(Almost) all our content from 2006 to 2017 is archived and available online under a Creative Commons license. Please read this post from June 2018 for more background and updates about our conference and current status.
2006- Overcoming Obstacles 2006- Pers Prof Development 2008 2008 - Getting Started

Getting Started “Video-Conferencing It’s Easy, Free and Powerful”

Brian Crosby Reno, Nevada, USA
Blog: http://learningismessy.com/blog/

Bio: Brian Crosby, an elementary teacher for 26 years, teaches sixth grade in Sparks, Nevada, and has infused technology into teaching since the 1980’s. While piloting a 1:1 laptop program, students in his class utilize many Web 2.0 tools including Skype, Fiickr, blogs and wikis. Brian teaches several popular tech classes for teachers in his role as a Nevada Writing Project Consultant.
Bio Page: https://k12online08presenters.wikispaces.com/Brian+Crosby

Presentation Title: “Video-Conferencing It’s Easy, Free and Powerful”
Description: Through this Quicktime video presentation attendees will learn how free video and audio-conferencing software can easily be utilized to both access and share learning opportunities with students globally. In addition attendees will acquire the knowledge and resources necessary to use this valuable educational tool.

Link on dotsub

About transcribing/translating this video

Original (13:24 Run Time; mov, 61.5 MB);
iPod Video (13:24 Run Time; mp4, 62.6 MB)
Audio only (13:24 Run Time; mp3, 6.3 MB)

Supporting Links

Essential Questions

View Full Screen Voicethread

Access Help Desk
[tags]k12online08gs08, k12online08[/tags]


  1. Teresa Rush

    Great presentation! I totally agree with your comments in regards to moving beyond the “wow” to technology being used effectively. In regards to your suggestions on using video conferencing effectively I had a thought. Wouldn’t it be cool if one could create a list of children authors who would be willing to let students skype them and discuss their book. Perhaps a wiki with author contact information that could be updated by teachers or the authors themselves.

  2. Gail Desler


    Thank you for such a comprehensive presentation on the value of videoconferencing. One plus you touched upon that I’m finding to be a great selling point for interactive videoconferencing is the fact that conferences can be scheduled within the regular instructional setting and time – no loss of instructional time.

    I’m also finding that the most meaningful conferences tend to happen when the students know each other ahead of time as writers – or at some point during the project – come to know each other as writers.

    I currently have an EETT grant with with 4th grade teaches in my district. They’ve had an introductory videoconference with Mathew Needleman, who shared ideas for working filmmaking into the already jam-packed Open Court day within a Title 1 school. When I meet with the teachers next week, I’m going to share your video to show, rather than tell, them what IVC can look like with their students.

    Thanks again,
    Gail Desler

  3. Silvia Tolisano

    Wonderfully organized presentation with perfect combination of Tech-How-To and Pedagogy-Why. Very timely presentation for me since we are working on incorporating more skype with our students. You reminded me that it is important not to stop with the actual video conference, but that additional value and student learning comes with post conference writing and reflecting.

    My blog post/notes of your presentation

  4. Cheryl Oakes

    Brian, kudos to you and your students. You share in concise terms with great examples on video-conferencing that make it easy for any teacher to venture out and try it! I know when I shared your first video with our staff they were comfortable with trying this technology out. The next year when a student broke his leg and could not travel to the second floor, the principal announced that the teachers would SKYPE with the student until he could get his cast on. In a short 8 months, we went from 3 months of planning to skype, to 3 days to get the technology in place and then the learning continued. Thanks for your inspiration. PS I also enjoyed your Lee Baber tribute! She touched so many people.
    Cheryl Oakes

  5. Pingback: Thing 13 | Nelson's notions

  6. Pingback: Expanding on Pre-existing Knowledge « Nicole’s Weblog

  7. Jacqueline Cahill

    Name of Session: Video Conferencing: Its free, easy and powerful

    Conference Strand: Getting Started

    Essential Questions:
    1) List several ways video-conferencing could enhance your language instruction.
    -students can hear various words pronounced correctly from someone besides me
    -students can see and hear themselves present
    -students can work on their weaknesses with presenting and then tape themselves again
    -teach about various dialects and origins of language through virtual field trips
    2) List teachers/classrooms you could make connections with using video conferencing. Remember these connections can be across the continent or a school around the corner.
    I could use video conferencing with students from another part of the country who also work in an online school utilizing similar but different tech tools. Then the students could learn from one another.
    3) What learning could be shared from your local expert?
    We could share tech presentations from our tech person who can creatively teach how to use tech tools with other online teachers and students.

    Main Points (takeaways):
    -field trip w/o leaving classroom
    -classroom blogs
    -share guest speaker
    -record students communication skills

    -not at this time

    I will apply this learning by teaching my colleagues about the ease and low cost of video conferencing. Perhaps they will start to meet with their students this way some of the time. I’m trying to become a more effective and involved online teacher. In order to monitor it, I will chart when and what I try that is new and how often I do it and the outcomes of that.

    Textbook: E-learning activities also relevant—some are around video conferencing

    url of session: http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=279&tml=true#copy

  8. Pingback: LAN-tastic! | always learning

  9. Kim Thomas

    I have been out of the classroom for a number of years and after watching this presentation that “itch” to be back in the classroom has surfaced. Since I work from the district level I get to help encourage and work with teachers to put projects like this in place, I don’t get to be there as the really “fun/important” things take place.

    We are just making our first move to video conferencing, working with the IT Dept. so we have a team effort in utilizing Skyppe in order to improve and enhance learning for our students.

    Teresa – Love your student author idea.

    Brian -Thanks for a well thought out presentation. Kudos to you and your students!

    Kim T. AZ

  10. Bonnie Muir

    Brian, Your presentation was so interesting to me. I had never heard of that book before, so I looked up the pictures online. What a cool book. Your students did a nice job on those stories. I appreciated hearing the successes as well as the possible kinks to collaborating. I just wonder how it is that your students can write in Google Docs when the age limit is 1 to have an account. What is the secret to getting around that? Do you create additional accounts in your name, such as brian+student1@gmail.com?

    If you get a chance to reply, I would appreciate it.

  11. Pingback: Students interviewing students over Skype at school » Moving at the Speed of Creativity

  12. Pingback: Thing #13: 21st Century Conference | advise me

  13. Pingback: Thing 13: Video Conferencing | Louise's Blog

  14. Pingback: 5 Things I Would Change About Education | Making Teachers Nerdy

  15. Pingback: Interviews Over Skype | ISTE’s NECC09 Blog

  16. Pingback: OU K-20 Center Supports Constructive WebCam Use in Oklahoma Schools » Moving at the Speed of Creativity

  17. Pingback: Thing 13 | Elementary Science

  18. Pingback: Thing 13 | Elementary Science

  19. Pingback: Questioning the potential value of Skype and videoconferencing in the classroom? » Moving at the Speed of Creativity

  20. Pingback: Deer Creek (Oklahoma) Students and Teachers Using Skype » Moving at the Speed of Creativity

  21. Pingback: Thing 13 – K12 Online Conference | Stepping Stones to Web 2.0

  22. Holly Holland

    Brian: I can’t find an email address for you. Would you please contact me to discuss some publishing options?
    Holly Holland
    Acquisitions Editor
    Stenhouse Publishers

  23. Pingback: A morning of Skype connections « Moving at the Speed of Creativity

  24. Pingback: Thing 13 – 21st Century Conferencing | Learning 2.0

  25. Pingback: K12 Online Echo Webcast TONIGHT with Brian Crosby! « Moving at the Speed of Creativity

  26. Geraldine Hobbs

    Video conferencing is very important in education to day. Your students
    were able to set up their computer to view their classmate whom was ill.
    they used Skype. This tool helped your students to important their communication skills.

  27. Pingback: MassCUE Day 1 | LKR design

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *