Bev Maddox spoke next and spoke on something that is a passion mine which is student created content. She focused on the fact that with student created content the action is focused and very real to the students. Videoconferencing does indeed provide the opportunity for student collaborations that are student created and student driven products. Student created content promotes student voice and a lot of student ownership that allows students to develop a working knowledge of technology tool that allows students hands on experience that provides both rigor and relevance. Next up is Dave Slaymaker from Arkansas University. He made the point that utilizing videoconferencing allows students access to content they would not otherwise have access to. Real teachers in real time. He is from the Office of Distance Education and the website provided is ode.asmsa.org. They offer k12 courses in any subject. They also offer flexible scheduling, AP classes, with Highly Qualified teachers.
Next up with a discussion on professional development. He made us realize that with the equipment we have the opportunity to bring in amazing speakers from around the world without the overhead cost. While it would not be completely free it is considerably cheaper to only have to pay for an instructors time without the cost of travel. The CILC website has many professional developments available. A book was highly recommended that is sold through ISTE, Videoconferencing for the k12 Classroom.
Next up is Dawn offering resources that are available. Some of these are: www.cilc.org, www.twice.cc, and http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/vidconf.htm. Other material that are uploaded from this workshop are listed on the NECC website under Going Green with Videoconferencing.
From here we moved into a skype session discussing the different aspects of funding videoconferencing. Some ways of funding are through grants one of which is, USDA Rural and Distance Learning Grant, (RUS, targeting rural schools and communities), another is of course through ARAA. The first pot is through the stabilization phase, in September more will come down through school modernization and technology, you can also find your state application on the dept. of ed website, E2T2 is another way this money will be funneled through the state to the district. E2T2 monies will begin July 1, 2009. E2T2 must be filed separately but not Title I or IDEA. 4 Billion will come through Race to the Top (focus on substantial student gains), Invest in What Works (650 Million). October is when the apps will be posted, December is when those apps will be due, and money will be dispersed in March of 2010. There is also vendor grant assistance. Polycom and Tanberg are 2 vendors that do indeed provide grant assistance. Polycom assists in the navigation of the grant process. Tanberg grants team researches and identifies funding sources that have an IVC peice, they then meet with those who have need and strategize a plan even to the point of making writter connections to help get the money, however they do not leave you there, they also help you through the implementation process.
Overall this was a great session with very informative presenters. It is my hope that IVC will grow and really take root in our district this year.