ASL teacher stays home, still teaches class interactively with Internet camera

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By Afra Hussain
<ahussain@hilite.org>

ASL teacher Joseph Wheeler did not come to school on August 20, but still taught his students. Wheeler taught from home using an Internet camera system that called his house to connect the camera to his classroom. His image appeared on a projector screen in Room B200, where the students could both see him and interacted with him for some time.

“It is easier to talk that way than on the phone,” junior Marissa Abel said. Abel takes Wheeler’s class and was in class during his absence. The class still had a substitute teacher and aide Ashley Ellison to supervise the class. Wheeler set up the connection from home and a student from school received a cable from the media center to connect the camera.

However, Abel mentioned some drawbacks to the situation. She found it difficult to keep up with Wheeler’s signing through the web camera. “It was hard to see, he goes so fast,” she said. She said that if the teacher stood in front of the class, she would be able to ask him to slow down. Abel still found the web camera beneficial and said it would work in other classes as well.

“It was kind of cool,” she said. “I think that they should use it more often.”

Editor’s note: An updated story coming soon.

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