I know after my last post some wanted to know how our virtual book club went. I must say while some in the group experienced serious technical glitches, we seemed to have very few. We could hear and we could see. There were times where feedback from some of the groups was a problem–not sure who–but overall our experience was good. Also at times our individual groups all talked simultaneously, and it became impossible to tell who was speaking to everyone and who was speaking to just their own site group. Yikes. Using a mixture of texting/chatting to let the group know when my students wanted to comment or pose ideas and interpretations, we were able to share some great insights about the book, the title, its parallels to real life, the writing style, and more.
Initially I was worried that sound would be a problem, as I was using the AverU10 webcam/doc camera. The mic was internal. After trial and error with my son at home, we got our cordless mic and used it to fill the room so the webcam could pick it up and others could hear. Without the mic, my son said the further away one was from the camera, the harder it was to hear or understand. The cordless mic gave us some continuity in volume and sound quality. Using the cordless mic, it was good to go. But fifteen minutes in the Shannon Miller who initiated the Skype group call had to hangup and call us back in. During that down time between calls, my kids decided to just move up closer to the webcam so they wouldn’t need the microphone. It worked well as well. I think the microphone made them feel a bit self-conscious too.
Here is one shot of our group (from behind of course.) Sorry about the bad quality photo–I was trying to hurry to get a photo and get back to helping facilitate.
I must thank my school and Sam Vezina, or technician who got me all squared away for this evening. Even though yesterday had me worrying (and overreacting), I had access to Skype practically all day today. Though I never did get free time to test out equipment until well after school, I could have at any time today. I am very thankful and lucky to have such supportive coworkers and colleagues!! Team effort for sure! I was able to leave the M&Ms alone–my 6 months of healthy eating is still intact!
Special thanks to Shannon Miller who using her Premium level skype account, orchestrated the pulling in of all the groups–seven in all from the following schools:
- Dorman High school, Roebuck, SC
- Van Meter Community Schools, Van Meter, IA
- New Canaan High School, New Canaan, CT
- Mira Costa High School, Manhatten Beach, CA
- Springfield Township High School, Springfield Township, PA
- James Caldwell High School, West Caldwell, NJ
- and one more–oh YIKES, apologies friends but I have no where the other group was from! It will probably come to my mind as soon as I post.
See our set: