Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ash Spill IVC Collaboration with Community Members in East Tennessee

Freya Sachs' high school Environmental Perspectives class joined other classrooms around the country on January 28 for a presentation with Roan County High School students and community members who were affected by the now-infamous Emory River ash spill. The spill, occurring in December 2008, is described along with some of its thorny issues in this quote from knoxvillebiz.com:

An estimated 1.1 billion gallons of water and ash burst from a failed retention pond for the TVA Kingston fossil plant near Harriman in the early morning of Dec. 22, 2008. Following the spill, TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore said TVA was throwing all available resources at the problem and was in the process of beginning the reclamation phase of the cleanup operation. Meanwhile, nearby residents were left homeless and others fretted about the possible effects on their health. On July 28, 2009, the TVA inspector general wrote in a damning report that found TVA could have prevented the spill and limited the probe of its cause.
Members of the community were there, a representative from TVA gave a talk describing his organization's policy and responses, and the mayor made a little speech, then students from all participating sites were allowed to submit two questions apiece to any of the presenters. It was quite an interesting hour.

I invite students to comment here.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Vanderbilt Virtual School Black History Month at USN

Our 5th grade students are participating along with several other schools across the country in an Interactive Videoconferencing series offered by Vanderbilt Virtual School and focused on Black History. The series, as outlined by the VVS website, consists of five program presentations with opportunities to ask questions of the presenters. The classes will participate in the first four, but they'll have to miss the last opportunity due to scheduling complications.

This a wonderful series and we thank VVS Director Patsy Partin for putting it together and making it available. Thanks also to Tandberg Corporation for their loan of the fabulous Edge95 codec that makes our crystal clear connections possible!

From the VVS website:


For students in grades 5 -12

Tuesday, February 2
Dr. Frank Dobson
“From Slavery To Freedom: Stories of Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and Harriet Tubman”

Tuesday, February 9
Howard Gentry
“Breaking the Color Barrier”

Tuesday, February 16
Dr. Frank Dobson
"Life and Legacy of Paul Laurence Dunbar"

Tuesday, February 23
James Nixon
"Black History of the Blues"

Thursday, February 25
David Mills
Unholy: The Slaves Bible

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

USN to Join Forces with Tandberg in Promising Loaner Program

We are lucky to know Jan Zanetis, Education Marketing Manager for the Tandberg Corporation, with whom we sealed a deal this week to place a $14,000 Tandberg codec in our school for a run at Virtual Field Trips from IVC content providers the last two months of this school year. Next year, we hope to get the unit back in exchange for five online content offerings from our school to the world. More on that later, and keep an eye out here for ongoing documentation as we take advantage of this wonderful opportunity!

Thanks, Jan!

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Steve Hargadon Talks with Teachers about Web2.0

Hi, ya'll,

This site hasn't seen a post for a while, and it's largely because I'm not pushing IVC at the school as much as I have in past years. Partly that's because of my intense revamping of curriculum in my own classroom, and it also has to do with focus on other areas of technology. I remain convinced that IVC (using dedicated codecs for the task) is an important tool, but I also see that using desktop applications is an important innovation. To my mind the diversification of Tandberg and Polycom into more and more desktop applications proves that point.

Meanwhile, I want to share a rough video recording I made this past summer as my USN Web20forUs! teacher workshop, four days of exploration into the tools, made use of Skype to bring in a leader in the field of Web 2.0, Classroom20.com founder Steve Hargadon. Steve runs this professional learning community of over 10,000 members, and the fact that he would take time to drop in over Skype and engage in discussion with our little band of 10 teachers is testament to the power of online collaboration and to the sharing that goes on every day between teachers who are using Web 2.0 tools. Enjoy:

Find more videos like this on Classroom 2.0

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Out of These Doors" 7th Graders Visit Cleveland...in Their Classroom!

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's IVC outreach program goes out to a broad audience every year. Their 2006 Annual fiscal report claims that their educational programs, both in house and over distance, reach over 50,000 students a year. It's not hard to see why, after facilitating University School of Nashville's experience with their "On the Road" series program, "Rock and Roll through the Ages" videoconference. Here's a slideshow of pics:

and here's a very brief video from the interaction, in which R&R Educational Coordinator John Goehrke welcomes our students as the R&R Hall of Fame's very first IVC in the state of Tennessee!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

TheatreLink 2008!

Gus Gillette's Online Playwriting Class got underway on January 31 with an IVC (facilitated, due to connection problems, with audio from a cell phone connection!) between his students here at University School of Nashville and Joe White, Teacher Artist at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York. This was an informal conversation during which Mr. White led students through the feelings and character motivations of the play being studied,

Here's a video from part of that interaction.

And here's the video, embedded right here!:

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Classical Music at Vanderbilt Virtual School!

On December 10, 2007, students in Judy Yeaworth's high school Music Theory class were treated to a wonderful hour of classical music by a professional chamber orchestra called Alias. The activity was offered by the Vanderbilt Virtual School, and was nothing short of marvelous.

I have a good deal of audio and video from that interaction and as soon as I can make sense of any of it I will be posting more here!

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