Keeping sixth-grade Mandarin alive was the immediate goal, but in spending $60,000 to set up two "telepresence classrooms," the Ridgeville, Conn., school board is chasing a broader vision, reports the Ridgefield Press: virtual museum visits, video college courses, and collaborative projects with schools around the world. "I think this is great out-of-the-box thinking," board member Richard Steinhart said Aug. 25. "I think it opens up a lot of outside possibilities beyond Mandarin." Put together by Technology Director Josh Smith at the request of Superintendent Deborah Low, the plan is sophisticated in its electronics but simple in concept. By equipping both...

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