Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Joy of Teaching

There is no better feeling when you are teaching to see your students in perfect sync with you as the lesson or demonstration unfolds. In many ways it almost feels like a symphony of sorts- there I am teaching and I can watch the expression and the heads moving in unison as they grasp the ideas that I am espousing. Pretty powerful stuff to say the least. Today was one of those days where everything just flowed. I have been introducing my students to the power of videoconferencing and challenging them to think of some ways to use it in the classroom. In this vein, I introduced them to two of my favorite videoconferencing applications Skype and Oovoo.

For the first part of the class, I connected with my friend Laura at Inspiration, Inc. and my class had a chance to meet her via videoconferencing. We had a very good connection and the class marveled in just how easy it was to accomplish the connection. After Laura introduced herself, we connected via Glance so that we could share her screen. Laura and I have done this before with some other classes but it was the first time we were using Glance to share her screen. Using the latest version of Glance and my account I was able to Start a session and view Laura's screen. As I have noted one of the things that I like most about Glance is just how easy it is to use. Today was a perfect example- within seconds of starting the session, Laura's screen was up and my class was viewing her computer. Laura did a great job of demonstrating InspireData which continues to impress me. Just this past week I modeled for a fifth grade teacher how to set up a mock election by using the eSurvey feature within InspireData. Glance was really fast and the screen redraws were nearly instantaneous. It was a great session and Glance worked flawlessly. My students were very excited to participate in the webinar and began to see just how these tools could be used together to deliver professional development and instruction.

After the short webinar- I had a chance to show them OoVoo and connected with Philip Robertson from OoVoo. We had a great conversation and the students remarked on the clarity of the image and the quality of the audio. We also had a chance to record the session which is another benefit of OoVoo and I had a chance to replay it for them. The session was a big hit and once again Philip came through and provided some great information and his great sense of humor. In in all it was a great day of teaching!

 
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