VITAL Distance Learning

Why use distance learning technology?

  • Gives kids classes they would not normally get because of distance, budget constraints, or scheduling conflicts.
  • Utilizes one originating teacher and a facilitating teacher at each connected site.
  • Requires the use of an originating teacher who is certified.
  • Requires that students and the facilitating teacher be active participants in the learning experience.
  • May require other telecommunications such as a learning management system that teaches students important 21st century learning skills such as participating in discussion boards, using chats to interact with teachers and other learners, and uploading assignments to an electronic dropbox.
  • Allows for flexible scheduling that incorporates project-based instruction.
  • Allows for many in-service activities, department meetings, and collaborations for and among staff to help meet new standards and better serve all students.

In Fall 2009, Putnam County Schools was awarded a USDA Rural Development Services Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant (USDA RUS) to purchase interactive video conferencing equipment for six school sites. The six original sites are Uffelman Elementary School, Burks Middle School, Monterey High School, Baxter Elementary School, Upperman High School, and White Plains Academy. Equipment was added at Algood Middle School, Avery Trace Middle School, Upperman Middle School, Cookeville High School, Prescott South Elementary School, and Prescott South Middle School from a variety of other funding sources.

Our first courses (AP Calculus A/B, AP Calculus B/C, and Spanish I) offered via distance learning technology debuted in Fall 2010 and have been enthusiastically received by students, parents, and teachers. Additional courses will be added as needed to address demands.

This technology is useful not only for direct instruction, but also for providing unique learning opportunities via virtual field trips to places such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and thousands of other options and facilitating meetings without requiring that all participants be physically in the same location.

For more information on course availability and other options contact:

Virtual Learning Coordinator
Sam Brooks
Office Location: VITAL Office
@ White Plains Academy
(Old Algood Middle School)
288 E. Main Street
Algood, TN 38506

Office Hours: 8 am - 4 pm, M-F

Phone: (931) 528-2176
[email protected]

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