What's Right With Our Schools: Video Conferencing Class

9:59 PM, Jan 18, 2012   |    comments
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A little variety makes everyday life a little more interesting for us all including East Tennessee students. However, when you talk about adding classes, you are also adding costs which is something most school systems can't swing right now.

Two Blount County high schools are using technology to bridge that financial gap. Through video conference technology, a teacher at Heritage High School is able to teach his students as well as a classroom at William Blount High. 

The class is the first of its kind in Blount County and is an idea developed to give kids more from their education. 

"There's so many different interests - the kids have a variety of interests, rather it's in Social Studies or Math or English - and we want to make sure that any avenue they want to travel down educationally - we are able to provide the classes they need to be successful," said Sociology teacher Jared Smith. 

The cameras are fairly inexpensive and they allow the school system to offer a wider range of classes. It also helps when kids can't be in class. 

"The system also allows us to video tape it - so if we had a student that was missing the class, they could come in and they could go through a password protected site, get online, and review that class they had missed - so that's pretty outrageous," said Assistant Principal for Heritage High School Colleen Mattison.

Overall it is the new way of teaching, reaching and engaging students that is getting the most attention. "It's pretty fun - I love it, being able to be on TV with another class - it's different," said 10th grade student Raphen Cox. 

Smith said if he ever has a hard time adjusting the cameras or tv, the students can usually jump in and help. He said his kids are extremely tech savvy.

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