Roger Loud teaches the online algebra class through North Country School.
continued Loud said that the interactive nature of the software is key.
“Because I can see and talk to students, and because they’re willing to yak back and forth, we can have the discussion that is part and parcel of a healthy classroom,” said Loud. “You set up a classroom like this, and a student home with the chicken pox can still participate.”
Administrators at North Country School have something like that in mind as they pilot this summer’s algebra class as a potential model for a larger online learning effort.
“We envision connecting multiple schools and offering a variety of classes to take top-notch instruction to students the least likely to encounter it,” said Todd Pinsonneault, dean of curriculum at NCS and moderator of the online algebra class. “For students in remote rural areas or places short on resources or those just physically removed from school for whatever reason, this could be an option for taking courses not otherwise available to them. They also get the added benefit of learning from teachers of Roger Loud’s caliber.”
With the software accommodating up to six video feeds and 100 audio feeds, the possibilities for scaling up are exciting. Plus, this week Pinnsoneault completed a successful test run of moderating the class remotely from a location in New Hampshire—proving feasible the idea of coordinating from here in Lake Placid a class of students from all over taught by a master teacher still somewhere else.