Video Conference Victory

2012-10-25 13.28.39

 

 

I recently had the pleasure of learning about the Polycom units that are available for conducting video conferences in our district. Travis Kersten, a teacher at Jackson Middle School, asked me to assist him in the endeavor of participating in a Region 7 videoconference related to Texas History.

Our three participants (shown above) did a super job of explaining the learning acquired during research projects and field trips related to El Camino Real, a name given to the travel route taken by explorers from Mexico to East Texas. The amazing thing about the conference is that approximately 1,200 students across the state participated that day. What a way to collaborate and share information!

This new experience opened my eyes to the various opportunities afforded to the classroom teacher of the future. Making the world smaller is a viable option these days. Classrooms from their respective corners of the world can now be connected with the technology at our fingertips.

I look forward to the educational adventures that could spring from this activity!

 

Polycom Video Conference Unit

Adopt an Element

periodic table

I recently worked with a teacher at Nimitz Middle School who had her students adopt an element from the periodic table for the purpose of making an advertisement for the element. The students were charged with the goal of “selling” their element.

There are many free periodic table apps out there, but my favorite is The Periodic Table Project . Here is the iTunes description of the app:

Always at the forefront of innovation, the University of Waterloo initiated a collaborative student-design project to celebrate 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry. Chem 13 News together with the Chemistry Department and the Faculty of Science encouraged chemistry educators and enthusiasts worldwide to adopt an element and artistically interpret that element to eventually be brought together in a mosaic of science and art. A year later, with the project complete, we have designs by chemistry students from all Canadian provinces and territories, 20 US states and 14 different countries. Each element captures a unique and creative spark but together they ignite a passion for chemistry.

 

Here’s a screen shot of one of the pictures that students designed:

 

So we downloaded a few periodic table apps and made sure we had saved several web links to various periodic table websites as well. We then asked students to spend day one researching for such things as the symbol for their element, the atomic mass, the number of protons, the cost of the element, the person who discovered and named the element, interesting facts, etc.

 

Day two consisted of directing students to compile all their research, screen shots, and saved pics from day one into a presentation using either Pic Collage, Videolicious, or Skitch. Most students chose Pic Collage.

 

Here is an example of one student’s product using Pic Collage: