When I think about video-collaboration in a high school classroom, I can’t say I’ve talked with many people who have a lot of experience in the area. Like I’ve written about before, I had some distance learning experience while in high school, but that was six years ago, and technology has greatly advanced the possibilities of classroom video-collaboration since then. Plus, I wasn’t participating in the classroom that was learning “from a distance”. In the future, I would like to use a system like Polycom to interact with classrooms from different places. For example, I would link up with a classroom from an area that has a different climate, and have them help my students understand the variations in our two differing climates.
I never had the opportunity of participating in virtual field trips, but I will most definitely take advantage of this possibility with my students in the future. One virtual field trip that I would participate in is called “Classification”, and it would help my students learn how to classify major groups of organisms into the different kingdoms. This field trip is provided by the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. This would be a very helpful field trip to participate in with my students because the professionals and staff members of the zoo and botanical garden would be able to answer questions from my students that I might not be able to. Having the assistance of professionals with a greater knowledge base than me would be a great thing when covering material in my classroom. By participating in this virtual field trip, my students would be able to, perhaps for the first time, visit a zoo and botanical garden. I would begin a unit by introducing my students to the topics we would be studying then at some point during the unit; I would take my students on this virtual field trip to enhance their learning. This would be an extremely beneficial asset to have for my classroom.
If I had the opportunity to invite a visitor to video-conference with my classroom, I would invite Emily Young, General Manager of Environmental Communications at Sony Europe. Sony is one of the world’s largest media and electronics manufacturers, and is atop the list of companies who are committed to reducing the environmental impact of their products. By having a video conference with someone from a large company like Sony would allow my students to have a real-world experience of how one can make a difference when dealing with the environment. Mrs. Young would definitely help my students understand the importance of making environmentally conscious decisions.