High Point school is globally connected

Dec 14 2016 | 01:14 AM

The Interactive Video Conferencing system is up and running in the High Point Regional High School Media Center.
Students and teachers are already utilizing it to engage in discussions with other classes, government officials, and businesses. Mark Wallace, the supervisor of Information Technology noted, “ I witnessed teachers struggling to connect students with authentic audiences. In conjunction with other educators, we decided to make it easier for teachers to connect students to the outside world with video conferencing.”
As a result, High Point purchased a Logitech video conferencing system, that is predominantly used by small to medium businesses. It is permanently installed in the media center so teachers
can easily connect students to the outside world.
Jacqueline McCarthy, a social studies teacher at High Point Regional High School says “ The set-up allows for maximum efficiency and flexible seating. I was able to move the camera with a remote and zoom in on my students as they asked questions. My students enjoyed the experience and would like the opportunity to do it
again.”
McCarthy has utilized the new video conferencing equipment three times so far this year.
Her Civics’ students created Adobe Spark election videos for a second grade class in Iowa.
The second graders had follow-up questions for her students so a video conferencing session was set up. Additionally, Sean Gaillard, an education advisor for Buncee, asked her students to provide him with feedback on his presentation product. For all video conferencing sessions, the experience was super easy and had excellent quality. The entire class could be seen at the same time and the microphone allowed for all students to be heard clearly. Additionally, the room allowed for flexibility with different seating arrangements. In the future, she hopes to
connect her students to more classrooms and government officials.
Wallace hopes to get five more systems in place at High Point Regional High School. He recently applied for a STEM grant to get additional funding to purchase the video conferencing
systems. He is working with Ms. McCarthy to develop a futuristic classroom that can be utilized by all students and teachers. According to Mr. Wallace, with video conferencing, “teachers can
now collaborate live and take virtual class trips. Students can learn from all over the world.
Additionally, students can now work with teams of students from all over. It will allow world wide collaboration. It is a classroom without walls”.
Video conferencing allows students to connect with authentic audiences. It also gives students an opportunity to learn about cultures and experiences that are different from their own
experiences. With this new technology, teachers from all departments, are coming up with creative ways to engage their students such as guest lectures, virtual field trips, interviews with
other classrooms and obviously, distance learning.