Dave's Page

I'm excited and intrigued about this new collaborative journey. A few months ago, it was a seed - waiting for soil, water, and light. Over the summer, the seed was planted; a few weeks ago, it sprouted; any day now, teachers, authors, and children will nourish it. Wow.

The possibilities excite me. While I typically like to have a better sense of new initiative for the school, I'm happy to just see where this goes. After all, as another (jealous) principal told me, "What's the worst that could happen but have your students read great books and get to know some great authors?" He's right. So I'll sit back and watch this garden grow.

December 9, 2011
Had our first IVC the other day. Kudos to Chris and Jason for pioneering and to Heidi and our tech people for their assistance. Great team effort.

From the general learning perspective, it was awesome. Truly awesome. Students were excited, taking notes, responding, etc. The two classes sat on the floor facing the smartboard and there was a chair on which one student speaker could sit front and center. The camera faced the class and seemingly captured everyone. There was a real hum coming from the students as they related to Dorothy's experiences and laughed at some of her stories it was interesting to hear. There was energy in the room. For this first meeting, it was a get-to-know you. I loved that; relationship building = credibility for the kids. Next step is to dig into the learning - content area, writing, reading, etc. Already talking to the teachers about possibilities and directions. The goal is to get the students more involved. In this introductory meeting, the kids generally listened, though they did come prepared with (great) questions for Dorothy.

From the tech perspective, I would characterize it as fine. No real issues, but the relay was definitely choppy. It got annoying after a while. No impact to the caliber of what was spoken in either direction, but I'd like to see that get better. Not sure if it was the distance (she was in Hawaii), the horrible weather outside, or the fact that we're using a free program (Skype) and you get what you pay for. Curious to see if other classes have the same difficulty. But again, it'd didn't hinder any of the learning or excitement. I actually expected a freeze or dropped call and that didn't happen.

It was really rewarding to watch this get off the ground. Months of discussions, planning, and risk-taking. I'm so appreciative of everyone's efforts. Here's the amazing thing: as great as this inaugural IVC was, knowing how much better things get after you get a chance to refine and hone, I can't imagine the potential with this. The session was truly a memorable experience.

And to think - this experience was unimaginable in the classroom 10 years ago. I hope it becomes commonplace; it's powerful. Will post a photo soon.