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Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. As a child, did you dream of making it as a professional athlete? Or, perhaps, as you grew a little older and your own athletic prowess gave way to other skills, you wished to someday work among the sports stars you so loved and admired?

Thanks to the extensive education outreach programs provided by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, today’s youngsters who aspire to careers in professional football can learn how to make these dreams into realities. Using telepresence, the Hall of Fame reaches students in all 50 states with virtual fieldtrips to National Football League (NFL) offices and museum collections and archives. The in-person, real-time telepresence connections let participating students speak directly with NFL doctors, accountants, public relations leaders, sales staff, and more, enabling them to learn how these employees earned their positions and what it takes to succeed. The telepresence links also let the Hall of Fame use special document cameras and computers to bring some of its 15,000 football artifacts “directly” into classrooms.

The first-hand exposure to NFL personalities that students experience through telepresence parallels the other impressive virtual fieldtrips telepresence has facilitated. We’ve seen students travel to Mars, visit distant museums, even communicate with people from the past, all through telepresence-supported learning. It’s a trend that’s sure to continue and expand as organizations like the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration offer ongoing training, support, and resource guides for educators seeking to incorporate video-based learning tools.

Providing more insight on productive, effective ways to incorporate telepresence into classrooms—for sports business courses or otherwise—Jerry Csaki, the National Football Hall of Fame’s education programs coordinator, will speak at the upcoming Texas Distance Learning Association conference. The conference, held in Dallas from April 15-18, promises to offer a wealth of information on innovative ways video can enhance instruction, break down barriers and increase students’ access to the world around them, and provide truly unique, memorable learning experiences.

We hope to see you there! Find more details here.

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