New connections

"There are a lot of possibilities with this equipment, and we are really looking forward to exploring more. I think it is really good for the kids to see what is out beyond us and that other kids are doing the same thing," she said.

While this technology has been available for years, what really makes this platform so successful is the social networking tool, CAPSpace. Over the Internet, 7,698 educators in 33 different countries are able to make connections and visit each other's classrooms daily. The curriculum offered through the web has incredible potential. Students now have the opportunity to partake in distance learning; they can sit in on advanced courses not offered at their schools, take field trips to museums across the world, and even explore the universe with NASA scientists.

In the next few months the school will be partaking in "Read Around the Planet," organized by Two Way Interactive Connections in Education, a division of CAPSpace. Elliot and Fuller are incredibly proud to help make these collaborations possible and are optimistic for future transmissions.

Fuller discussed the simplicity of the seemingly complicated technology.

"We can hook up with anyone as long as we know their IP address, and the time zone difference finds them within the parameters of a normal school day," she said.

Elliot added: "It is a wonderful teaching tool, and it's very exciting that we have received this equipment. The possibilities are truly limitless."

It's impressive to consider how far technology in the classroom has come. Overhead projectors have been replaced with television screens and VCRs with DVD players. The video conferencing equipment is somewhat portable, and can be easily moved from classroom to classroom. An ethernet cable and an electrical outlet is all that's required to take the students wherever they wish. While textbooks are still current and widely used, multiple daily hookups will soon allow students to not only look out the window and across the street, but through a window taking them across the planet.

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