Lecture capture brings K-12 classes online — from The Journal by Bridget McCrea

A Pennsylvania school district is using lecture capture to offer online access to classroom content. As one of the early adopters of lecture capture in K-12, the district faced some unique challenges. But, according to Technology Director Ken Dunkelberger, it’s been worth the effort.

Ken Dunkelberger got his first taste of lecture capture in an educational setting at an EduComm conference in San Diego five years ago. There, a vendor introduced Dunkelberger, director of technology for the Tamaqua School District in Pennsylvania, to the idea of using technology to record what happens in the classroom, and then making that recording available in a digital format.

At the time, lecture capture was being used by higher education, but had yet to make inroads in the nation’s K-12 schools.

“The vendor told us that it was more of a collegiate solution, with the Big Ten and Ivy League schools as the biggest users of lecture capture,” said Dunkelberger, who was undeterred by the fact that K-12 had yet to embrace the technology. “We didn’t let go of the idea, and eventually the vendor decided to give it a shot because we were so interested.”

Not a Replacement for Teachers
And with that, a school district situated in the coal regions of northeastern Pennsylvania became one of the first public K-12 schools in the nation to integrate lecture capture into the classroom.

Dunkelberger said his department worked to get teachers on board with the idea first and spent time ensuring them that the technology would not “replace” the educators in the classroom, but that it would support and supplement their efforts.

“We spent the time explaining the solution and educating our teachers on its value,” said Dunkelberger. For example, instructors were versed on how the technology allows students who may not have absorbed a complete classroom lecture to access the content later via the Web and “get up to snuff with what’s going on in class,” he said.