Dell City School Puts Videoconferencing Technology to Work
Above, Dell City School Principal Carlos Contreras used videoconferencing technology last week to connect with Yoscelina Hernandez, tech specialist at the regional Education Service Center in El Paso. The two were discussing a service called TExGuide, which provides Dell City teachers with resources they can use in lesson planning and instruction. TExGuide resources are tied to the “TEKS,” or Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, and cover all state-tested subjects, as well as English-language arts for kindergarten through high school, and mathematics for third grade through Algebra I.
Hernandez helped the district resolve technical challenges with the TExGuide service, and Contreras said it was an example of how videoconferencing can improve efficiency at the school. ESC staff were scheduled to visit Dell City later in the week, and with the technical issues resolved, they would be able to work with teachers on issues directly tied to instruction.
“Now they can use their time here to talk to teachers,” Contreras said, “rather than work on these technical things. It's a time-saver – and it allows us to focus on the things we need to focus on.”
The district acquired the videoconferencing equipment last year, but it had never been put into operation. It was acquired so Dell City School personnel could participate in conference calls with staff at the ESC and the Texas Education Agency, among other uses. Contreras located various components around the school campus, and pressed ESC staff to help bring the technology online.
Contreras said the videoconferencing technology “opens up opportunities for consultants to talk to teachers,” and that the technology may be linked with the “smartboards” in teachers' classrooms.
“In some instances, we have equipment and resources – but it takes putting those things together, and using them, which takes time,” Contreras said. “These are little things, but they can make a big difference.”