Friday, September 21, 2012

Skyping from Niagara -- planning for pilot #2

In Spring 2012, I Skyped into a few classrooms from the brink of Niagara Falls. It worked fairly well, and I'd like to do it again, slightly refined based on what we learned in the spring.

View the above Gigapan in full screen mode here.

Why are we doing this?

One intention of this pilot is to figure out ways to not only connect you and your classes to interesting field sites that you would not be able to actually visit, but also to develop more and better ways to connect you to one another. Think about how classrooms might pair up to teach each other about one another's local environments. We are also always thinking about services PRI can provide to educators to enrich their work. And we think it's just plain cool.

Participation is limited

The number of classes that can participate will be limited, and this year's cohorts of ReaL Educators (those who participated in our workshops in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and at Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho) and our pilot testing teachers from last year will have first dibs. If spaces don't fill from those groups, then last year's cohorts (from workshops at San Diego's Mission Trails Park; Devil's Lake, Wisconsin; or Arizona's Superstition Mountains) will be able to sign up. 

When is it?

Tuesday October 16, with a weather date of Friday October 19. Time slots are 15 minutes each and run from 9:45 a.m. until 3:20 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. If you do not live in the Eastern Time Zone, please adjust accordingly. 

There will also be a test run on Friday, October 5. The test should be done during your planning period, lunch or before school, and you don't need to participate in the test from Niagara Falls to participate in the live lesson. However, you must test either Skype or Facetime from your classroom with Don prior to the live lesson to verify that your configuration works in the setting you will be using it.

How do I sign up?

Embedded below is a spreadsheet showing who has signed up so far, and their chosen time slot. The spreadsheet is automatically updated when people fill in the form immediately below it. The spreadsheet can be sorted by times and the time slot options are listed below the spreadsheet. Look to see what is available, refresh this page, and then complete the form.

Time slots likely will have the potential to be shifted by a few minutes after registration is complete, if time slots fall on breaks between classes. Use the comment section to note if you would like it shifted by a few minutes.

Before the virtual visit:

In the days before the visit, some time should be spent in preparing your class for the visit. That can be as short as 20 minutes or much longer. By the end of the school day prior to the visit, please submit questions from your class for me to address using the form at the bottom of the page. Each class should submit at least four questions. 

You may also wish explore the Niagara Falls VFE in Google Earth. I expect to edit it after I visit the Falls to test the technology on October 5 and before the day of the visit.

Registrants' Spreadsheet:

This is provided to show available time slots. Review the spreadsheet and compare the information within it to the list of possible time slots below it before registering. Please do not select time slots that are already spoken for.

List of time slots:

Time is in 15 minute slots, with 5 minutes between and a couple of breaks for me to keep organized and breathe. While I list 14 time slots, I will close the registration at 10, as it will become too much to manage with more than that.

Note that listed times are Eastern Daylight Savings Time

October 16 (October 19 weather date)

9:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. EDT
10:05 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. EDT
10:25 a.m. - 10:40 a.m. EDT
10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. EDT
11:25 a.m. - 11:40 a.m. EDT
11: 45 a.m. - noon EDT
12: 05 p.m. - 12:20 p.m. EDT
12:25 p.m. - 12:40 p.m. EDT
1:10 p.m. - 1:20 p.m. EDT
1:25 p.m. - 1:40 p.m. EDT
1:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. EDT
2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. EDT
2:50 p.m. - 3:05 p.m. EDT
3:05 p.m. - 3:20 p.m. EDT

Application Form:

Niagara Falls VFE Class Questions Submissions Form

Use the form below to submit at least four questions from your class. You may wish to identify the question authors, but it is not required. I may edit the form slightly in the coming weeks, so check back before working with your class. 

1 comment:

  1. Gerry Rising's column on Skyping from Niagara Falls is here (and quite nicely done):