Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tandberg: Are You Using It? By: Becky Ranks

Today I went to visit my niece, Jaime Steward, at the Garrett Schenck School in Anson. Having heard so much about the Tandberg equipment provided by the RUS grants, I wanted to see a video-conferencing session in action, and also wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. Jaime is a technology specialist with RSU 74 and a real risk taker and role model for the rest of us as she single handedly put all of the equipment together and then scheduled video-conferencing sessions with an aquarium in Alaska, an all girls' school in Tennessee, and NASA. Today Kindergarten and First Graders talked to NASA and asked questions that ranged from; "What do astronauts eat?" to "How long does it take to get to Mars?" At the end of the session the NASA official switched the screen to a live feed of the Space Shuttle just after it had landed in California. Students were able to ask questions and view wonderful images provided by NASA. The NASA official talked and joked with them, and made them feel comfortable. It was a wonderful experience and thanks Jaime for inviting me. One session was featured on the front page of the Waterville Morning Sentinel. So, my questions are: How many schools with Tandberg equipment are using it in a similar fashion and having success? What are the obstacles if they are not? Many resources about video-conferencing and Tandberg can be found here: Especially check out the KC3 contest. Thanks to Jaime for being an exemplary leader in technology at a time when budgets are being whittled down to almost nothing especially in the area of equipment and other extras like field trips. She is taking students on virtual field trips and giving them experiences they otherwise would not have.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not a teacher, just Jaime's Mom, but I have a comment. One of the obstacles is most likely time. Jaime has more energy and puts in more hours than anyone I know. The time to do the research and setup for this kind of activity is not really allowed in her regular school day. She puts a lot of her own time into things like this, as well as other things because she really cares about what she's doing. She makes sure that both the classroom teachers and the students have everything they need and more no matter what it takes. Not everyone is willing to go that far above and beyond. RSU 74 is VERY LUCKY to have her. (Love you, Jaime!)

CindyWo said...

Hello,
We are asking for your assistance, and guidance to get the word out about an
amazing program to make small pets available to grammar school teachers
in the classroom.

This program is designed to help teachers that would like small animals as
teaching aids or mascots etc. in the classroom, or to assist teachers who
presently have animals, in obtaining supplies needed to care for the pet.
We realize that teachers have limited funds and our program offers grants
of up to $150.00 for the purchase of small animals such as fish, hamsters,
birds, as well as supplies.

We have the money, we have the program, we have a website, all that is
needed is your help to get the word out. We at Pet Care Trust, feel that
exposing children to the care and responsibility for animals is imperative
in the development of good character and compassion in relationship to all
living things. The care of animals teaches children life affirming values.
If you could pass this along, post it on your website or give me advice on the best
Way to the get this information to teachers it would be much appreciated.

www.petsintheclassroom.org
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