Kellenberg High School on Long Island offers simultaneous in-person, remote learning

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Thursday, September 3, 2020
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Kristin Thorne reports a school on Long Island has figured out how to offer simultaneous in-person and remote instruction.

UNIONDALE, Long Island (WABC) -- A school on Long Island has figured out how to offer simultaneous in-person and remote instruction.

Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale is utilizing a platform called BigBlueButton, which allows teachers in the classroom to interact with students at home.

Kellenberg serves students in 6th through 12th grades.

"We want the students to have that connection with their teachers everyday," said the school's principal, Brother Kenneth Hoagland.

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Through BigBlueButton, the student can hear the teacher's lecture through an iPad.

Kellenberg is not using the camera function of the technology due to privacy concerns.

Whatever the teacher in the classroom writes on his or her iPad screen not only appears on the television screen in front of the classroom, but also shows up in real time on the student's iPad at home.

In the same vein, the student, with the teacher's permission, can write on his or her iPad at home and it will appear on the television screen in the classroom.

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Students are also able to ask questions through the iPad, and his or her voice will broadcast throughout the classroom.

They can also submit questions through a chat function, and the question shows up on the teacher's iPad.

"What we've found is a lot of students just like to submit through a chat," said James Campbell, Kellenberg's director of technology. "They don't like to talk through the microphone."

Campbell said the goal is to make sure students feel connected.

"If for some reason a student can't be in the building, they can still be part of that class," he said. "They can still interact with that class, and they're not left out. They're not on their own."

Related: NYC demos outdoor learning 1 day after delaying back to school date

Hoagland said many Kellenberg students are conscientious about missing class, so they wanted to have a system which would encourage students to stay home if they're not feeling well.

"We want all the parents and students to say, 'Look, you're not going to miss anything,'" he said.

Hoagland said the technology also ensures a smoother year-long learning experience for students.

"We understand that their education will probably be interrupted off and on," he said. "We don't know if it's going to spike, we don't know if they're going to get sick. We just don't want their education to be interrupted."

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