Charleston County schools invest $700K in new technology for virtual learners

Updated: Jan. 28, 2021 at 2:40 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - It has been nearly a year since the Pandemic forced schools and teachers to think outside the box. With hundreds of students still learning from home, the Charleston County School District decided to invest in some new technology.

“Well definitely it has been better this semester, this school year,” Traci Peters, a math teacher at Cario Middle School, says.

When it comes to math problems, Peters knows the importance of students being able to follow along.

“It is just a balancing act of trying to make sure that we don’t leave any students behind and making sure that the students at home can hear us and that they can see what we’re doing and that they also feel like they’re a part of the classroom,” Peters says.

But it was a challenge for any students learning virtually because, if the teacher moved, they could no longer see them. That has now changed.

CCSD invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in cameras that are able to follow teachers around. One of which is the MiniRae camera from GoodLife Communications.

“They can sort of follow us around the classroom,” Peters says. “So it helps the students at home sort of see and feel like they’re a part of - than just staring at the teacher the entire time. So that has been wonderful.”

“The technology is so much better, it’s much more improved because it follows the teacher and they don’t have to continuously go up and move it so that the kids can make sure that they track with the teacher and be able to see what they’re seeing, and they can actually be an active part of the classroom,” Cario Middle School Principal Gayle Morris says.

CCSD purchased and placed 734 cameras in schools across the district at a cost of $711,747.24. That total includes the cameras, installation and service contract.

The money for these cameras came in two rounds of funding. The first came from Aid to District funding from the state of South Carolina. The second round came from CARES Act funding.

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