Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mini-Jazz

Today we did the first day of a two day vc training with a school district in El Paso, Texas. It is a very modified version of a 5-day training we did this summer called Jazzing Up Your Curriculum with Videoconferencing. We started off the day with a Jeopardy Game about the great states of New York and Texas. I think Texas won but who's keeping score? Next we modeled three different kind of classroom exchanges. Our teachers did a community exchange sharing information about NYC and El Paso. Our NY group did pantomines of riding on the subway, hailing a taxi, visiting the Statue of Liberty and of course drinking coffee at Starbucks (although I don't think that's exclusively a NY thing). The El Paso group showed us why El Paso is "hot and spicy". During Monster Exhange our groups drew monsters, described their monsters, exchanged descriptions and then drew each others monsters. They did a great job. During math exhange our two groups picked the same math problem. What is the mathematical probabilty of that? Then it was on to our small group work where hopefully our schools will develop exchanges to do with each other. There was a high school group, a middle school group and an elementary group. We had two endpoints and each group met for a half hour to find common interests and start to develop a format and lesson plan for a videoconference. Next week we will meet again to model some more program ideas and continue to work on their ideas for a connection. It was a lot of fun and I want to thank Ashton Graham from El Paso for all her hard work and preparation in planning this training with me. Look for Part Two next week.

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