Top State Educators Take Class in Interactive Learning Network

Article excerpt

WEATHERFORD _ Oklahoma's Chancellor For Higher Education Hans Brisch, and some of the state's top education officials, teachers and media went back to school this week for a special class in the video classroom of tomorrow.

The video classroom is part of a new interactive distance learning network for western Oklahoma unveiled Thursday at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. Along with a sneak preview of the high-tech video classroom, university officials provided their guests with the latest teaching tips from experts in video education.

"This is an important milestone for the university and for western Oklahoma," said Dr. Joe Anna Hibler, president of Southwestern Oklahoma State University. "The learning opportunities for this type of classroom are virtually unlimited _ especially in the areas of specialized education and adult learning."

The fiber optic learning network, constructed by AT T and Dobson Fiber, initially connects classrooms in the university's main campus in Weatherford with its branch campus, Southwestern at Sayre, some 60 miles away.

Courses in business, education, health sciences and mathematics will be offered via the video classroom beginning next semester. In addition, the learning network is being used as an electronic library.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University plans ultimately to connect the interactive learning network into high schools, vo-tech schools and community learning centers throughout the region.

Unlike satellite courses currently being taught in Oklahoma, the university's new video learning network provides interactive, two-way-video _ allowing students and instructors to work together much like they do in a normal classroom. …