Announcing the Distance Coaching Technology project

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As some of you may know, Amber and I have spent the last year experimenting with technology to assist with the instructional coaching process. There are still some rough edges to our process, but we’re ready to share what we’ve got so far. Keeping with our belief that we can get the best bang for our buck with consumer-oriented technology, we’re putting Macintosh computers with iChat to use with Flip cameras to allow teachers to record video, then share it at a scheduled time with a coach or mentor. We’ve created the Distance Coaching Technology website to share our plan and best practices we’ve come across.

We just launched a project with the Michigan Department of Education to use this technology in a Striving Readers project. A few times per semester, teachers will connect via iChat to share and discuss video clips in a secure online environment. Using iChat’s built-in iChat Theater feature, participants are able to watch the same clip at the same time–it’s like sitting together watching a video tape on a VCR, but they happen to be 1,000 miles away from each other instead of on the same couch.

We’ve also developed a little utility to help optimize video clips from Flip cameras for better use with online streaming. After a round of testing we’ll share this tool on the new website. As new developments occur in this area, both in terms of technology and best practices, we’ll share them on the site.

Check out our Distance Coaching Technology website and let us know what you think! We’ll also be happy to talk about the project next month at the SIM Conference in Lawrence.

Image: Apple, Inc.

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Related posts:

  1. A closer look at distance coaching with iChat and Flip video
  2. What we’ve learned about using iChat in distance coaching
  3. Follow up to our Distance Coaching poster session
  4. CRL’s After School Literacy project kicks off
  5. 3 ways to get the most out of iChat (or any video conferencing app)

Aaron Sumner

Aaron Sumner is the Director of Technology for Research and Development at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. He has worked in web development and instructional technology since 1994.