Videoconferencing Effectiveness: Thrill or Learning?

zoo

In the USA Today article “Schools become virtual zoos” (Aug. 2, 2007, 6D), a teacher comments “I think it was really effective.” and another teacher says, “It is a wonderful experience.” Students respond with “Cool!” and “Neat!” The article was obviously a pro-virtual learning article.

However, no teacher mentioned that the students actually learned anything related to state standards. No teacher mentioned any activity that their students did to demonstrate their learning from the zoo visit. Is the focus of these videoconferences the thrill of seeing animals or the specific standards-based learning with measurable outcomes? Did the teachers select these videoconferences to improve the learning of their students or to give them a “great experience”? How closely does this virtual zoo visit match the teachers’ actual standards-based curriculum?

Virtual field trips can be wonderful educational experiences if the teachers’ standards-based curriculum determines the selection of the field trip, the learning outcomes of the trip, and the evaluation of the students’ learning.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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1 Response to “Videoconferencing Effectiveness: Thrill or Learning?”


  1. 1 Rickey McDonald August 9, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Greetings to whomever you are, and in light of your posted comments I’d like to leave you a couple comments of my own.

    I appreciate your efforts to ask questions that needs to be looked at from an “outsider” and yet a teachers’ point of view. You provided a great criteria that should be used in thinking through this “NEW” innovative approach to “schooling” or “teaching” our children and future leaders.
    Yes, I do commend you for the thoughtfulness and well constructed words that “can” – if used by those who HAVE the ability to change what they have attempted to start and implement – and YOU should be proud of being an active member of societies greatest need:
    TEACHING


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