DAILY INSIGHT: Memphis City Schools debuts distance learning lab

By Rich Valerga, CIO Advisor

Memphis City Schools debuted its first Distance Learning Lab/Studio this spring at Kingsbury High School. The school's AP biology and environmental science students participated in their first virtual field trip, "Human Impacts on Ecosystems," with the Royal Botanical Gardens in Canada.

"This technology enables us to do so many things," says Kingsbury High principal Carlos Fuller. "Our students can take advanced placement classes from anywhere in the United States; world language classes can have direct access to students in cities like Madrid, Berlin or Paris; and teachers can observe professors from innumerable universities to enhance instructional strategies and content knowledge."

The benefits reported for K-12 distance learning include increased access to education for students with a wide range of needs, flexibility in the pace and schedule of learning, increases in enrollment, access to resources and instructors not locally available, and increases in student-teacher communication.

I believe this is the first of several Distance Learning Labs we will be implementing throughout the district. One of our core missions as an IT organization is to give all students access to the best technology available. This is a tremendous example of that work taking place to benefit our students.

Click on the link below to watch the students' experience the Distance Learning Lab virtual field trip to Canada and see the impact of this technology.


Rich Valerga is CIO for Memphis City Schools.