On June 21st we had our first video conference between the Modesto City Schools summer school students and the Kyoto Gauken students.
Each student was paired up with a partner to interview during the conference. Students first introduced themselves to each other, and then they asked each other questions. Questions ranged from things like “What are your hobbies?” to “What music do you listen to?” and “What is your favorite sport?”
There were some funny moments during the conference. Students on both sides of the conference took careful notes, often asking “How do you spell that?”. These details came into play two days later when they logged onto the PacRimX Island and went around interviewing avatars trying to find their video conference partners. All of these exercises were conducted using English. The Modesto City Schools multimedia students filmed the proceedings on our side of the camera for a class project. We used the K12Video.org system to both record the video conference and to broadcast it to those who could not attend.
It was very interesting to see the Modesto students respond to the interviews, and especially self moderate themselves. When a student in the interview seat would get stuck others would suggest questions and answers. A few times when laughter erupted, other students would hush the room saying “Stop, what if they think you are laughing at them?”. The students were very aware of how they were being perceived through the lens of the camera, especially with their image reflected back at them in the corner of the screen.