Packing up his materials at the end of his Biology class at Osborne High School, one student then ventures down the hall, into another classroom, and greets his AP Statistics teacher through a screen. While the student is at Osborne in Smyrna, Georgia, the AP Statistics teacher is at Allatoona High School in Acworth, Georgia, almost 40 minutes away.
This is one of the options now available to high school students in the Cobb County School District.
The Digital Transformation Team worked in conjunction with the Instructional Technology Department and the Office of Instruction and Innovative Practice to create and conduct professional learning on the Cobb County School District’s (CCSD) latest advancement in the educational experience: Distance Learning.
At the start of the 2016-2017 school year, all sixteen CCSD high schools will feature a CISCO Telepresence unit. Each unit, which offers two-way video, speakers, and sound-sensitive cameras to track whomever is speaking within the room, creates an interactive classroom experience. Where this technology was previously used only in the corporate arena, as it has extended in education field, the telepresence units now provide students with the opportunity to take classes not offered at their own school for a richer, blended learning experience.
The teacher and facilitator trainings, held twice during post-planning, were crafted to address the basic functions of the technology being used and to illustrate how to cultivate an engaging classroom environment on both sides of the screen.
Additional training will take place during prior to the start of the 2016-2017 school year to help jumpstart this initiative in Cobb County. With the content support from the Instruction and Innovative Practice Office, both the Instructional Technology Department and the Digital and Multimedia Learning Office will continue to support teachers and students throughout the year as we venture into this limitless opportunity for meaningful education in our district. With Distance Learning as the focus, all three departments will continue to work with teachers and support personnel to exemplify the District motto of “One Team, One Goal: Student Success.”
Nadia Williams, Coach
Digital Transormation Team