Who teaches the teachers?
The ongoing economic crisis has impacted everyone. Businesses are cutting costs left and right to help alleviate falling sales revenues in the private sector, and governments have in no way been immune. Currently 48 of the 50 states are mired in a steep budget shortfall and are trying everything possible to cut back.
With education funding being slashed across the country to help states balance their budgets, there are many things school districts are learning to live without. However, new technologies being applied in interesting and innovative ways are enabling some schools to provide a full education without breaking the bank. Most notable of these is video teleconferencing (VTC).
In fact, a recent article in Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook discusses some of the creative and innovative ways in which schools are utilizing VTC technologies as an inexpensive alternative to traditional teacher training.
Often times when budgets are slashed both in the private sector and in government, professional development budgets are one of the first casualties. However, the expense of travel to and enrolling in classes can be dramatically reduced through the integration of VTC. This ensures that teachers are up-to-date on the most recent teaching techniques and curriculum without having the travel to classes.
Also, new professional development opportunities that previously would have been considered disruptive to classrooms are now available only through VTC. For example, the Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook article references the Duval County School District in Florida which has been able to open up the classrooms of high-performing teachers for others to watch, and then subsequently ask questions, thanks in large part to VTC. The initiative is called Model Classrooms and it could not exist without technologies like those in TANDBERG video teleconferencing solutions.
The savings and benefits of VTC for professional development in the education industry are obvious. Without VTC, teachers would need to take days off, be replaced with substitutes and have to travel. With VTC, training can be accomplished in short sessions after school and the money saved on flights, hotel and subs go back in the bank.
Video teleconferencing ensures that teachers can continue to be taught to teach at a low cost. How much can your school system save with VTC?