Summer Preview  

June 23, 2015
As students and teachers look forward to the upcoming summer months, ESU 10 staff turn their attention toward summer workshops and new services for our schools next fall.

One such service is expanding remote learning to the desktop. Desktop conferencing availability to every classroom and sharing a vision for BlendEd learning using desktop conferencing will be on the summer and fall instructional workshops.

Beginning two years ago, ESUs throughout Nebraska began using desktop applications for meetings. Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Lifesize Cloud turned everyone’s computer or smart device into a $12,000 video conferencing cart.  As each month passed more ESU staff and K12 teachers downloaded these applications allowing them “to bridge gaps of time and distance through maximum utilization of resources”  (An ESU 10 unit improvement goal)

Because most teachers’ classrooms have a computer with a built-in camera, and a projector or TV as a display, ESU 10’s vision is that all teachers and their students now have the technology to add video connections to enrich learning. 

If technology enables remote connection, how might teachers use this resource?

ESUs of Nebraska will increase awareness of video conferencing programs through an email notification system announcing upcoming opportunities from a number of Nebraska educational providers - Durham Museum, Morrill Hall, Homestead National Park, Museum of Nebraska Art, and more.  (http://goo.gl/A4PoI9)

Free video conferencing national programs are offered on demand by many of the 58 US National Parks, the 13 NASA facilities, and many other virtual field trips throughout the US and even abroad.

As career readiness is targeted as an essential area of study by the Nebraska Department and Education, area and state businesses such as the Buckle, Adams Land and Cattle Company, NRG Media, NPPD and others are interested in sharing about careers in these Nebraska based companies.  

Finally and most importantly, the imaginative ideas that teachers will think of can open their classrooms to their town, region, state, and beyond.

Through desktop conferencing, teachers and students will become more connected as desktop conferencing extends their educational experience beyond their classroom, school, and community.

-John Stritt, Distance Education