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Heart of a Hall of FamerWith the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2011 Enshrinement coming up next weekend, and the lockout over, I think it’s great timing to highlight what the Pro Football Hall of Fame is doing for students around the world.

How many times during your grade school years did you come face to face with one of your celebrity idols? Most of us probably can’t attest to more interaction with our famous role models than seeing their faces on posters or interviews on television. Thanks to telepresence, however, today’s students have a different story to tell.

For example, this spring, Oakland Raiders’ Hall of Famer Willie Brown chatted with students via telepresence, which allowed him to see the students and answer their questions about his life and career. In an interview with Jeanette Thompson of Behind the Shield (a Raiders’ media broadcast), Brown said the experience was especially wonderful because he knew it was a unique opportunity for the students: he never interacted with a hall of famer during his school years and he wanted these students to have that chance, according to the interview. Brown said he enjoyed sharing the story of his unlikely venture into pro football—a divergent career from the high school coach he envisioned he would be.

Fellow Raiders, including Rod Woodson, and other hall of famers, have participated in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s newest program called “Heart of a Hall of Famer” series. This program provides students the opportunity to learn first-hand what it took beyond athletic ability for legendary Hall of Fame players to achieve success on and off the football field with a focus on positive character qualities. Check out the Pro Football Hall of Fame for information on upcoming programs and to see samples videos and supplemental activities. You can also read the new case study highlighting just how the Pro Football Hall of Fame educates students using telepresence.

Imagine you were sitting in a grade school classroom right now. Who would you want to see LIVE in high definition? What questions would you ask? With telepresence, today’s young learners don’t have to imagine it -- they are living it!

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