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Tech grant will reduce barriers

The jury is still out on the educational value of much of the web-based technology that we are adding to our schools, but no one questions the value of having students and teachers share information using video conferencing.

Friday, March 02, 2001

The jury is still out on the educational value of much of the web-based technology that we are adding to our schools, but no one questions the value of having students and teachers share information using video conferencing.

For example, one highly skilled science teacher can teach an advanced physics class in dozens of small high schools over a wide geographic area using video conferencing. Each school might only have a few students who would have the interest or aptitude for this kind of instruction.

However, this kind of advance learning may be vitally important to a child’s future. Maybe that one course will allow that student to begin a career that would otherwise be closed to him/her. Maybe that one course will determine whether that child is accepted by one of the best technical universities in the country.

School districts such as those in Lawrence County would find it economically impossible to support a teacher in each district who would be instructing just one, two or three students who wanted specialized instruction.

Thanks to a $1.75-million grant from Ohio SchoolNet, five districts in the county will receive equipment and training that will enable their students and teachers to break out of the geographic boundaries imposed on their learning. The schools will be able to offer specialized training and educational resources to small numbers of students using video conferencing.

Lawrence County students are fortunate that our school districts have a history of cooperating with each other to improve the quality of education offered here. And we are also fortunate that our Lawrence County Educational Service Center takes the lead in furthering this cooperation.

Video conferencing will be a tremendous benefit to our students. We are grateful for the work of all who made it possible for our schools to receive the Ohio SchoolNet grant.