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Videoconferencing: Going beyond the classroom without leaving school

March 30, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
distance_learning_feature.jpgMarch 30, 2012 by Larry Nagengast via DelawareFirst.com -- Cape Henlopen High School students have visited the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va., this year.

William Penn High School journalism students interviewed a former Fox News producer who made her mark professionally while embedded with the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne in Iraq.

Smyrna Middle School students got a behind-the-scenes look at operations at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Students at elementary schools in Smyrna and New Castle broadened their horizons by dropping in on classrooms in Texas and Mississippi.

On the map, these trips covered hundreds of miles, but the students never had to leave their buildings. Each of these field trips was of the virtual variety, made possible through videoconferencing.

The technology, no longer magical in the corporate world, is still something of a novelty in Delaware public schools.

Cape Henlopen High School, in a building that opened in August 2010, is considered the leader among the state's public schools in using videoconferencing to enhance instruction, according to Randy Reynolds, customer relationship specialist in the state Department of Technology and Information, and Wayne Hartschuh, director of the Delaware Center for Educational Technology, a branch of the state Department of Education.

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