A story in the October issue of THE Journal focused on education in rural schools, with a look at schools on Kodiak Island, Alaska. Kodiak Island is approximately 300 miles southwest of Anchorage, separated from the mainland by the Shelikof Strait. Seven out of the 15 schools are accessible only by air or boat. Each school has two teachers. During my tenure with SMART, I recall one of our education consultants, Jaimie Ashton, telling the story about flying in a two-seater airplane to get to one of these schools for a professional development session, and having to sleep in the school’s locker facility!
No matter where they are, all children in the United States should have equal access to a quality education, and the Kodiak Island district is using distance learning technology through video conferencing (VTC) to reach that goal. According to the October 2011 issue of THE Journal, “The use of distance learning technology has turned around once-struggling schools by not only enabling students to learn from better-qualified instructors, but also by expanding the breadth of content that can be offered.” Students are able to take Pre-Calculus, participate in science labs in grades 3 through 8, Advanced Comp, Literature and Music.
AVI-SPL has the solutions to support distance learning through VTC for not only rural districts, but all districts that need to provide specialized classes to meet federal requirements. For example most, schools cannot afford to employ a highly qualified teacher for a limited number of students who need to take AP Calculus, Mandarin languages, or other specialized courses. However, VTC can bring together several students throughout the district (or region, nation or world!) with one teacher!
Enhance your classroom education with distance learning technology implemented and supported by AVI-SPL. Speak to one of our experts at 1-800-282-6733 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll show you how we can improve your learning environment.