A new satellite dish for Provo School District is bringing national conferences to town. The technology saves the district money while providing educators with access to the best in outside resources.
Last week two teachers or administrators from every school in the Provo School District attended an interactive video conference by Edward de Bono, a leader in teaching thinking.The conference was beamed to the school district offices by satellite. Provo School District administrator Kathy Hughes said the cost of the conference worked out to $9.70 a person, an amount she considered a bargain.
The evaluations of the conference by Provo educators was overwhelmingly positive, said Hughes. The district purchased the right to make nine copies of the video conference, which can be checked out for use in Provo School District.
Superintendent Kay W. Laursen said the de Bono conference was selected because the district is emphasizing the teaching of high-order thinking skills. The district paid for the conference out of funds for curriculum development.
The satellite dish was installed this month. The first conference broadcast to the district was Nov. 8 on the tools for teaching technology. The interactive conference by de Bono was the second conference.
An interactive conference gives viewers a chance to call in questions. Several schools from around the country placed phone calls with questions for de Bono.
A caller from Superior, Wis., asked if the teaching of thinking skills could be neatly inserted into the school's curriculum. De Bono said methods for creative thinking skills are taught very successfully in several schools. He prefers the subject to be taught separately, but he said it can be inserted in English class.
Hughes said the video of de Bono's conference on thinking may well be used in classrooms to teach thinking skills.