Virtual Guest Speakers to Enhance our Curriculum

I am spending a few days this week away from my classroom. I am participating in a Lesson Study with Day One and Two of the Open Court program. I was a bit nervous exposing my teaching in front of peers and coaches. I was thinking about threads in this weeks Creating Lifelong Learners by Mathew Needleman. At the same time I am listening to the Seedlings Podcast presentation for K12OnlineConference, flat agents of change.

So as a Flat Agent of Change; How do we enhance our curriculum? I think Mathew had a great idea. He has done so many things with bringing in video into the classroom. The concept of having a video conference with a real person is empowering. I was thinking on our next unit on City Wildlife. I can try to bring an expert into our classroom.

Nowadays it can be done virtually through different web tools. I have used a skype call with video. I don’t want to discuss the specific tool because, there are so many available. The big idea is that you can bring in an expert from anywhere. They can be across the street or across the world. Even for me, it doesn’t have to be video. It can be audio only.

How cool can it be to have several classrooms viewing the same speaker? This can be achieved with tools such as Flash Meeting or Ustream. Even better, would be to record these sessions and upload them to a blog for others to use or revisit the following year. So, how would you use video conferencing to enhance your curriculum, Open Court or otherwise?

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3 Comments on “Virtual Guest Speakers to Enhance our Curriculum”

  1. j205sl Says:

    This does sound exciting to be able to bring guest speakers into classrooms from across the street or around the world on a variety of topics. As we move into the technology age, this would be an incredible asset for information to come directly from the source instead of second hand from me after I learned about it from the textbook.

    I think both podcasts with audio or an interactive format would be awesome, so that students could ask questions, would be an incredible way to enhance the learning process. Students of today’s world seem to need authentic, real, and relevant information to move successfully into this global world filled with technology. How exciting!

    Students could also be encouraged to have ownership in the learning process as they seek out an interest, contact speaker, and make it happen – possibly do it completely on their own?? Wow, what an awesome concept that would be, eh??

  2. Amanda205 Says:

    I think that it is an awesome idea to bring in virtual speakers from anywhere in the country or world. I think that this could allow our kids to learn so much more through the thoughts and ideas from someone from another state or countrry. When I think about this, I think about how much could be learned in different subjects. For someone taking a foreign language it could be amazing to hear someone with a native tongue and to see or hear that person’s life through video or audio only, especially if you can respond back to the speaker. It does make it more interesting to the kids too I am sure because they are able to interact as they wish and actually learn from the source rather than from the textbooks. I wish that I could have experienced this sort of technology when I was in middle or high school!!

  3. Tracy Says:

    Thanks for some other excellent article. Where else may anybody get that kind of information in such a perfect method of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such info.


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