I keep thinking I want to finish reading “Teaching in the Digital Age” before I get too much into work for the fall but I just can’t seem to get motivated. I actually finished chapter 5 a month a go the first day we were at the cottage but then we had the week at the cottage, a couple day trips and a week a Disney. I am recovered for Disney and actually went in to the school to start setting up yesterday but still having motivation issues. I am going to a 2 day workshop starting tomorrow so hopefully that will help motivate me for the year.
Personally I have had some experience with videoconferencing on both the personal and professional level. We are avid Skype users at home with my own kids. My husband often travels for work and it has been great for them to be able to communicate with Daddy. Michael is too young to understand the voice on the other end of the telephone but when he can see Daddy on the computer screen he gets very excited. My mother-in-law also lives very far away so Skype helps the kids keep in touch with her easily.
Before I became a Kindergarten teacher I was a teacher-librirain and member our our school board’s Elementary Teacher Librarian group. I helped found a elementary literacy festival that involved 3 different sites in the school board. The first year we attempted to connect all three sites through video conferencing. We had some technical issues but the attempt was solid.
The limiting factor with using videoconferencing in my classroom is the hardware and level of permissions. I love the idea and the possibilities but ideas explored in other chapters are more practical for me to put into place when school starts in 2 weeks. I would love to use videoconferencing to interview an expert, especially in our inquiry based classroom. I also LOVE the idea of skyping another kindergarten classroom. Last year we set up our own class twitter account and I hope to expand this year. We are planning on signing up for Kindergarten Around the World an this would be an amazing opportunity to make the experience more visual.
The first step will be to get a webcam for the classroom. I will add that to my wish list (which seems to be growing rather fast).