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How video conferencing can expand student growth


Connecting to museums, mentors and students in far-away locations via video can improve the educational experience

video-conferencing-growthCharles Hay World School is a public school in Englewood, Colo., serving 400 students from kindergarten to 6th grade, with an overall student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1.

In addition to standard statewide class curriculum, Charles Hay World School offers gifted and talented and International Baccalaureate classes, as well as special education programs.

Like many educators, the school’s faculty faced a challenge: how to create an exciting, real-world curriculum within the confining four walls of a classroom. And as many other educators have discovered, connecting to museums, mentors and students in far-away locations via video was a clear way improve the overall educational experience and expand students’ world of learning.

But video calling didn’t receive a passing grade at first – the quality of PC-based video calls wasn’t quite compelling enough, and calling options were too limited. Then, Charles Hay World School discovered the telyHDPro video conferencing appliance from Tely Labs. The system’s extreme ease-of-use as well as built-in ability to connect to high-end video conferencing systems via SIP standards answered the school’s needs perfectly.

(Next page: See how video conferencing is impacting the student experience)

“As an educator, we care more about the content and who we are connecting, rather than how we are connecting,” said Hannah LeCount, the International Baccalaureate Coordinator at Charles Hay World School. “It is only when you use technology that works intuitively that you can focus on content and stop worrying about connectivity issues or economic concerns of expensive systems. The variety of uses are phenomenal, and it’s so simple and affordable for a classroom setting; we don’t worry about kids breaking it.”

LeCount goes on to enumerate the ways she has been able to enrich her students’ learning experience in the past year-and-a-half using telyHD Pro: “We have connected with students in Ghana, pen pals in Boston, and a parent who was traveling in Madrid, Spain. We have virtually visited museum exhibits at Chabot Space Center in Oakland, California. And an engineering graduate student in Colorado Springs has mentored students in our after-school electronics club.

“We have participated in virtual classes put on by the Denver Museum of Art, The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Butterfly Pavilion. Students have learned about invertebrates going into space, have learned art lessons from artists, and have learned about Saturn’s moon Titan. We’ve even learned about dendrochronology from the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.”

“I’d recommend it to every school as it truly transforms learning,” LeCount said. “The affordability, flexibility, and ease of use make it a remarkable tool for teaching and for enhancing the student experience.”

The year ahead has some exciting developments in store for students, as they will be able to watch a live dissection of a heart at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and enjoy an interactive lecture on climate change and global warming with The National Center for Atmospheric Research. “The telyHD Pro enables our students and teachers to experience learning like never before — there are practically no limits to distance learning education.”

David Crilley is Vice President of Marketing at Tely Labs.

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