The distance learning lab is a gateway to the world outside the classroom. Also know as an interactive TV (ITV) or interactive video conferencing (IVC), the room provides an opportunity to connect with guest speakers, virtual tours, and other students throughout the world.
Some of the many resources available online are collected below. Think about the content you want to bring into class, and then we'll match the best provider. The video below showcases some of the many ways ITV can be used.
Connecting To Our School District
For a person to connect to our school they would need a camera (Web cam), microphone (if not built into the Web cam), and videoconferencing software (a few options are listed below).
Here is the connection information they would need:
Crosby Location: Cisco C40 Codec
Connection to main Video Control Server is site to site ipsec connection between Crosby firewall and Njpa Firewall
System can call using either SIP or H323 (also referred as IP dialing)
Crosby Sip Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Session can be recorded by Cisco Content Recorder
Recorded content can be published to Cisco Show And Share
The requirements are pretty basic, and the tech department can help hammer out any technical details. It's recommended that you do a test call/connection before the actual meeting
Many content providers have resources that accompany their content. Take advantage of these materials to prepare your students for this experience.
'Driving' The Distance Learning Lab
Using the equipment in the distance learning lab is very similar to a desktop Web camera, just on a larger scale. I've included some resources on using the lab's touch panel. Attached to the bottom of this page are two PDF files. The Telepresence Quick Guide highlights some of the major features and options. The other PDF is a complete manual for using the system.
- Click on this link, ignore the warning, and click on Endpoint Operations Videos. Dr. Lance Ford has created a handful of videos demonstrating how to use the touch panel controls.
Speakers, Virtual Trips, and Worldwide Collaborations
Where do I find guest speakers? They same way you do now; contact them directly. The only difference is now you have a global pool. If you just read a book in class, contact the author and see if they are able to speak with your students. If you're studying criminal law, connect with a big time lawyer in Chicago. You just finished a unit on the solar system, and now you can bring in a speaker from NASA.
- The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) is a resource that shows up on almost every page dealing with ITV. Here you can explore a vast database of content providers (tours & speakers) and collaboration opportunities. Here are some of their award winners
- Another highly recommended resource that allows educators to find collaboration opportunities around the world. This is a great opportunity to raise cultural awareness in the classroom.
Skype in the Classroom
- This is a great ITV resource for finding speakers, tours, classroom collaborations, and lesson material. More than that, Skype allows you to bring the ITV experience into your own classroom. With a very basic set up (iPad or Web cam) you can make lessons come to life.
- K-12 Programs that cover a variety of curriculum topics.
Hennepin Theatre Trust
More Content Providers
Royal Tyrrell Museum
- Science of PaleontologyCenter for Puppetry ArtsChallenger Learning CenterThe Mariners' Museum
- Standards based K-6 programs
- Older "yellow pages" list of video conferencing programs
Many, many more ...
The distance learning lab would be a great way to utilize the Cuyuna Lakes Education Foundation (CLEF) grants.
Let Me Help
I really hope our district leverages this great resource. Let me help you. We can work together to find the right speaker or tour for your students. Also, I can be available to help during the scheduled event. You just need to take the first step, and let me know if your're interested.