News

Schools try remote instruction through immersive technology

By Nick Crow, The Janesville Gazette
December 17th, 2014

Interactive approach uses technology to engage students in multiple places

immersive-technologyParker senior Elizabeth Kruse wasn’t sure what to expect when she decided to take AP music theory this fall.

She wasn’t afraid the class would be difficult, but it was the inaugural offering of the class through the Janesville School District’s new Cisco Telepresence system.

The technology allows a class to be taught in up to 10 places at once with high-definition, real-time, interactive video.

“It’s honestly not as bad as I thought it was going to be,” Kruse said. “I thought it was going to be a big difference without the in-person interaction, but it’s honestly, with the screens, an immediate reaction. It works.”

In each room, students face large screens with cameras facing outwardly, so students from each class see each other. Microphones transmit what students in each class are saying.

(Next page: How district leaders are integrating the new technology)