Posted by: Ann Treacy | April 9, 2013

Grade Schoolers in Southwest Minnesota get Great Video Access

Minnesota-based Video Guidance reports

In a first-of-its-kind program focusing solely on elementary student, Video Guidance will provide and deploy video technology to dozens of K-6 elementary schools in Southwest Minnesota. Thanks to a $498,328 Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative grant from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the deployment will become the first of its kind in Southwest Minnesota targeting elementary schools. The telecommunications program will connect K-6 students with guest speakers and distance learning classes, and on virtual field trips to Great Lakes Aquarium, Minnesota Zoo, International Wolf Center and Minnesota Historical Society, which are all partners of Video Guidance. …

The telecommunications grant allows for a high-quality, portable Interactive Television (ITV) system to be placed in 36 elementary schools within SW/WC Service Cooperative’s Wide Area Network (WAN), providing advanced educational opportunities for over 9,000 K-6 children.

“Each school will receive a completely mobile video conferencing system configured so that all an educator needs to do is roll the system into the classroom, plug in a power cord and the network cable, and the system will be ready to connect their classroom to an interactive world of possibilities,” said Mike Nelson, account manager for Video Guidance.

The systems can be hooked up to projectors, allowing a large, projected display for larger group assemblies or activities that require the use of a larger space such as a gym or auditorium. Each system will also include a document camera that will allow items such as pages of a book, microscopes, graphs and images to be used in conjunction with the video conferencing system.

This allows educators and students to broadcast a wide variety of information and video to other sites throughout the region and world.

I’m writing this while my most junior associate (age 8) is off school sick and sitting at the table with me. She’s writing a story – but she’s only writing a story because we’re at the coffee shop. If we were home where it’s quieter and she can be louder, she’d be creating a video – which is both easier and more fun for her. It’s exciting to think about the new ways to learn, new skills learned and the whole new experience of education in schools today and nice to know that the schools in SW Minnesota can be leading the pack. I look forward to hearing more about some of the things they do!


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