Carroll Students View Autopsy

Mrs. Teresa Middleton's students at Carroll High School watched a virtual autopsy from COSI Columbus on May 22. This has been the most popular prograrm we've promoted this year through ACELINK, with over 15 events in our Allen County high schools.

It was the first time that Carroll has participated in the program, and Mrs. Middleton said,
"Just a quick thank you for allowing us to participate in the COSI Autopsy Link. The student's enjoyed the activity and really learned a lot from it. I also enjoyed watching my students and how well they handled the program and how smart they are! Hope to do it again next year. Thank you from the Carroll High School Anatomy and Physiology students!!!"

We'll begin signing classes up to participate in this program for the 2007-08 school year in August. ACELINK funding can be used to offset the cost of the program for member schools, so contact me early if you are interested.



PowerPoint Presentation

Several people have asked me to share the presentation that I gave on May 9 about RSS technology. RSS is a simple tool that allows web users to pull content from websites that are updated regularly into an aggregator, like Bloglines. The reader can subscribe to RSS feeds from sites you select instead of searching or reading through sites for recent news.

I've become completely addicted to my Bloglines account and RSS feeds, because I can finally keep up with the information that matters to me as often as I want. My Bloglines account provides me with updates from my favorite bloggers (like Will Richardson), newspaper stories, department of education updates, technology journal articles, etc.

Here's a link to a wiki that has my PowerPoint file from the presentation. You're also welcome to contact me if you have more questions or would like to set up a staff development presentation on this technology at your school.



Will Richardson at IPFW

Will Richardson (www.weblogg-ed.com) was the featured speaker at a Web 2.0 workshop at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne on May 9. He talked about how the Read/Write web is changing everything about learning and in education, and he posed the challenge to educators to think about how their teaching and pedagogy will need to change to meet new demands of learners.

Here's a link to the keynote presentation that was recorded at IPFW. The visual quality is not great, but I think you can get the message that he shared if you listen carefully.



Will Richardson Explains Weblogs

Watch this movie to hear Will Richardson explain how weblogs can change education and learning. It's a Quicktime file and plays just over 2 minutes. It will download quickly with a broadband connection, so give it a try!



New Printable Content Provider List

One of the most frequent questions I get about videoconferencing is how to find programs. We have never attempted to create a database of the providers because there are already great resources available from our friends in Michigan! Thanks to Janine Lim from Berrien County, Michigan for publishing a quick and easy content provider list that is up-to-date. Here's what she put on her blog yesterday...

I’ve just added a Printable Content Provider List to our VC Program Database linked on TWICE and Polycom. It pulls directly from the our database, so each time you print it, it’s the most up-to-date information we have at the time. At this moment, it has 219 providers and prints in 38 pages!

I will be happy to help teachers with specific content and scheduling questions. Don't forget that our ACELINK grant from the Foellinger Foundation provides funding for these programs through next year.


A Record Breaking Day

Today's virtual field trip activities will set a new record for ACELINK programming. We're supporting four different programs in area schools today, and three of the teachers are first time participants in this project!

Washington Elementary 2nd graders are talking with the Indianapolis Zoo about Shel Silverstein's book, The Giving Tree. Lee Senter is the teacher at Washington.

Catherine Clark's 6th graders at Memorial Park Middle School are talking with the Cleveland Museum of Art about Impressionism.

Homestead High School students in Toiyonna Arias' class are talking with the Smithsonian American Art Museum about Latino Art & Culture.

Finally, Lori Leonard's class at Heritage Jr/Sr High School are taking part in their second program with Alex's Virtual Lemonade Stand from MAGPI.

This month we'll support over 18 different classroom programs in two-way interactive videoconferencing through the ACELINK project. This is a great testimony to the success of this project and the teacher involvement in new and innovative uses of broadband technology for the classroom. Good job everyone!

Sandy Schaufelberger, project manager


Senator Richard Lugar Connects with High Schools

Senator Richard Lugar
Originally uploaded by sschaufe.

The IPFW Virtual Town Hall program featured Senator Richard Lugar talking with five area high school classes in March. In this monthly free program, hosted by Andy Downs of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, students are given the chance to participate in the political process by talking directly with elected officials about key topics.

The live, interactive multisite session was moderated by Downs from IPFW's campus, while the Senator connected from the US Senate studios in Washington. Senator Lugar talked with students about alternative fuel sources, foreign policy and energy security. Each school was given an opportunity to ask specific questions that the students prepared in advance. Participating schools included: Leo, Paul Harding, Homestead, Elmhurst and Anthis Career Center.


Elmhurst VJs Anchor Megaconference Jr.

On February 22, 2007, students at Elmhurst High School were virtual jockeys (VJs) for the international Megaconference Jr. event. Principal Barb Gentry organized the event and recruited additional students from the school for technical support, set design, and other help.

Seen simultaneously in over 200 countries and states, the Megaconference Jr. programs highlighted students and their projects from many countries. Participants ranged from kindergarten to high school age kids, and Elmhurst opened their doors to the public so other educators and students could view the live videoconference.

"I was thrilled to take part in the MegaconferenceJr 2007. Having the opportunity to speak with other students around the world made me curious to know if the other students were anything like myself. I learned a little bit of everything through the wonderfully organized presentations. Overall, it was a benefit for everyone to participate because you receive a great understanding of how alike we are in the world." - Luke Sumers, VJ

"The MegaconferenceJr 2007 was a great opportunity not just for myself, but for my school and Indiana. We were able to talk to students from all parts of the world and see if they were doing the same "Teen-age" things that we do. On a not so serious note, I got a few of the countries to let loose and "raise-the-roof" as Americans call it. I had a blast during the conference and it was a great learning experience." - Abby Resor, VJ

"It was a good experience to participate in the MegaconferenceJr 2007. It gave our school a chance to connect with different school all over the world. It was amazing the enjoyable to see the similarities between all of the brilliant students that participated in the MegaconferenceJr." - Cierra Young, VJ


CBS News Highlights Virtual Field Trips

CBS News recently did a spotlight on virtual field trips for their morning news program. This is a great clip to show to people who don't understand what videoconferencing is or haven't had a chance to try a program. The clip has a 30 second commercial first, and then the main clip is 3:33 minutes. You'll need a media player to watch the program.


Please share this clip with others who are interested in videoconferecing field trips! Thanks to Bob Dixon from OSU for sharing this link with me.


Virtual Knee Surgery Debuts at Anthis Career Center

Today, students at Anthis Career Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana, were the first in their building to observe the Total Knee Replacement surgery from COSI Columbus by two-way interactive video. Students were given a powerful learning experience by interacting with the surgeons and medical personnel in the operating room. Students received an information guide on knee surgery and the careers associated with the operating room. Celeste Burns, the teacher, received an information packet and materials for pre-and post-experience activities for the classroom.

"This program was unbelievable. Career exploration, skill building and connecting to community (our mission) were all there. Thank you for this opportunity! Our teachers and students were excited. We are just beginning, but these types of opportunities are going to make our programs even more rigorous, relevant and help us connect better with community." --Larry Gerardot, principal at Anthis

ACELINK supported the program with funds from our Foellinger Foundation grant.


Franke Park Teachers Create Excitement for IVC

After another successful experience with the COSI Columbus program, Gadget Works, the teachers at Franke Park Elementary are all getting excited about videoconferencing. Pam Ghaffarian, building technology coordinator, helped her fellow teacher, Patti Kring, and they both took the initiative to share this event with others in their building. According to Pam, "I pulled in other teachers and called the administrators to see what was happening. The kids loved it, and they were talking about it again today. The other half of the class can't wait for their turn."

After Pam and Patti's experiences with Gadget Works, seven other teachers at Franke Park have submitted applications for ACELINK program support. They're not only going to repeat the Gadget Works program in other classes, but some teachers are also going to share the Butterfly program from the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia.

Thanks, Franke Park teachers, for your enthusiasm. We'll follow your progress and include pictures from your events in future blog postings!


What is the hottest 'new technology' in your school?

Keeping up with emerging technology can be a full time job, or a full time headache! Every school has teachers who keep themselves as close to the cutting edge of new ideas as possible, and then there are those that still cannot open their email. Share your thoughts on one of the questions below with this group to give blogging a try:

What technology tools (not software) have teachers been asking for in your school/building?
What is the "next big thing" in technology that will be a focus in your school?
What technology tools are teachers using that you haven't supported (free web tools, etc.)?


Kindergarteners at St. Joe Center Connect to Puppetry Center

Originally uploaded by sschaufe.

Mrs. Runyan's afternoon Kindergarten class connected to the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA for their first ACELINK-supported videoconference. The Gingerbread Boy program that they joined is one of the most popular programs offered by the Center.

I was very impressed with the level of interaction and engagement for such a young group of students. Deborah, the presenter from Atlanta, does an excellent job of keeping the kids' attention. She understands how to do this via distance, which is a special talent, and she offered just the right mix of physical, visual and verbal activity.

Mrs. Runyan, the classroom teacher in Fort Wayne, Indiana, said, "It went so well! The children had a great time. I'd like to offer this to my morning class, too."

The Center for Puppetry Arts offers programming at all grade levels, and they are well-known for their enthusiastic presenters and engaging programming. For more information about this program or others, you can contact me or visit their website at http://www.puppet.org.

Click here for more photos from St. Joe Center's classroom. ACELINK supports the content for two-way interactive videoconferencing through our programming grant from the Foellinger Foundation.


Remotely Operate an Electron Microscope

I recently learned about an excellent resource for K-12 science teachers and classrooms. It allows students to remotely operate a scanning electron microscope using the Internet. Bugscope offers magnified images of specimens of beetles, spiders, and other insects and anthropoids viewed through an electron microscope. Classrooms remotely operate a scanning electron microscope to image "bugs" at high magnification. The microscope is remotely controlled in real time from a classroom computer over the Internet using a web browser.

Bugscope provides a state-of-the-art online microscope resource for teachers that can be readily integrated into classroom activities. The classroom has ownership of the project - they design their own experiment and provide their own bugs to be imaged in the microscope. The Bugscope project is primarily oriented towards K-12 classrooms and there is no cost to participate in the project. Read more about participating in Bugscope here...