I love to see Minnesota called out for any example of broadband adoption efforts and improvements in the quality of life – especially in education. So I was delighted to see Deer River School District mentioned on the MSNBC website.
MSNBC did a nice piece the impact technology is having on education from K12 to higher ed. Deer River is recognized for their telepresence setup…
In northern Minnesota, new technology will help level the playing field for schools in remote areas, said Matt Grose, chair of the Itasca Area Schools Collaborative and superintendent for the Deer River School District in Deer River, Minn.
The collaborative, which includes 20 schools and 6,000 students, is relying on new video technology to link classrooms with others throughout the region, he said. A $1 million federal grant helped pay for the distance-learning initiative, he said. The telepresence classrooms will be used for foreign language classes and field trips.
“Our kids are going to have opportunities to take higher level courses that we can’t offer here, or at least that we don’t have the enrollment to justify a teacher for,” he said.
He said the collaborative wants to expand the telepresence to the community, offering college courses for adults during the evenings.
The article and the accompanying video are worth a glimpse. Watch the video for a very cool college lab set up from Stanford University.
Recently I posted about some articles that had less than stellar things to say about online education – but I think this article gives hope that we’re heading in the right direction – partially because I think there’s still an element of face-to-face teaching in most of the examples that they give – which I think helps both students and teachers transition to what education will become in the future. As the article points out, the field of e-learning is still very new…
“It’s a significant change,” Karen Cator, the director of educational technology for the U.S. Education Department in Washington, D.C., told NBC News. “While we might feel like the Internet has been for around for a long time, which it has been, we just have to remember that it’s fairly new to us — and the opportunity to learn has exponentially grown.”