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The TelePresence room at Cisco’s Sofia office in Bulgaria was converted into a virtual classroom where ten students from the American College in Sofia, attended a Poetry Master Class with Dr. Linda Gregerson, Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan.

Professor Gregerson, whose fourth book of poems, Magnetic North, was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award, discussed her poems with the students over a distance of 8,100 kilometers and across seven time zones.

We really felt we were sitting across the same table and could interact with Dr. Gregerson as if she was here with us in Sofia

“Video makes such a huge difference. We all use video over the internet, but the quality of this session was amazing. We really felt we were sitting across the same table and could interact with Dr. Gregerson as if she was here with us in Sofia. This technology opens up new horizons in education, I can bring my students in touch with the best teachers from around the globe, without the need for physical travel. This will not only help them learn in new ways, but they will develop the skill of communicating and collaborating with other people, a skill which is very valuable in today’s globalizing economy” said Paul Johnson, President of the American College of Sofia.

The American College hopes to continue this relationship with Dr. Gregerson and the University of Michigan and is also planning to build closer ties to different educational institutions across the globe using TelePresence technology.

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