About 2 years ago I had a wish. When I moved into my office at Brother Rice Junior High I wanted to be able to see all the distance education students that I taught as I was teaching class. Today I was able to make that wish a reality. How did I do it... please read further.
At CDLI we have Polycom units that are deployed throughout many of our schools. We also have a videoconferencing bridge that allows multiple sites to be connected via video and audio. That took care of the video part.
In terms of students seeing what I was writing... I have a Mimio Teach and a whiteboard that I can write on. That took care of the notes part.
To do some graphical analysis I used my TI-Nspire CAS Teacher software.
With all of these tools at my disposal I was ready to teach the class. Things went okay but there were some minor issues and lessons learned. What were they?
First of all I learned that I need to be able to mute external microphones. There was a considerable amount of background noise inthe rooms while I was teaching.
Secondly I need to control what is displayed on the other Polycom units. That way the other sites always see what I see. That was something that I was not sure about today.
When I try this the next time I will learn how to use the web interface to allow me to control these things. The next session will go much more smoothly.
Most importantly... I had the privilege to see my students in real time and they got to see one another. That alone made it a success.