Conferencing Furthering Classroom Experience
One of the most important responsibilities that early educational institutions have is making sure that young children become competent and confident readers. As such, a large amount of classroom time is spent on reading: teachers reading to students, students reading on their own, or group reading sessions. The problem that many teachers run into here is that, while all this time and repetition is necessary, it can also lead to boredom, something that educators of young children desperately want to avoid.
Lincoln County in North Carolina is looking to combat these issues with an innovative new technology: video conferencing. Students at Battleground Elementary School and Kiser Intermediate School in Lincoln have been taking advantage of video conferencing to read with people from all over the world, as well as get a firsthand educational experience that is both informative and entertaining. “We have used the system with our fifth graders to talk to NASA and the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh,” Kiser teacher and librarian Amanda Swengros said. “We also have used it to do battle practices with Iron Station to help our Battle of the Books team prepare for competition.”
The school district is also using the video conferencing technology to foster greater connection between schools at the elementary and middle school levels. For one day a week, it is not the teachers who read to the elementary school students, but the middle schoolers at Kiser Intermediate. This gives the elementary school students the excitement of having a new face to read to them and also gives middle school students a chance to practice their reading and interpersonal skills. “They love it,” Battleground teacher Jennifer Reep said. “They like seeing the older kids and working with another school. The Kiser students get to gain reading fluency at the same time.”
The Lincoln School district is another example of how educational facilities can use video conferencing to further their educational goals. Teachers should always be seeking out new ways to apply technology to better their classroom experience.
Edited by Alicia Young