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Professors Initiate
Distance Learning

Two administrators with Sam Houston State University's Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling conducted the Teacher Education Center's first distance learning exercise Thursday.

Genevieve Brown and Beverly Irby conducted a one-hour interactive video training session with the Judson Independent School District in San Antonio.

The session was part of a training series conducted by the district for school administrators. The session was funded by the district and the potential administrators.

Brown and Irby were invited to be part of the series to discuss one of the books they have authored--"The Principal Portfolio." The book is widely used nationally in the training of school administrators.

During the interactive video session, the 16 administrators were involved in the activity and were able to ask the authors several questions related to concepts advanced in the book.

"We, as well as the group in San Antonio, felt the distance learning experience was very positive," said Brown, who chairs the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling.

Irby, who chairs the department's technology committee, said they were not sure what to expect prior to the session.

"Our equipment had never been tried before," said Irby. "We were ecstatic that things went so well. Of course, there are minor adjustments we will make, such as the placement of the cameras, prior to the next session.

"We were eager to try out the distance learning lab as our department's Strategic Plan for Technology includes the extensive use of interactive video," she said. "The lab was just completed this month."

Irby and other members of the department plan to conduct several additional interactive video sessions this semester. Additionally, Irby is currently in the process of developing course work to be delivered through the Internet.

Irby, along with Judy DeTrude and Jimmy Merchant, who are also members of the technology committee, have arranged for not only their department but for the Departments of Language, Literacy, and Special Populations and Curriculum and Instruction to receive training on-site at the Texas A&M Center for Distance Learning Research. The training will be funded by the Sam Houston Center for Professional Development.

"Bob Garrett, our technician, has been of great assistance as we have expanded the use of technology in our department in a variety of ways," said Brown. "We appreciate his help so much."

As part of their strategic plan, the department has engaged in extensive training in the use of technology over the past year, and additional training sessions are planned this spring.


Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
Feb. 20, 1998

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