Looking for a way to expand the horizons of its 600 students without leaving campus or breaking the annual budget, Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes, DE, turned to videoconferencing as a viable alternative. Instead of buying some AV equipment and installing it in classrooms, hoping that teachers would use it, the school took a calculated approach to the initiative. First it secured the funding and then it consulted with the various district- and state-level experts about the project. Professional development would come next, followed by the equipment acquisition, installation, and final rollout.
The process took about seven months and was carefully planned out, according to Lori Roe, instructional technology specialist for the Cape Henlopen School District. Roe said the impetus behind the project was twofold: to get teachers to integrate at least two videoconferences into the semester’s project-based activities and to encourage students to develop their own virtual field trips and sessions with experts outside of the school.