A friend emailed me about a “humorous” situation with the videoconferencing machines in his district. He can dial any school within the district since those addressed have been pre-installed in the videoconference machines. He can only dial out to another non-district school when another teacher gives him her IP address. He cannot have other classes dial in. He has been told it will take hours to enable the dial-in feature. Apparently he is only to videoconference within the district, he should forget “distance learning”. Furthermore, he was told that he should only attempt a videoconference when a technician is there.
The question is who has the “control” in this situation? The teacher? The technician? The teacher probably will not want to pursue videoconferencing if it is such a hassle. On the other hand, the district is screaming because these expensive videoconferencing carts are not being used by the teachers.
Does the technology and technicians in your district support your educational learning experiences or do they serve as roadblocks? Can you quickly and easily set up and use your school’s videoconferencing unit or is it kept under lock and key? Can you videoconference with a school any place in the world or are you forced into videoconferencingly only within your own district?
© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007