Monday, December 1, 2008

Long Distance Guest Speaker Directory

Over the weekend, I was privy to an engaging discussion among a few key members of my personal learning network. To make sense of the conversation, read the screen capture from bottom to top:


Knowing that a number of free tools now make it possible for teachers to engage the services of guest speakers from just about anywhere in the world, I began to wonder:

"What might result if we were to collaborate in the creation of a database of long distance guest speakers?"

Do you know any people with unique areas of expertise who might be interested in sharing their knowledge with students? Adults with unique careers? Educators with specific areas of expertise? Young people with motivational ideas? Retirees with engaging stories to share? Who do you think would be ideally suited as long distance guest speakers in global classrooms?

Speakers might identify themselves as willing participants; or educators might recommend known speakers from past experience. The resulting database might then accessed by teachers from anywhere in the world.

10 comments:

Wesley Fryer said...

MERLOT is setup for folks in higher education, but my understanding is its directory is intended to serve as a guest-speaker/expert database for virtual connections, similar to what you're looking for or wanting to create.

I had a discussion with Vicki Allen and a Rachel Tucker, a teacher from Bonham, Texas, at TCEA in February 2007 discussing a similar idea. I published a podcast of our interview-- basically Rachel wanted a database system which would permit teachers to connect with students studying abroad, who could then connect back to their classroom during the year and share their experiences with students via blog posts, photos, and videoconferencing.

I agree this sort of thing is needed. This could be a service/contribution for people in business/industry to share their expertise with classroom learners. Great idea, I hope this moves forward!

Wesley Fryer said...

The MERLOT Virtual Speakers Bureau is the link I was thinking of here.

Rodd Lucier said...

Thanks for the link Wes!

About 15-20 years ago, we used to have a paper-based speaker bureau local to London, Ontario. The speakers from 'Open Doors', specialized in non-traditional occupations, and were very popular.

Extraordinary possibilities exist today that allow guests to engage with learners in ways that are inexpensive, convenient and highly engaging. Here's hoping we can harness the potential of the technology...

Lorna Costantini said...

Absolutely excellent idea. and I really like to see the use of the Google doc function in your post. Podcast pls

Rob said...

Powerful interaction you shared. Thanks for sharing!

Clay Burell said...

Great idea, Rodd!

I threw myself in there to give an American-in-Asia perspective.

Rodd Lucier said...

Thanks Clay,

Whether wiki, survey database, or otherwise, someone, sometime will get this together, I'm sure. Let's keep nudging folks in the hopes it happens soon.

I hope you and your family are doing well...

Sue Waters said...

The good news is he did get several leads and hopefully managed to grab someone. Though can't believe he didn't want to talk to a fish farmer :)

Rodd Lucier said...

Thanks to Wesley Fryer's Speed of Creativity blog, I've just learned about the Skype-in-Schools Wiki:

http://skypeinschools.pbwiki.com/

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