Johnson to join Vermont Tech and Lyndon in “Connected Classroom” endeavor

Jeb+Spaulding
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Johnson to join Vermont Tech and Lyndon in “Connected Classroom” endeavor

Jeb Spaulding

Jeb Spaulding

vtdigger.org

Jeb Spaulding

vtdigger.org

vtdigger.org

Jeb Spaulding

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Johnson State will join Vermont Tech and Lyndon State as the latest VSC school to implement what VSC Chancellor Jeb Spaulding calls a “connected classroom.”

The classroom, which is projected to be operational by the upcoming fall semester, will allow students at JSC to attend joint classes with students at other VSC campuses.

“Let’s say we have a low enrolled course and Lyndon is offering the course,” said JSC President Elaine Collins. “We can still offer our students that course through a distance learning opportunity.”

Collins explained that LSC, which recently opened its second connected classroom, reports the implementation cost of these classrooms to be approximately $50,000.

According to JSC’s assistant chief technology officer Dotty Spoerl, the connected classroom will link VSC campuses over the internet, but access will not be publicly available. Instead, students who use the connected classroom will do so in a dedicated classroom on campus, most likely in Bentley Hall. EDP students will also be able to connect to the classroom from off campus.

The goal of the connected classroom is to make the most out of the VSC’s limited budget, sharing resources across the system.

“What we’re trying to do overall in the Vermont State Colleges system is make sure that the limited dollars that we do have are used to enhance the student experience,” said Spaulding. “Across the system, we’re looking for ways to reduce redundancies and administrative functions and make sure the dollars are used for the educational quality and academic support and the physical quality — the campus and so forth.”

According to Collins, the connected classroom will provide a solution to low-enrolled courses at Johnson that would otherwise be dropped, provided that they are offered at other connected VSC campuses.

“I’m kind of excited about the possibility,” said Collins, “because I think it would give our students access to a potentially larger curriculum than we have now at Johnson. For instance, I have received a lot of questions [from the Student Advisory Council] regarding modern languages and the fact that we’re not able to offer the kinds of languages that people want or the levels that they are interested in. If we were able to receive those classes, let’s say from Castleton or another college that offers them, then our students could just sit right here at Johnson and take those classes.”

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