Filling the Void: School Districts Embrace Telepresence to Save Money and Share Resources
With budgets tighter than ever, school administrators are finding new ways to collaborate with other schools and districts hundreds of miles away. Instead of spending money on flights and hotels to travel across the state and share best practices with others in their field, teachers, principals and superintendents in several California schools are now using telepresence to get that same face-to-face interaction without leaving town.
Fontana Unified School District (FUSD) in Southern California, for example, is a huge district – 41,000 students at 40 schools across 25 miles. FUSD is the latest school district to incorporate telepresence in order to offer their students the best programs possible — and not only prepare them for college, but also prepare them for the real world. In such a large district, telepresence is a vehicle that allows the district to offer the same opportunities to every student at every school, and save time and money because administrators don’t have to travel across town for meetings.
Fresno Unified School District and Long Beach Unified School District, both in economically distressed regions with high poverty rates, are other examples of California districts that began using telepresence last year – in this case to solve a K-6 math crisis. By incorporating visual communication capabilities, the two districts are able to get more done faster and more efficiently at a far lower cost. The face-to-face interaction allows them to collaborate in a meaningful way without spending the time and money to travel to the other’s district.
The more school districts are able to incorporate telepresence, the more each district, school, and student can benefit by being able to collaborate with schools across the state, country and hopefully world.
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