Distance Learning / Teaching from Mexico

Feb 27th, 2002 @ 1:25 pm | Author: Julee Russell
Experimenting with the technology, Professor Kay Kringlie is in Oaxaca, Mexico for a few weeks, but continuing her classes via Blackboard. The specific purpose of the trip is to shoot video that shows life in Oaxaca, edit it and upload it into the Blackboard so her students have a "virtual visit" to the home of VCSU’s sister university, the Universidad Regional del Sureste.

Finding a fast enough connection to the Internet has been the significant challenge so far since video files are large. There are Internet Cafes all over the city with access to a T1 line, but it took a bit more looking to find a place where she could hook up the computer she is using to edit the video clips. Fortunately, right in the center of the city is the "Café Net" that allows direct hook up and has a satellite connection to the Internet. The technology works!

As of February 27, 2002, Professor Kringlie has shot, edited, and uploaded four brief video movies for her classes. In addition to working with and responding to the videos from Mexico, her students are working on a variety of hands-on assignments including writing, shooting, and editing their own television program in Spanish as well as participating in chat room activities with Kay and with native Spanish speakers. Professor Krinlgie’s experiences in Mexico during her four-week stay will provide valuable information to VCSU with regard to distance teaching / learning. Many students and faculty members will benefit from her experience. Employing the high level of Valley City State University’s educational technology from another country certainly has its challenges; however, Kay and her students are working through the challenges and learning new ways of employing technology to enhance student learning.

Professor Kringlie is also making arrangements for the VCSU Music Department’s Spring Break trip to Oaxaca. During the second week in March, several students and faculty members from the VCSU Department of Music will join Professor Kringlie in Oaxaca. The choir will give performances in Oaxaca and participate in various activities / tours designed to broaden their cultural experiences.

Oaxaca is also a rich cultural and historical center. In the state there are over 4,000 archaeological sites, Spanish colonial architecture (including churches built in the 16th century) and indigenous cultures from seven distinct regions. Artisans from Oaxaca have come to Valley City for the two Fiesta Mexicanas hosted here (in 1999 and again in 2001), and Professor Kringlie will be visiting each of them.