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Lessons By Video Conference Start This Week

Lessons By Video Conference Start This Week In Rural Otago

Lessons by video conference are now a reality for more than 100 Otago secondary students. Monday 11th February marked the launch of interactive video lessons for students in nine rural Otago schools in partnership with The Correspondence School, based in Wellington.

Interactive video conferencing allows small, rural schools to pool teaching resources so their students have access to the complete range of curriculum subjects. The inclusion of The Correspondence School ensures all curriculum subjects will be available.

The Correspondence School’s eSection Manager, Derek Wenmoth says, “This is a great local initiative. The critical part of this project is that The Correspondence School is included as the tenth school. We add support in distance education teaching and methodology and help fill the curriculum gaps where they are not available locally.”

East Otago High School Principal Tony Jenkins says, “This is a positive partnership that benefits rural Otago students. The project means pupils will have access to a comprehensive senior curriculum while at the same time maintaining the advantages of small senior classes. This project also assists schools in the retention of their subject specialist teachers, and allows staff access to cost-effective professional development. An on-site video conferencing facility means staff don’t need to travel for training or meetings - saving time and money.”

Jenkins continues, “Partnerships with the Otago Community Trust, Telecom and The Correspondence School have been integral to the project allowing access to the necessary bandwidth, technology and distance education resources and expertise.”

Schools involved are: East Otago High School; Maniototo Area School; Catlins Area School; Roxburgh Area School; Cromwell College; Dunstan High School; Lawrence Area School; Mount Aspiring College; Kurow Area School and The Correspondence School.

Staff from the nine Otago schools and The Correspondence School will teach students Classical Studies, Physics, Mathematics with Statistics, Geography, History, Economics, Accounting and Art and Te Reo Maori. The majority of students are in years 12 and 13.

Teachers have been introduced to the video-conferencing technology and equipment this week by The Correspondence School’s eSection staff.

Video-conferencing is an interactive teaching environment using a polycom (audio connection) and ‘real time’ video connection between the students and their teacher. It has many of the characteristics of classroom teaching, as well as a range of technical options for the delivery of information.

The Correspondence School has 80 years experience providing distance education to its 18,000 students studying at early childhood, primary and secondary level across New Zealand and overseas. If you would like to know more about The Correspondence School please visit www.correspondence.school.nz or call us on (04) 473 6841.

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