Scott and I just held a web conference using Adobe ConnectNow to discuss our project. We tried to use VYEW, but ran into a road block since registrations were down for the program. Scott, having signed up for a trial account, invited me into the room, and we immediately enjoyed the benefits of ConnectNow, because it at least appears more user friendly than VYEW. We will scatter our trial versions throughout the group so that we can keep in contact through this method. Scott recorded the video using screencast-o-matic, which allows up to 15 minutes of screen-casting to be recorded at a time.

As Scott started recording our conference, I tried to share my screen and I got dropped from the conference for a bit while I added the necessary plug-in. In the future, I will do my best to make sure that the plug-ins are installed before we start recording, to minimize dead time in a conference. Even so, I found it to be very useful to use ConnectNow. We were able to use our webcams and chat boxes to talk and troubleshoot audio problems that occurred. I was able to share my screen, after the plugin was installed, and show what I was thinking about our project in Moodle. It was very useful to be able to show exactly what the screen looks like, and it will be useful in the planning stages of this project as well. It was also nice to be able to take notes of what we were talking about, so that all wasn’t lost once we logged off of ConnectNow. This helped guide our conversation and keep us on the same page.

I could see this type of tool being useful in situations where teachers want to collaborate on teaching a particular lesson, but are in different buildings. With how my program is setup, I could potentially reach out to a fellow science teacher in a different program, and we could team teach using the projector, so that the students could get two perspectives on the same lesson. An expert could also be introduced using this technology, especially if that expert is far away or not able to be there in person. It would also be interesting to look into using this as a tool for when I must be absent due to illness, so that I could still lecture or at least check in with the substitute every now and again.

I don’t know about the logistics of how it would work, but it could also be a tool for parent conferencing or tutoring students, though integration of that might be tricky and would definitely need to be recorded. I am open to looking into new ways to use this in the classroom, but more research would need to be done to use it other than as a collaboration tool between teachers and staff.

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