Monday, 18 July 2011

Using video conferencing to teach specialist, shortage subjects

Dunraven School in the London Borough of Lambeth have been leading the way in using distance learning courses to widen their curriculum and offer new opportunities for their post 16 students.
Students at Dunraven are currently taking A2 level Economics, Psychology and Law taught by specialist tutors based in the Cheltenham offices of Nelson Thornes. The school has been using video conferencing to deliver distance-learning courses for over 5 years.

 Mr Cuffy, Director of Sixth Form at Dunraven commented, “It is hard for schools to find experienced Law and Psychology teachers.  Our students have been keen to study these subjects to further their studies. At Dunraven we aim to provide as much support and as many opportunities as possible to our students.  The distance learning course not only allows my students to experience a technology that they will be using in the workplace of the future but at the same time will they get to study a subject that they want to.” The AS, A2 and GCSEs courses are delivered via videoconference directly into the classroom and offer schools  a cost effective way of enriching their curriculum. Subjects such as Latin and Classical Civilization can also help develop gifted and talented programmes. Distance learning supports a self-study model, this means there is a lot of independent but guided learning involved. Students have to be highly motivated to take part.  This helps them develop lifelong skills which they can take with them to university and beyond.

image thanks to ntdl
Dunraven have had very good exam result success with the VC courses over the years, with students passing their A2/ AS levels, and going onto study degrees in Economics, Languages, English Literature and a range of other courses.

Each subject costs the school just under £4000 per course which includes 30, 1 hour VC tutorials and 2 face to face visits and unlimited email and telephone support.  However, the cost would be much more for a school to employ an experienced, shortage subject teacher to deliver the same course in the same period.  So the benefits to the school are huge. 
Using video conferencing for the delivery of specialist, shortage subjects allows experts to teach their subject to students that can be based anywhere in the country.  What ideal way to use technology to support teaching and learning!

Click below to find out more about ntdl (a JVCS content provider)

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