March 28, 2007

iMacs + iSight + Skype = classroom international video conferencing

Via NextGenTeachers blog -
Kimberly Cofino, who teaches in Kuala Lumpur, linked up her IT class with students in NZ, and everyone was very excited about it.

Thanks to our lovely new iMacs (with iSight built in), and Skype, we were able to video conference with our new partner class in NZ this morning.

For many of our students this was the first time they had ever participated in a video conference - and certainly the first time they have ever done so as part of a school project.

This group will be collaborating together to create a multimedia presentation - here in KL we will be using iMovie, the students in NZ will be using Movie Maker. Part of their responsibility will be to teach each other how to use the software they are learning about. I love the idea that students in an all Mac school can learn how to use Movie Maker, and vice versa!


I can't recall how I found NextGenTeachers (probably it found me), but I'm subscribed via Google Reader. When I click on the "show original item" link, I always get taken, not to the NextGenTeachers blog site which is what I expect, but straight to the contributor's blog where the original entry was written. For a while, I had the odd sensation that the NextGenTeachers blog site doesn't actually exist, but is merely the name of the RSS feed. (NextGenTeachers does exist here). Still...

powered by performancing firefox

3 comments:

mscofino said...

The NextGen Teachers blog is set up that way to make it easier for people to comment on the post, and for the authors to be able to respond directly - keeping only one thread of communication about a post, rather than multiple.

The NextGen blog is a collection of posts from the members of the group right now. Sometime in the future it may contain other, group posts as well. We're still working out the kinks :)

MisterBillR said...

Very interesting. I am wondering if you had one large projection screen tied to a computer/ portable to project the skype image, or did you use individual monitor screens and several students hooked with several NZ students so you had multiple streams going?

Skype with Mac is fairly>?? recent development- any problems establishing connections> Were there any PC to Macs in your experiment?

mscofino said...

We did have the computer connected to the projector (I can't believe I forgot to take pictures) so all the kids were looking at the same image and we were using just one Skype account on either end.

No problems at all to connect, but video was a bit laggy and we did have to repeat ourselves occasionally. Internet speed in KL is still quite slow compared to the US/Europe.

I've had Skype on my Mac for about 4 years now. The new thing is the integrated iSight cameras on all new Macs - meaning schools no longer have to pay for external web cams - they're built right in!

The school in NZ is actually all PC, so our call was Mac to PC - it couldn't have been easier.