Featured Article from Conferencing

Milwaukee Public Schools Leverage Video Conferencing

April 10, 2017

The Milwaukee public school district is taking advantage of technology to bring Advanced Placement classes to students who otherwise would not be able to attend them. The technology is called Telepresence, and it is a video conferencing platform that allows students and teachers to connect with one another from all over the world.

In this case, however, the connection is simply across the city of Milwaukee. The Milwaukee public school district simply does not have the resources to hire enough teachers with the specialized knowledge that is required to teach Advanced Placement courses, courses whose curriculums are closely tied to nationally standardized tests. As a result, many students were unfortunately severely limited in the options they had when it came to choosing classes, which in turn hurt them when it came time to apply to colleges. With the advent of more advanced video conferencing technology, however, the Milwaukee Public School district was able to solve this problem.

Now, students can not only view lectures but also participate in class through video conferencing. Teachers can teach at one location and have students join in the class from any other school in the Milwaukee school district. This drastically improves the range of classes students can choose from, improving their school experience as well as giving them better resumes when it comes time to be considered for higher education.

“We had some schools that had several AP courses, but you had schools that either didn’t have offerings or had one or two offerings,” said Tonya Adair, MPS chief innovation officer. “If students are exposed to more rigorous courses, then they will go on to complete college successfully.”

With video conferencing, the Milwaukee school district is much more unified. Instead of a collection of different schools which all have their own specific course offerings, students can now virtually attend any class that is being taught anywhere within the school district. This is another example of the way that video conferencing services have been leveraged very successfully in the education vertical.

Edited by Alicia Young