Assignment for "An Arctic Year" Web Site
How does a lead teacher control what occurs inside distant classrooms,
perhaps many miles away?
First, it is vital to have a teaching partner at each receiving
site in the classroom with students. Their task is to assist the
lead teacher in achieving course goals and objectives, and they
are essential for successful classroom management. The success or
failure of videoconference classroom experiences is often directly
related to the support of the teaching partner. In addition, classroom
management consists of three issue areas: time, motivation, and
Videoconference instruction will take more time to prepare and
deliver than a teacher new to the lead role expects it will take
not only because of the technology, but also because of the number
of sites and students involved. Preparation, production, communication,
and instruction time will likely be more than double that of a regular,
- Start class with a count down clock, so that all sites will
begin class on the lead teacher's schedule.
- Set reasonable deadlines for activities and projects.
- Plan flexible activities and projects so that objectives and
time can be adjusted. This is more important when lead teachers
are working with multiple receiving sites. Allow sites to complete
activities before moving on. Those sites that are really focused
on an activity and exploring its possibilities should have the
time to do so without feeling that they are behind schedule and
must rush to finish. Have an extra credit activity or challenge
activity for those that may finish early.
- Use a clock on screen when students are working in class.
- Avoid trying to troubleshoot technology and connectivity problems
on the air during class; have a backup plan in case the videoconferencing
- Save time during demonstrations by preparing finished examples
of the steps to be completed in a project.
- Lead teachers should not ask students to complete a project
step-by-step with them during a videoconference class, because
such projects entail time management and classroom management
problems. Several sites will finish early and others will take
much longer; early finishers will be-come distracted while late
finishers will feel rushed.
Motivation: The technology of videoconferencing helps to motivate
students, who see that they can share their work with a broad audience.
- Be enthusiastic and flexible--a sense of humor is a valuable
- Connect sites in a conference and have students from several
classrooms solve a problem collaboratively.
- Have students introduce themselves and participate in a project
that provides information about their interests, hobbies and goals.
- Encourage student questions and interactions.
- Award points for answering questions and participating in class
- Encourage and assign group work. Students enjoy working together.
- Assign investigations and field trips to provide students with
opportunities to work together outside the classroom. Students
can share information with videoconference classmates. Students
enjoy sharing their work and are motivated to do their best work
when they know they will publish and share.
- A Web site makes a great bulletin board or gallery for a videoconference
- Presentation software, Web software, digital cameras, and scanners
are excellent ways to publish student work.
- Students are interested in videoconferencing technology and
should be encouraged to use it.
- Encourage the use of "e-mail pals" to solve questions and problems.
- Videoconference classes should be interactive and the pacing
dynamic, so that students miss im-portant information if they
are not paying attention.