Welcome to K12 Distance Learning, 2015!

Strategies, examples, and opportunities for implementing: Interactive Videoconferencing (IVC) in K-12 classrooms

Improving Student Outcomes

Click on this link and watch an inspiring video presentation on how one district impacted student achievement: Mooresville, A Digital Conversation...

What is Interactive Videoconferencing?

Two-way, interactive Videoconferencing (IVC) utilizes your IP network or phone lines to transmit between two or more sites using video, voice, and data. Participants can use the equipment to communicate and collaborate with people at the remote sites, almost as though they are in the same room. Use a variety of media including video, audio, streaming; connect with the your desktop computer, laptop, mobile devices, or your white board; share graphics and any kind of media you can use on your devices can be part of a videoconferece. Imagine the possibilities!

Teaching and Learning Partners:

There are "Content Providers" all over the world, eager and ready to partner with K-12 classrooms to supplement existing content, mentor students or teachers, provide virtual field trips to zoos, museums, and science centers, or simply share what they know about a specific topic or the world in general. There are classrooms looking to partner with other classrooms to share curriculum content or participate in cultural sharing and project partnerships. We know that students learn more and are motivated when they are engaged with mentors, role models, or peers. Check out these Content Provider and Partnership registries for Interactive Videoconferencing in the classroom:

Center for Interactive Learning Collaboration

CILC is a portal for distance learning with a focus on interactive videoconference content and development. They offer access to Content Providers, Virtual Field Trips, professional development workshops, and more. CILC offers a comprehensive listing of low-cost and even no-cost content in a wide range of subjects. You can find content on CILC by searching their directory with key words.


Two-way Interactive Connections in Education: A list of distance learning content and videoconferencing resources. A good resource for virtual field trips and collaborations.


Everything your students ever wondered about the "wild west" is available through Connect2Texas programming. Note: Their programs can be accessed by classrooms in any state. This site serves as a good example of how states can organize their content providers. Examples of their content providers include Dallas Symphony, Amon carter Museum of American Art, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the Fort Worth Zoo, Hank the Cow Dog and the National Cowgirl Museum.

Ideas and Information:

You may wonder why spend money on room-size videoconferencing. In two words the answer is: quality and reliability. While online learning and mobile learning options are a key element to a complete and effective distance learning program, the authentic collaboration experiences provided by two-way interactive videoconferencing is the next best thing to real-time interaction.

Click on the link above to access a short paper on the reasons for implementing a real-time, interactive distance learning network. For more information or assistance in finding resources for your distance learning program, contact Schoolhouse Communications:

More about Content Providers:

There are so many content providers for distance learning, we are fortunate to have directories like CILC, TWICE, and Connect2Texas. There are others, but those are comprehensive enough for anyone to get started in a big way. By registering at no cost, you also have access to training and peer collaboration opportunities; subscribe to their listservs, newsletters, and blogs. You will have immediate access to Content Providers specific in the S.T.E.M. and arts fields, for example. By connecting and participating with these professionals and these organizations, K-12 students are preparing for the competitive world into which they will one day work and live as an adult. More than ever, they need knowledge and understranding of what's out there and how they might fit in by following their passions. Happiness is an important element of success. A wise person by the name of Joseph Campbell once said to "follow your bliss." Videoconferencing makes it possible for kids to meet adults who have done this successfully.

Here is one example of a government-funded, free content site:

NASA Education Projects
Funded by tax dollars, NASA's education programs and materials are available for K-12 classrooms at no cost. Consider using their programs to extend learning, bring scientists to the classroom, or introduce students to the world of space science. NASA provides no-cost interactive videoconference programing for both students and teachers, and a host of other free resources to engage students in one of the key STEM fields.

Articles and other Resources

...books, blogs, and videos...

How to Enhance Teaching and Learning Using Cisco "Show and Share"

Watch the video (1:48 minutes): Featured moderator, Alan November, leads panelists from K-12 schools and higher education in a discussion about the role of video technology in a "flipped classroom." Topics include lecture capture, guest lecturers, professional development, course sharing, dual credit courses, research collaboration, extending office hours, and cost savings.

21st Century Voices talk about how they are using videoconferencing in the classroom:

Posted by Stephanie Bader on Sep 13, 2012 in Creating Global Classrooms, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices | 15 comments

Students Watch Surgery Live!

Students were expecting to be grossed out, instead they were facinated and engaged when they watched a real live surgery right from their classroom. Read the article to find out how your classroom can participate too.
Videoconferencing for Schools...
Kids are using videoconferencing to meet with their peers and share critical experiences. Experts visit college classrooms from around the world. Find out more in the article featured by Mother Nature News, how education is leveraging technology to make the most of the videoconference resources.

How videoconferencing expands the scope of the classroom....
Students access AP classes and partner with other classrooms using poetry slam competitions, virtual book club meetings, and lots more creative applications. Students can: meeting F2F with S.T.E.M. professionals, take a virtual filed trip to the zoo or even a real operating room!

Videoconferencing for K-12 Classrooms

Videoconferencing for K-12 Classrooms

A book, published by the International Society for Technology in Education:
Videoconferencing for K-12 Classroms provides decision-makers with information and classroom teachers with ideas.
Videoconferencing requires special skill sets that may be differenent than face2face learning and collaboration. Like classroom learning, it's important to be prepared to guide the instruction. The thing about interactive videoconferencing, if the presenter or the facilitator is not prepared, if the equipment has not been tested or the instructor has decided to wing-it for the day, it's like being under a microscope and the outcome could be disasterous. Make sure your equipment is working ahead of time, don't trouble-shoot during classtime. Make sure you are prepared to interact with the person on the other end of the connection: plan and prepare first. Let your students practice using the equipment to communicate from a distance. The book, Videoconferencing for K-12 Classrooms offers numerous tips and ideas for building a foundation in the classroom for distance learning.

Teacher Learning Teams
Did you know that videoconferencing can support teacher learning teams? If you don't have to spend time traveling, you have more time to focus on the task at hand. This article points out that success of professional development "teams" depends in part on how they use their time. Eliminating travel time, provides more time for collaboration and learning!

Digital Learning - A Blog
Trends and strategies for distance learning

Article on Virtual Field Trips
What's a virtual field trip? See how one class takes advantage of technology to travel far and wide and still be home for dinner.

Students in Texas take high school courses and virtual field trips!