Technology Connects Classrooms

1 decade 11 months 3 weeks ago October 06, 2005 Oct 6, 2005 Thursday, October 06 2005 Thursday, October 06, 2005 5:47:19 PM CDT in News

Thanks to technology, MU classrooms are now being connecting to classrooms in Kansas City via web cams.

"You'll accidentally, you know, touch your face or rub your nose and the students will be laughing and you're like, what did i do?" said Dr. Kathleen Snella, a professor at the UMKC School of Pharmacy.

Thirteen years of teaching couldn't prepare Snella to see herself on the big screen. She uses a web cam as part of the joint pharmacy program between Columbia and Kansas City. The professor's picture pops up on the screen and students in both cities can follow along with their notes. The web cam allows students to have an interactive experience that mimics a real classroom.

"So right now, most classes are coming from Kansas City and being telecast to the Columbia campus. The Columbia campus can actually interrupt and ask them questions," said Snella. 

Classes will not always be conducted from Kansas City. Starting in October, Snella will lead the lectures from Columbia.

"No one will always be on the receiving end or always on the giving end. And I think it's important that both groups of students get both types of experiences," said Snella.

So far, web cams have been used in high schools to learn new technology, not to teach classes. At Fulton High School, technology plays an important role in the classroom as students use smart boards, Photoshop, and digital media to enhance the classroom. Tina Murphy, a teacher at Fulton High School said this will give students an advantage in the future.

"Everywhere there is technology, and I think that if they learn it now then they won't be afraid to use it later on. And they can help other people with it," said Murphy.

Students in Fulton also agree they will be better prepared through using new technology in the classroom.

"I think it's important because it helps us learn technology for later in our lives when we'll need it more," said Rachel Trokey, a junior at Fulton High School.

For MU Pharmacy students, using technology in the classroom means more than becoming comfortable with new media. Although some days the audio doesn't work and some days they can't get a connection, having the web cam means for the first time, students can study pharmacy right here on Columbia's campus.

The UMKC School of Pharmacy and the UMKC Information Services provided funding for the web cam.

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