ILCC unveils new teaching tool to reach more students - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

ILCC unveils new teaching tool to reach more students

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Students watch their professors through 80-inch big screens, just like they watch TV at home. Students watch their professors through 80-inch big screens, just like they watch TV at home.
ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (KTIV) -

The president of Iowa Lakes Community College, Valerie Newhouse shows off the school's newest teaching tool.

It's a teleconference video system that links students to professors at all five of the college's campuses.

"It can connect classroom to classroom and it can connect school district to Iowa Lakes Community College and it can go beyond that," said Newhouse.

Students and staff at each campus show off the new technology as they virtually cut the ribbon on the TV classrooms.

Students watch their professors through an 80-inch big screen TV, just like they watch TV at home.

For business management major, Taylor Anderson, the TV classes took some getting used to.

"I'm more of a face to face, hands on type of person and the TV, it kind of takes away from that a little bit but I still think it's a really good system," said Anderson.

Two students at the Spencer campus gave the new system high marks.

"It's good technology being put to good use," says Geoff Post, a massage therapy student at Iowa Lakes Community College.

Iowa Lakes has used TV classrooms for nearly 30 years, but with the 80 inch TVs, sensitive microphones, and crisper cameras, are  improvements on the old technology.

"It's newer.  It's bigger. It's better. It's high definition," said Newhouse.

"The difference is going to be big," said Bob Cody, a nursing student at Iowa Lakes Community College. "You're not going to miss out on things we did with the old system. It's just like being there as far as I'm concerned."

The million dollar upgrade also helps the college cut costs.

Fewer professors can reach more students.

"This is absolutely a cost saving measure," said Newhouse. "We would not be able to function if we didn't have a system like this."

Mostly arts and science classes use the virtual classrooms, and by next semester the technology will be available to nine area high schools.  It will make access to higher education easier.

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