Saturday, July 30, 2005

A nice new use for desktop IVC!

Whilst presenting at a workshop July 28 at Vanderbilt University Virtual School, I discovered a great use for desktop interactive videoconferencing that I haven't yet mentioned/discussed: Bringing in participants and presenters who don't have what I'm calling the "high-end" IVC offerings to conferences taking place between participants who do.

My friend Jan Zanetis, director of the VUVS, held the July 28 workshop to help introduce IVC to teachers and to shore up the skills and knowledge of those who already make use of the technology. Jan had around 20 local participants (many of whom were from other parts of the Southeast) and 4 or 5 sites remotely, in Texas, Indiana, and Michigan.

My segment was to be on "What not to do in a videoconference," which I ended up skipping to make up time lost to immense difficulties using the new VU MCU bridge (Jan ended up dropping back to the University of Tennessee bridging system--Plan B, ya'll). I figured the participants had already been served a healthy ration of that! The other thing I was to share was desktop IVC. What I ended up doing was sharing my laptop desktop and bringing in my pal Elaine Shuck from South Dakota via Polycom PVX and setting the omni-directional mic from Jan's Polycom "high-end" unit on top of the laptop to pick up Elaine's audio. Remember "GE?" "Good Enough?" It was.

That got me to thinking. What if my friend James Morrison, a leading actor on Fox's "24," would agree to talk to my high school TheatreLink participants in a videoconference during their school year, perhaps in the playwriting section or the production segment of the program? He needn't be anywhere near a 5000 dollar Polycom setup. He could do it from his living room in LA using iVisit or SightSpeed!

Yep. That's what we'll do!

Cheers, and email me if you have questions,

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Sightspeed video mail feature

SightSpeed has a nifty video email feature that you can see by clicking here.


Housekeeping! Dontcha just love it?

Hey, there.

Thanks again to Rhona and Kathy for organizing the Institute and for shepherding us so kindly and hospitably through our couple of days together. And thanks to Kathy Schrock for such wonderful new resources to investigate. I have my work cut out for me now, but what's new, eh?

This post is to address issues and questions we didn't achieve some kind of closure for during the workshop.

A participant asked me if our school published its curricula online. Yes, indeedie, we do. Lower School Academics :: University School of Nashville will get you to a webpage where you may check out detailed descriptions of every curriculum in our Lower School. These pages are revised every year and I'll be making another pass at them by the end of September, so check back around then for updates/revisions.

I can't believe that I never got to "Warriors of the Net, the fun and informational animation that entertainingly describes how data packets travel over the Internet. It's a VERY long download, but VERY worth the wait. Hint: Download it and burn it to CD. It's HUGE.

Windows Photo Story, the excellent free tool I mentioned for transforming digital pics into marvelous slideshows for friends, family, and students, is well worth the download. Read the system requirements carefully before you download it, then play with it to your hearts' content. It's wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!

There are links on your workshop CD to Yahoo!Messenger, AIM, and MSMessenger. I'd add those to your punch-list of softwares to check out for videoconferencing. Some people like the additional features, but you know me: I like an application that does what I want it to do and doesn't try to foist endless options on me. That doesn't mean you won't like one of these tools, though!

I didn't really send you to my podcast! See Snacks4theBrain! for that! That page is chocked-full of podcast and podcasting related links which in sum provide a pretty good introduction to the media. You do not have to have a portable media player to begin enjoying these anytime-anywhere radio shows, and you can pretty much find one on any topic you want to hear about regularly. If you don't find what you're looking for, maybe you need to create one yourself!!!

Cheers, and more later (always and of course)

Grace Hopper Teacher Institute 2005 - a photoset on Flickr

This is the first blogpost to update the site after a fabulous two days with teachers at the Teacher Institute at Wardlaw-Hartridge School. Participants check back soon for links to a number of things we didn't get time to cover! Maybe next year!!!

See Grace Hopper Teacher Institute 2005 - a photoset on Flickr

Monday, July 25, 2005

More pics


Really enjoyed the bits of Kathy Schrock's workshop today! Mostly I've been tweaking network setting and making sure that the softwares we'll play with tomorrow all work. Thanks to Anthony and Joe I have every confidence they will! Here's a pic from a webcam I test-installed in one of the mobile laptops. It's a picture of Kathy Meier hard at work constructing her first blog!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Gearing up for the WH Workshop

Working this week on the roadmap for the workshop at Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison NJ, really looking forward to it and excited to share possibilities. I understand that participant info is on the way to Nashville via snail mail and I hope that there's time to send along some links prior to the actual "day of." If not, at any rate, this will be the first place we visit!

Hello, New Jersey! (Live from a Fairfield Inn in Anderson, IN on the way home from Interlochen Arts Camp in northern Michigan.)