Many educators around the world have been celebrating Dr. Seuss Week for years. Read Around the Planet (RAP), an outgrowth of the U.S. National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America program, is a global celebration of reading using videoconference technology. Polycom also joins in this celebration.
RAP is designed to promote reading and to provide opportunities for classrooms to connect via videoconference. Two Way Interactive Connections in Education (TWICE) administers the program with funding provided by Polycom. This includes registration, the classroom partner matching service and support documentation. RAP registration opens in December with events occurring in February and March. The RAP program is open to primary, elementary and secondary educational institutions.
Here are the top 10 reasons for participating in Read Around the Planet.
# 10 – You want to celebrate reading!
Many classes participating in RAP are celebrating one of these events:
Dr. Seuss’ Birthday (March 2)
World Book Day (March 5)
March is Reading Month
# 9 – You have new VC equipment and need a boost getting started.
# 8 – You want to expand your personal videoconferencing network.
Random matches with lots of different schools mean you meet lots of people! The more people you know, the more videoconferences you can do! With your new-found RAP partners, you’ll find some great videoconferencing buddies with whom you can collaborate.
# 7 – You need a free videoconference.
Participation in Read Around the Planet remains free thanks to sponsorship by Polycom. Anyone with standards-based (H.323) videoconferencing can participate!
# 6 – You want your students to practice another language.
This year’s languages are: English, English as a Second Language, or Spanish.
Another option is Special Education which, although it obviously isn’t another language, allows us to match Special Education classes with each other.
# 5 – You don’t want the hassle of finding your own partner.
Let’s face it, finding a partner class can sometimes be a nuisance. What if you have a number of teachers at your school that want to participate? RAP can handle all that for you. Just sign up! Then when partners are announced in late January, you’ll receive all of their contact information.
# 4 – You want to connect to more schools outside your district/region/state/province.
There are lots of schools from many different areas participating in RAP.
We match automatically outside your state. You’ll only get an in-state match if we cannot find a match for you in any other way.
# 3 – You want to learn best practices in videoconferencing.
Participants learn from each other:
new ideas for presentations
new ways to interact via videoconferencing
new techniques for collaboration
Sometimes, granted, you may also learn what not to do! But be patient with your partner; they might be new to videoconferencing!
# 2 – You want to address the 21st Century Learning Skills of Communication and Collaboration.
What better way to practice presenting, communicating, speaking slowly and clearly, than with another class? A bona fide audience is very motivational for students!
# 1 – It’s fun and exciting to be a part of a huge event!
This year, 940 classrooms with approximately 30,000 students will participate – students from Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Guatemala, and the United States!