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E3 Expanding Access to Chinese through Distance Learning: A Partnership between Higher Education and K–12 (Willis)
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E3 Expanding Access to Chinese through Distance Learning: A Partnership between Higher Education and K–12 (Willis)


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Expanding Access to Chinese through Distance Learning: A Partnership between Higher Education and K–12 (E3) …

Expanding Access to Chinese through Distance Learning: A Partnership between Higher Education and K–12 (E3)
Speaker: Sheree Willis

Published in: Education

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  • 1. Expanding access through interactive distance learning (videoconferencing): a partnership between K12 and Higher Ed Sheree Willis, Executive Director, Confucius Institute at the University of Kansas [email_address] 913-897-8612 Presentation at NCLC, Washington, D.C. April, 2010
  • 2. Expanding access to underserved students despite shortage of teachers, funding, curriculum
    • A Successful Strategy: Interactive Distance Learning (IDL) videoconference delivery
  • 3. Results: Significant Expansion of Access
    • (IDL-videoconferencing) –
      • Expanded number of K12 students in academic year Chinese language classes delivered by IDL in Kansas from 0 in 2005-2006 to 24 in 2006-2007 to over 400 in 2009-2010, including classes delivered to neighboring states.
      • Inspired establishment of other IDL Chinese programs in Kansas and nearby states.
      • Stimulated growth of non-IDL programs.
      • Stimulated greater emphasis on global learning in K12 throughout the state
    • Over 1500 percent growth in four years.
  • 4. A Partnership to Increase Access
    • Southeast Kansas Educational Service Center (Greenbush)
      • 21 yrs experience in providing K12 academic year and short-term classes by IDL to Kansas and neighboring states
      • Largest IDL provider in Kansas
      • Linked to extensive statewide IDL network, KanEd Internet backbone
  • 5. What is IDL? Interactive Distance Learning
    • Interactive
    • Real-time, synchronous instruction
    • Uses advanced videoconferencing technology
    • Students and teachers see and hear each other, even with more than one remote site
    • Students see and hear curricular materials (images, ppt, internet pages, documents, video) provided by teacher
    • Teacher can see and hear students and student produced materials
  • 6. IDL is not
    • Asynchronous
    • Online
    • Individualized or independent study
    • Correspondence
  • 7. Equipment and Infrastructure
    • Videoconferencing unit and camera
      • Polycom
      • Tanberg
      • High def v. standard
      • Can be multi-point or point-to-point
    • Display
      • Plasma screen, TV Screen
    • Additional equipment
      • Computer, Document camera, speakers, microphone array, extra (student) camera, DVD/VHS player
      • Phone and fax machine
    • Classroom space (or cart)
    • Internet Access
    • Personnel – facilitator or classroom teacher
  • 8. Advantages of Interactive Distance Learning
    • Real-time, synchronous instruction
    • Allows students in more than one location and teacher to interact – creating communities of learners over extended physical space
    • Allows classes to be scheduled during normal school day – in regular bell schedule
    • Chinese is perceived as “regular” subject, carrying same weight as other academic subjects
    • Chinese class conforms to contact hour and other requirements for high school credit.
    • Allows for economic allocation of teacher time, either by hub approach or distributed approach
  • 9.
    • Teachers concentrated at one location = sharing of experience, expertise, joint preparation
    • Chinese IDL teachers have greater access to expertise, guidance from higher ed (especially useful in new field with inexperienced teachers)
    • Students have access to certified, trained teacher
    Higher Ed-based teacher hub: Quality of Instruction
  • 10. Management Challenges
    • Equipment - compatibility issues
    • Scheduling – opportunities and challenges
    • Reaching through the screen – to students, schools, communities
    • Supporting sustainable programs
    • Teacher training and support
    • Curriculum development
    • Specific to IDL
    • Challenges for any language program
  • 11. Communication with IDL sites
    • Facilitators/classroom instructors play important role (training for facilitators helpful)
    • IDL remote site school administrator support also critical
    • Context for learning Chinese (supported by administrators, other teachers, school staff, parents, community)
  • 12. Sustainability of Chinese language programs requires a supportive environment
    • Cultural education programs for non-language teachers generate support for language programs
      • training in Chinese culture for teachers of other subjects
      • Cultural activities for students (speech contests, festivals, Spring festival performances, films, etc.)
    • Reaching out to school boards, site councils, parents, community businesses – to support Chinese programs
  • 13. Leveraging other resources for a supportive context NCTA China Bridge FLAP STARTALK NSLI-Y Confucius Classrooms
  • 14. Reaching through the screen: making best practices work in an IDL context 05/06/10 Pedagogical challenges Error correction Differentiated instruction Realia Classroom management Interpersonal oral assessment (no privacy) Keys to success: Planning ahead (careful lesson planning, send materials ahead) Facilitator training and communication Teacher training and teamwork
  • 15. Areas for Further Investigation
    • Additional research in adapting communicative instruction to IDL context
    • Need adaptive techniques for error correction, student-centered instruction
    • Better techniques for teaching young children – expansion of elementary school programs