Lifesize To Host “Under The Sea” Virtual Classroom
by Justin Hester
On February 2, Lifesize will host a 2 hour virtual classroom field trip as they demonstrate the power of their video conferencing technology for students and teachers. As part of their LifeSize Grant Assistance Program they are trying to use a virtual learning experience to demonstrate how video conferencing can connect students with HD lab environments in very far away places. The best part of this experience is that Lifesize is offering it for FREE. Anyone can sign up and the lessons that will be geared in reverse order with the First being for grades 9-12, second for grades 6-8, and 3rd for younger kids in grades 3-5.
Lifesize Video Conferencing Lab Activities
The format this virtual classroom experience will follow will be 3 consecutive labs for kids and teachers to participate in. The lab topics for the February 1 event will include a Squid Dissection, a game of Fishial Pursuit, and F.B.I, the FISH Bureau of investigation. In the squid dissection lab which is geared for older kids in grades 9-12, the instructors will discuss topics covering the overall biology of a squid. Kids will get to see where in the squid the ink comes from as well as how a squid propels itself through the water, all in high definition!
In the second video lab which will be geared towards middle school kids, Lifesize will engage the kids in a virtual game of Fishial Pursuit, game show style. Here kids will have the video version of ocean guest speakers come virtually to their classrooms where students will be faced with questions about a range of ocean topics from plankton to blue whales.
Finally, the younger kids in grades 3-5 will get to be agents in the FBI ( Fish Bureau of Investigation). “Their mission will be to investigate the variety of fish that have infiltrated the Pacific and report back to headquarters. Join the FBI to discover and explore fish identification methods including: identifying fish habitat, size, shape and color. Students will learn about fish commonly found in the kelp forests of Southern California, as they investigate who fishnapped agent Skulpin!”
Using Technology To Broaden Education
Last year we had brought you an article from Australia where the Reef HQ Aquarium in Townsville was offering something similar to students worldwide in a number of languages. In the case of Reef HQ, they were using actual divers and scientists to demonstrate live science to the kids since they are situated right in the center of the worlds largest reef. It is good to see other video conferencing companies following suit and helping to broaden and make visual science of the real world for students that don’t have the luxury of walking down the street to a coral reef or beach.
Even a few short years ago, the technology that Lifesize is using today would cost a classroom tens of thousands of dollars which was priced out of reach for most school districts. The video conferencing technology That was out of reach even a few years ago is finally ready for the masses thanks to all the mobile devices that we carry around in our pockets. It is also great to see Lifesize putting these seminars on for free so that many can participate. The only requirement for participating being an internet connection! Please feel free to share this link with your kids teachers or view it for yourself. They have a few more scheduled later in the spring as well so spread the word and check it out.