I have been inspired by the great work at Cromwell Valley Elementary by Dana Novotny, Jill Wright, Michael Fort and many others. With administrator vision and support, they have embraced Skype and Web 2.0 technologies.
At our school, we hosted Adora Svitak (child prodigy, international presenter, and published writers) for a series of four webinars focused on creative writing. The culminating activity was an extraordinary literary magazine of selected writing by our 4th and 5th graders. There was deep and meaningful learning by the teachers as well as students. I firmly believe that web conference is an affordable tool to enrich learning and extend it beyond the four walls of the classroom.
This upcoming school year, my administration and I plan on following Cromwell Valley's lead (but on a smaller scale). We hope to have all interested grades participate in a guided inquiry project with a web conference as a component. One activity to support this endeavor was for me to teach a two hour professional development workshop on Skype. The participants were further inspired by Nancy Reed, David Langis, Fred Balmages, and Todd Loht (who appeared via Skype). Part of that discussion revolved around best practices in web conferencing.
I have collated key web conferencing tips. The credit for many of the best tips come from the individuals mentioned above as well as great technology integration visionaries like Vicki Davis, Janine Lim, Silvia Tolisano, and Cherrie MacInnes .
I would like you to crowd-sourced these tips. Please comment below to add to our understanding of successful web conferences.