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Distance Learning programs begin at Norrie Point Environmental Center for 2014

 

The Distance Learning program, led by skilled educators at Norrie Point Environmental Center, is in its sixth year of running. This year, educators started off the Distance Learning season with a program on invasive species for five classes in Wappingers Junior High School. In just one day they educated 126 students on the various animals and plants in the Hudson River.
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Figure 1. Distance Learning is a great way for programs that are unable to come to Norrie Point to still get an interactive lesson from environmental educators.

This program serves as an alternative for schools that are unable to schedule a field trip to the center. Educators set up a Polycom to video cast the program to the classroom. With this video cast, the students can both see and hear the educators as they interact with various plants and animals on screen in real time. The educators can also see and hear the students. Not only does the Polycom allow for live video feed, it also allows for the use of other technology such as an overhead monitor that can zoom in and out to display greater details of the plants and animals (see Figure 2.).

 

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Figure 2. Norrie Point educator, Brianna, showing students a close up of the American Eel using the overhead monitor.

With at least four full days of programs coming up in February, the educators will be reaching hundreds of students. Last year, 600 students were educated using this technology. The education staff is hoping that they will be able to reach that many students and more this year.
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Figure 3. Norrie Point educator, Zoraida, informing students on different adaptations of the Oystertoad Fish.

 

 

Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve System

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