Streaming technology has made it possible to have a high school social studies teacher teaching in two schools at once via distance learning.
At Caesar Rodney High School, Emily Vanickle knows how it feels to be two places at once. She has piloted a distance learning program, allowing her to teach her high school class while simultaneously teaching middle school students at Fred Fifer Middle School.
The technology which enables her to do this is called WebEx. The communication with the six middle schools students is opened through a large screen in the back of her classroom.
“She sees them on the television screen like they are another row in the back of the class,” said assistant superintendent Scott Lykens. “If they have a question they can raise their hand just like a kid in the high school can.” Lykens added that the middle schoolers are supervised by a proctor during the lesson.
District officials decided to try the program after they observed that faculty at new Castle Vocational Tech used it to conduct meetings. The classroom use was obvious to the officials.
According to Lykens, the main reason for the pilot program was to allow students to take advantage of advanced classes. The technology made it possible for the middle school students to participate in the high school class, without having to take the time and expense for transportation of students or teacher.