Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Webcam for Every Classroom

The paradigm shift has started. This week at ACFT elementary school each teacher received a Logitech Web cam to start making connections across the hall and around the world.

Why did we make the shift?
  • Opportunity: The old system only allows specific content with specific equipment. Web cams allow the teacher to make connections that only limit their imagination to any one with an Internet connection.
  • Money: Connections are not dependant on expensive carts at each end but inexpensive web cams that are available to the masses.
  • Multi- Dimensional: Distance learning carts have one job. Make connections. Web cams do so much more: record movies, take pictures, record spelling list, creative avatars, send video email, make video calls, etc...

Web 2.o makes it all happen.

  • Skype: The work horse behind our whole initiative. Each teacher received a Skype account with instructions on how to use Skype and its built in extras such as whiteboard to make connections more engaging.
  • MeBeam: Keeping it simple. No user names no passwords create a unique room and invite your guest.
  • USTREAM.TV: Broadcast your classroom live and record it for others who cannot be there. Great for after school activities and sports.
  • DimDim: The most features of all the Web 2.0 sites, even has the ability to share the desktop. This is a WebEx clone if you have ever used it.

The vision is that web cams will inspire teachers to make the work more engaging by giving them authentic audience, a clear and compelling product, and novelty & variety according to Schlechty's design qualities.

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