“Telepresence” classrooms enable distance learning in Anoka-Hennepin (Minn.) district

Aug. 27, 2012
Courses that had low enrollment now can draw students from several schools

From The St. Paul Pioneer Press: In a handful of high school classrooms in the Anoka-Hennepin (Minn.) district, six giant flat-screens span the space where a podium might otherwise be, and long, semi-circular tables outfitted with built-in microphones stand in place of traditional desks. They are "telepresence" classrooms, spaces that help the schools overcome the limits posed by location and resources within districts. The district's $1 million investment -- $350,000 was also paid by software developer and manufacturer Cisco Systems Inc. -- enables teachers and students to connect simultaneously with those in any or all of the other four now stationed at each of the district's high schools. That means the district can offer low-enrollment classes it may have been forced to cut in the past.

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