I've had a vision for this process ever since I saw it being implemented by a friend in South Florida. My goal has always been for the students on both campuses to be active participants in the sessions. I've never wanted the students at Jones to just be passive listeners and viewers of my class learning. Today, I felt like we entered a new phase of learning between the sections. All the students were able to see the other students responses to questions I asked to the whole class, they were able to respond to them, and we all learned together.
Today, we tried to create a more interactive environment for the students. The past few lessons, we've wanted to get the students more engaged, but haven't figured it out. We met as a team to discuss this. The platform we are using, Safari Montage Live, has some great features in it like a chat box for discussions and a poll feature for answering questions. We tried this previously with TodaysMeet, but it just moved too quickly for the students to actually see what the other students were saying. The chat feature today allowed for the responses to be seen longer by all the students and both teachers so we could respond to what they were thinking and saying. I was actually able to respond directly to students at Jones. I asked them to expand on their comments, or to tell them that I agreed with what they were saying. I told one student that she had some good insight, and I was able to hear her say thank you back. I asked one boy to elaborate on his response, and he did so with more details. It was great to encourage them to think deeper. I think it helped them seeing my students responses as well. I think it is definitely a step in the right direction. We are talking about having the students work in collaborative groups between campuses for activities using Google Docs and other collaborative tools. We have a lot of room to grow, but I'm excited about where we're heading.
If you are interested in learning more about this, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in seeing what we are actually doing, I can send you an invite to view our sessions as well. We are always looking for suggestions for making this even bigger and better.