Meeting experts and touring locations around the globe is now possible by opening up the world through a virtual classroom.
At McLean County Unit 5 high schools, virtual classroom software has been installed in classrooms at Normal Community West and Normal Community high schools by the Zdi audio visual company.
“It opens up possibilities for teachers to connect their classes with more people. It also takes away time and financial constraints that might come with field trips. This is another step towards new technology entering schools and I hope it continues to grow,” said Dave Johnson, principal at Normal West.
Teachers can move their class to the lab where the virtual classroom software is installed, and connect with an expert. Experts connect through the internet, with a device that has a microphone and camera.
Students face large computer screens in the classroom. Cameras in the front and back detect movement and microphones pick up sound. The software automatically zooms in on the student who is speaking and shares the discussion with the expert who is connected.