Monday, January 22, 2007

Virtually the same

The next best thing to being there? The Baltimore County School System Home and Hospital Center, a unit charged with teaching students who will be out of school for more than four weeks, is using real-time conferencing to teach students over the internet.

School administrators and teachers point out that because they are teaching
real-time Web-conferencing, the homebound students' experiences are similar
to what they would have in a regular classroom.

You can see the whole Baltimore Sun Article here, but the gist of it is that a combination of a shared workspace (not videoconferencing, but a shared whiteboard online) and telephone conferencing is proving very effective for teaching students all kinds of subjects. Having shared visuals is better than just a phonecall, too, students and teachers report in the article.

The technology really is essential. Being literally on the same page whether you're in the same meeting room or different timezones is key to everyone in a meeting or conversation understanding and following.

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