Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
The project presented in this paper focuses on providing a collaborative distance learning infrastructure to high schools and community colleges in rural and underserved regions that align with the funding provided by a US Department of Agriculture Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant. High schools and community colleges in rural and underserved communities often face greater barriers to providing the high-quality STEM education required to produce skilled graduates prepared to enter the workforce. School districts in these communities often face issues such as technology gaps, lack of nearby resources, cultural challenges, and shortages of STEM teachers. Strong educational pipelines are needed to boost student success at key transitions from high school, into college, and to completion of a two or four-year degree. In order to meet the challenges facing rural schools and colleges and to create a pipeline of Applied Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science graduates in STEM fields for regional workforce development, an infrastructure of video conferencing capabilities is being developed. The infrastructure will connect high schools with community colleges and a central state-funded university. This infrastructure relies on the existing IP networks at the school locations and is based on Cisco WebEx Boards which are interconnected through the WebEx cloud. Although the infrastructure allows any school site to easily teleconference with any other sites, the administration and support are structured hierarchically with local high schools organized under a local community college, and the community colleges organized under the state university. Challenges in project implementation will be discussed in the paper and include training for high school and community college staff and faculty, the need for compliance and auditing for state and federal privacy laws, ongoing WebEx licensing requirements, collection and logging of utilization statistics, and the integration of existing authentication services to reduce resistance to adoption and increase utilization. Several use cases will be reviewed including blended distance education courses utilizing a single instructor, community college advising to high school students and parents, university advising to community college and high school students, remote guest speakers from industry or academia to community college or high school students, and inter-site student group collaboration. Future visions and long-term goals will be discussed including extending the infrastructure to government and community centers in order to expand the uses cases to such examples as emergency management and public workshops.
Lunsford, P. J., & Pickard, J., & James, J. (2020, June), Strengthening the Pipeline from High School to Community College to University in Rural Underserved Communities through a Collaborative Videoconferencing Infrastructure Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35213
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