TEACHER-to-TEACHER WEBCHATS

The main focus of the WebChats will be on how to implement PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE Modules successfully in your classroom. How can I integrate PTK projects into my curriculum? Do they help me meet the standards? What do I tell my principal? How do I get the most out of all three components? What is the best way to use the videos with my students? Can I get parents involved? Where do I begin? and more...

Grab a cup of coffee, your Teacher's Guides, your ideas, your questions, a comfortable chair and come join us!

To participate, and to get the unpublished URL for the Chat, send e-mail to Eileen Bendixsen at: eb@passporttoknowledge.com



SCIENTIST-to-STUDENT WEBCHATS

Students and teachers are invited to participate in WebChats with Antarctica researchers!

PASSPORT TO ANTARCTICA will host a series of moderated WebChats (guests, topics and schedule will be published in UPDATES-ANTARCTICA) to allow students and teachers to interact directly, in real-time, via text messaging on the WWW, with Antarctica researchers from our scientific collaborators. You'll hear the latest information about Antarctica from some of our planet's leading minds!

TIPS FOR PARTICIPATING IN WEBCHATS
If you have never participated in a WebChat before, please join one of our teacher WebChats or lurk, with or without your class, during one of our scientist-student WebChats to become familiar with the software and the process of submitting questions. It's very easy to use, but can be somewhat nerve wracking with a room full of students if you've not experienced the process (and the inevitable server and software glitches!) before. But, believe us, the sensation of sending a question to the Amazon, Kitt Peak, NASA JPL or SOHO Mission Control and getting an answer right back is worth all the effort!

If you would like to "lurk," simply let us know this is what you intend when you request the URL. To participate, and to get the unpublished URL for the Chat, send e-mail to Eileen Bendixsen at: eb@passporttoknowledge.com


TIPS TO MAKE WEBCHATS WORK

  1. Before the chat begins read and discuss the BIOgraphy and any FIELD JOURNALS written by the scientist in whose WebChat which you will participate. You will find these in the RESEARCH/ers section of the PASSPORT TO ANTARCTICA website and in editions of UPDATES-ANTARCTICA.
  2. Discuss the TIPS FOR ASKING A GOOD QUESTION suggested for RESEARCHER Q&A, and have the students submit well thought out questions on index cards before the chat. Instead of rejecting goofy questions outright, discuss them and have students reword the question in a more usable format, correct spelling errors, and make any other necessary revisions ahead of time. The important thing to remember is to encourage student participation, not discourage initiative and excitement.
  3. As a class decide the ten best questions. There will probably not be enough time to submit and receive answers back from more than this. Remember, questions are also arriving in real time from other classes around the nation. Keep the other questions in reserve in case there is time or submit them to ON-AIR or RESEARCHER Q&A.
  4. Make sure each index card has the name of the student who submitted the question. When you submit the question during the chat begin by typing "Billy would like to know..." Use first names only because the transcript will be placed on the PASSPORT TO ANTARCTICA website shortly after the WebChat for other classes to read.
  5. Collecting the questions ahead of time allows you to have all of your classes participate even if they will not be available during the actual time of the chat. Also many class periods do not fit into the exact time of the WebChat. It is possible you may not have answers to your questions until after the class has left your room.
  6. Following the chat, save the edited transcript in a text file. Add some extra spaces between the question and answer pair and increase the size of the text to a large font. Cut the question and answer pair into strips. Give each student a strip and have the students role play the chat session. If class time does not allow for you to do this read the question and answer pairs in class, so everyone can benefit.

    "This process is well worth the effort. Most of the work takes place before and after the chat session. I still prize the chat session we had with (JPL engineer) Rob Manning after the successful (Mars) Pathfinder landing. It was fantastic!"

    Dave Eggebrecht,
    Kenosha Unified School District, Kenosha, WI