Distance Learning Grant

SDPC Earns $845,000 Distance Learning Grant!
Posted on 11/16/2020
This is the image for the news article titled SDPC Earns $845,000 Distance Learning Grant!A federal grant totaling $845,291 is set to expand the opportunities for distancing learning in the School District of Pickens County.

The grant will allow the installation of 83 Clear Touch distance learning packages throughout the elementary schools in SDPC. The packages combine large touch screens with video conferencing technology to allow students to engage with each other virtually as well as with guest speakers and remote instructors either from different schools or from home. The grant also provides for 13 Cisco Webex Room Kits and 11 Room Kit Minis for SDPC’s middle and high schools.

When combined with $150,000 in matching funds from SDPC, the grant enables a nearly $1 million investment in education technology.

“When you begin to remove the barriers of physical rooms and distance, you open up enormous opportunities for students,” said Dr. Barbara Nesbitt, SDPC’s Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services. “We have already begun to use this technology in a limited way to increase our high school course offerings. What we envision is that many of our AP or foreign language courses that are currently only available at a single school will become open for students at all of our other schools to participate. It opens up possibilities for collaboration between students in our elementary, middle, and adult learning programs as well.”

The Distance Learning grant is funded by the Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture. According to the USDA, the Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density.