Friday, August 03, 2007

VCing From the Comfort of Home

On July 25th I had a videoconferencing first. I participated in a videoconference using H.323 protocol with a group of distance learning coordinators in upstate New York from the comfort of my own home. At the end of school in June I brought home a Polycom 4000 desktop unit that one of my schools had won during the Megaconference 2005 roll call. The unit is an all in one piece of equipment. The camera, monitor and microphone are all built in. I used my home cable modem to participate in the call. I am actually very comfortable using a cable modem since that is what our schools use to participate in videoconferences.
This past May I heard from Michelle Bartholomew, of Broome Tioga BOCES. BOCES, stands for the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services and provides school districts in New York State with a program of shared educational services. Sharing is an economical way for districts to provide programs and services that they might not be able to afford otherwise. Hence their interest and involvement with videoconferencing and other technologies. NYC schools are not part of BOCES but of course I welcome the opportunity to develop new partnerships and collaborations. Michelle was especially interested in learning about 123 Jazzing Up the Curriculum with Videoconferencing. I participated in facilitating that training last summer with a group of 16 NYC school teachers. The coordinators I videoconferenced with this month represented all the different BOCES programs in New York State. It was their goal to develop their own Jazz type training.
It was a lot of fun to videoconference with these people and especially from my very own home. Of course I had to apologize for the barking of my dog Moby. The videoconference coincided with the time my mail is delivered and Moby is no fan of the mailman. But other than her ocassional barking I thought the videoconference went very well. I had e-mailed some Jazz material to be distributed prior to the conference. I was able to present the Jazz schedule and structure. They were able to ask questions and clarifications. I was able to meet and network with these distance learning coordinators from my state. Best of all, Michelle sent an e-mail to thank me for participating in their Jazz planning session. She told me that they decided to put together a mini jazz session that they hoped to have on December 11 and 12. She also said that they will be contacting me at some point as they would like to have me as a guest speaker during that session.
Probably that videoconference will take place from my school without Moby. However, it was wonderful to be able to participate without the commute and from the "comfort of my own home",


Ashton Graham said...

HI Andrea:
I've been thinking about you - just finished my second five day JAZZ training of the summer - revitalized completely. Would love to do mini jazz with Michelle Bartholomew - if she needs a Texas partner!! We used google docs, skype and flickr this summer - fun, fun, fun! We had loads of rain but nothing like last summer. Lets talk soon. Please let Michelle know I am interested in mini jazz. Wish I was in NYC to take Moby for a long walk. Ashton

Anonymous said...

Howdy, ladies! Andrea, I was thinking about you last week. We missed you. I did two weeks of Jazz this summer also and each one takes on a life of it's own.

Check out the photos online at

Anonymous said...

Yes, that previous comment was mine...Roxanne! I forgot to log in!

Michelle said...

Hi Andrea,

I was reading your blog this morning and was excited to see my name and the planning session we did with you mentioned. Thank you for that!
Also, I would be interested in having a Texas partner if it works out for Ashton.
We are having our next planning meeting on October 10 at 1:00 pm EST.