site is late, start without them so that the other sites aren’t penalized.
- If facilitators are at more than one site, have the side conversations before the classes join and stop when the other sites join in. Think of it as talking in front of live audience with a podium and mic. You wouldn’t have a side conversation by a live mic in front of a waiting audience if you were in person.
- If there are any other problems, as the facilitator, unmute your microphone and address them as soon as possible.
What other tips would you add? Please comment!
Filed under: Communication Tips | Tagged: ASK Programs, Facilitating videoconferences, Multipoint videoconferences | 3 Comments »
Posted on November 4, 2009 by Janine Lim
This week I’m finishing up a session of the Planning Interactive Curriculum Connections online class. One of the participants, a high school media specialist, wrote an excellent plan for supporting VCs in her school. I wanted to highlight a few points:
Here at the high school, I can also be available to assist teachers during the actual connection. This includes assisting with the equipment, setting up the room appropriately, and making students aware of what to expect and how to speak and act during the VC. From my experience, most high school teachers feel fairly confident with the equipment after they are given instruction on how to use it. High schools students can also assist in running the equipment (muting microphone, changing camera presets, etc.). It is imperative to provide teachers with sufficient support during a VC program. If they feel overwhelmed by the technical aspects of a VC program and keeping their students engaged and on task, chances are they will not enjoy the experience and will not be interested in scheduling future VC programs. Therefore, communication is the key. Teachers should not be left alone until they feel comfortable with running the VC program by themselves. Once they express that they are comfortable, they can be left with contact information in case they face technical problems. – Alma Holtgren, Lakeshore High School, Stevensville, MI
Do you agree? Are you able to provide this type of support to your teachers? If not, how do you compensate? Please comment!
Filed under: Implementation, Professional Dev. | Tagged: high school VCs | 1 Comment »