From Clouds to Classroom
Bringing classrooms into the 21st century isn’t so easy at schools where the newest computers are older than the students.
But NC State is harnessing the power of cloud computing to connect classrooms across the state to the latest software programs in math, science and the creative arts.
Thanks to the Virtual Computing Lab, teachers and students can access even the most processor-intensive programs on older, slower and out-of-date computers. The processing work is done remotely but displayed on the user’s monitor. The classroom computer isn’t running faster, it just seems that way.
NC State researchers are bringing innovation into K-12 education in other ways, as well.
The FIZZ program allows teachers to implement safe Web 2.0 environments in the classroom, giving them a private YouTube-like site for each school. Through the FIZZ Web site, teaching and learning outcomes can be easily broadcast over the Internet to increase student engagement and achievement, while still allowing school administrators to control the Web site’s content.
Dr. Lodge McCammon (pictured above, at right), a specialist in curriculum and contemporary media at NC State, tested the program at Centennial Campus Middle School, where he helped students produce a music video teaching physics concepts for their FIZZ channel. “Students go home and watch these educational videos of themselves, their teachers and friends over and over, reinforcing the educational material in a way that engages them,” he says.