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Transforming the Classroom Experience: Bringing the Outside In

February 21, 2011 - 4 Comments

It’s the age old struggle.  How do you keep students engaged?  How do you keep them from fading throughout the day?  There was a interesting article in Edutopia written by an English teacher that caught my attention for a few reasons.  After observing her tired and uninterested class, she went home, re-examined her approach and decided to present her class with new expectations.

If you take a look at the 10 strategies she outlined, there’s a clear call for increased collaboration and expanded learning experiences.  Specifically, learning beyond the walls, expanding your audience, collaborating, sharing and engaging others were key tenets to her new approach.  And these are exactly the same benefits we hear from educators that have used telepresence to break down the walls and expand learning in their classrooms.  Using technology to connect with the outside world is not only fun, but it helps keep students engaged in the learning process.

Stamford High School is a great example of how students are using video collaboration tools to conduct virtual fieldtrips.  In this case, the students at Stamford share their way of life in the cotton belt with students more than 1,000 miles away. Check out the video below.

Have you used telepresence in the classroom?  How did you use it?  Could it be what we need to increase student engagement in the classroom?

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  1. I love that you are doing this - a great model for our students! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  2. Agree, Kerry, the engagement potential of telepresence in education is off the charts. I don't think we're even scratching the surface right now. A few example use cases: