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September 20, 2018

Distance Learning Offers Unique Classroom Experience in Hannibal


HANNIBAL – Technology has created valuable educational opportunities for students in the Hannibal Central School District, with distance learning courses providing a unique classroom experience.

Emily Howland, a senior at Hannibal High School, reviews her notes and connects with her digital classmates through one of the district’s distance learning offerings.

Emily Howland, a senior at Hannibal High School, reviews her notes and connects with her digital classmates through one of the district’s distance learning offerings.

At the high school, juniors and seniors can explore six courses through a distance learning classroom.

The elective courses connect Hannibal students with students in other schools for a digital education experience.

From a physical classroom, students engage in a lesson that is led by an instructor in a separate location and projected onto a Smart Board and recorded.

The electronic connection is part of the Distance Learning service provided by the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation.

“It’s a different way of doing things,” said Hannibal Central School District teaching assistant Karen Upcraft. “It’s not a traditional setting, but the educational value is certainly the same.”

With increased student interest and such positive reviews, the district was able to introduce four new distance learning courses at the high school this year.

In addition to the previously offered courses of Anatomy and Physiology and American Sign Language, new offerings include Criminal Justice, Italian, Health and College Learning Strategies. Four of the six classes are college credit-bearing opportunities.

“The distance learning courses are really starting to take off,” Upcraft said. “The students enjoy it, and it really benefits the parents too. The students can earn college credit without having to pay anything out of pocket.”

Since the cost of books and all other distance learning materials are covered, Upcraft said she encourages students to enroll in these college-level courses while still in high school.

She recommends that underclassmen remain diligent during their freshman and sophomore years so they have room in their schedule to “load up on college credits” as juniors and seniors.

“It’s very much the college experience and the expectations as well,” Upcraft said. “This is where their dreams start.”

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