Jan Zanetis is the Managing Director at the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration and is currently serving on the ISTE Board of Directors as the Board Secretary. In 2015, Jan was awarded the coveted “Making IT Happen” award from ISTE.
I have known Jan for over 20 years and always look forward to catching up with her at conferences. I met Jan when she was working with TANDBERG when I first learned about video conferencing. At ISTE last year, I mentioned to Jan that I wanted to learn more about her work so invited her to have a conversation with me. Below are a few excerpts from the podcast:
I’ve had multiple careers starting in the classroom. My passions have always been around opening the walls of the world to kids and classrooms. I live in Louisville, Kentucky by way of Nashville, Tennessee. I have three grown sons and one granddaughter 18 months old in New York City.
I figured out when I was 13 years old working at Head Start that I wanted to be a teacher. I went to Peabody College in Nashville that is now Vanderbilt University and majored in special education and elementary ed. I ended up being a Title I Reading Teacher and worked with Special Ed and Gifted kids then a middle school teacher teaching science and loved Mrs. Frizzle, teaching hands-on, and personalized learning. I was teaching my kids to code in 1999. Nothing is really new. Everything is coming around again. I was producing videos with my students in the late 90s.
I fell in love with interactive video back in 2000. I was asked to take a position at Vanderbilt running a virtual school. Ours were all live interactive distance learning experiences for kids for the city of Nashville for the science community then grew nationally and now is international. In those five years, that was the most fun time building a distance learning community. During that period, I met Kecia Ray and Camille Cole at ISTE and we decided to write a book about Videoconferencing in the K12 Classrooms published by ISTE.
Little History of Videoconferencing
Video conferencing was different in the 1990s and it was very complicated. You had to have special phone lines to connect to other people which caused huge phone bills. You needed 8-12 phone lines to support the bandwidth of 384K. You needed an IT person because everything was done manually with remote controls.
Then it switched over to IP based video in 2005 that made it easier because you didn’t need the expensive phone lines. In 2010, it switched from room-based codex video to cloud-based video which is so much easier for teachers. All they have to do is click on a link and they are in a video call across the world. Also, it is much less expensive than it was before. Now there are free or low-cost platforms like Google Hangout, Skype, and Zoom which we are using to connect for this conversation.
Moving to the corporate and non-profit sector
I was hired by TANDBERG in 2005 as their Global Education person. That was a lot of fun too. I got to travel the world and meet all these great educators. I worked for CISCO from 2011-2013, I worked with the people who did virtual excursions which were the Australian version of CILC. Yes, I lived in Australia during that time.
In 2013, I became the Managing Director of CILC (Center for Interactive Learning) a non-profit that has been around for 25 years. CILC is like a match.com between teachers and organizations to connect to museums, art galleries, authors, artists, and more. We have over 200 video programs with schools around the world typically reaching almost 3,000 kids a day. A lot of our programs are free like the ones from the National Parks and Smithsonian Institute. We also have a collaboration center is an area where teachers can go look at or post collaborative projects. You can browse the projects, past projects, or post project ideas where kids can talk to other kids. It could be a debate, a student-created presentation, or in other ways.
As an educator and university administrator, Jan Zanetis spent 20 years in K-12 and Higher Education. In 2005, she moved into the corporate sector as an education specialist, first for TANDBERG and then Cisco Systems. In 2013, she began her current role as the Managing Director at the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration. Jan feels very lucky to present at educational conferences, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Jan’s area of expertise is the application of video technologies in education. She has written extensively on this topic for education journals and has co-authored two books. Jan is an active member of several professional organizations including the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the United States Distance Learning Association and the Consortium for School Networking. She often presents at educational conferences, regionally, nationally and internationally. Jan is currently serving on the ISTE Board of Directors as the Board Secretary. In 2015, Jan was awarded the coveted “Making IT Happen” award from ISTE.
Jan holds a bachelor’s of science from Vanderbilt University in elementary/special education and an M.Ed. from Tennessee State University.
Press Release (August 2013) http://www.cilc.org/newsletter/news_releases.asp
- CILC Website: http://cilc.org/
- Nepris: https://www.nepris.com/
- ISTE Interactive Video Conferencing PLN: http://www.goo.gl/6iDXyD
- Global Education: CILC Collaboration Center: https://cilc.org/Collaborations.aspx Ripples Make Waves, World Water Day, March 22, 2018. https://cilc.org/Collaborations/Global-Collaboration-RMW.aspx
- Best practice in Science Education Churchill Fellowship report http://www.goo.gl/XiZFd1\
- Virtual Excursions Australia http://www.virtualexcursionsaustralia.com.au/
- ISTE Board Ballot: https://www.iste.org/about/elections
A Beginners Guide to Interactive Virtual Field Trips
The Impact of Broadcast and Streaming Video in Education (CISCO)
Interactive Videoconferencing: K-12 Lessons That Work Paperback – February 15, 2009 by Kecia Ray and Jan Zanetis
Videoconferencing in K12 Classrooms, 2nd Edition – 2009
Camille Cole, Kecia Ray, and Jan Zanetis
How Virtual Excursions Enrich Classroom Teaching https://www.fizzicseducation.com.au/Blog/x_post/Podcast-how-virtual-excursions-enrich-classroom-teaching-00214.html