Area schools receive distance learning technology from USDA grant News

As a new school year arises, area school districts continue to implement new technologies in their classrooms.

As a result of the Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Cameron University (CU) has installed remote learning technology into the classrooms of 28 area high schools. CU received selection as one of only three institutions in Oklahoma to be awarded grant funds from the competitive program this year.

The high schools benefiting from the grant include Apache, Bray-Doyle, Cache, Carnegie, Cement, Central, Chattanooga, Comanche, Cyril, Elmore City-Pernell, Empire, Fletcher, Fredrick, Geronimo, Grandfield, Grandview, Indiahoma, Marlow, Rush Springs, Ryan, Snyder, Sterling, Temple, Tipton, Velma-Alma, Verden, Walters and Waurika.

CU helped to supply these schools with the audio, video and broadband equipment needed to conduct remote concurrent college classes, meaning students enrolled in concurrent classes at the previously mentioned schools can now opt to take select college courses without ever having to leave their high school campus. .

CU-Duncan Director Susan Camp said the new equipment will greatly benefit students of rural schools who wish to take concurrent college courses at CU.

“The purpose of this is to be able to take concurrent enrollment to these rural schools. This designated equipment will prevent students who are concurrently enrolled from having to deal with the cost and the time of traveling to the CU campus,” Camp said.

Camp said the Distance Learning classrooms may also be of benefit to certified and support staff on these high school campuses.

“We intend for this equipment to not only be used by students, but also if there are certified faculty with degrees who are pursuing additional degrees … or paraprofessionals, often described as teacher’s aids, working towards a degree … we want to help deliver that through this equipment,” Camp said. “There are a number of ways that this equipment will be helpful to these institutions.”

Camp said a group of faculty from CU-Duncan traveled to a few of the new Distance Learning classrooms this past week to gain perspective on what the remote class format will feel like for the students.

“We took a day-long tour so that faculty could go to one of these classrooms in a small, rural school and really see and feel what it looks like from their students’ perspectives, and also to develop a relationship with the counselors, principals and superintendents at these schools,” Camp said. “Those administrators are very supportive and very excited for what this equipment means for their students.”

Camp encouraged those interested in concurrent enrollment with CU to visit https://www.cameron.edu/admissions/concurrently-enrolled-students for more information. High school students interested in enrolling should ask their school counselors for assistance.

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