Connecting As Needed

Recently, Casey Flanagan, a student at Sacred Heart School in Royersford, Pa has had to endure some pretty challenging times. She suffers from cancer and her many treatments made it impossible for her to make it to school.

This was not insurmountable for the Tech Team at Sacred Heart. Though this was something that they had never done before, this group of parent volunteers, decided, when asked, that they would figure out how to bring the classroom to her.

They researched webcams. They figured out the various audio and video needs. They reached out to the local public school for spare equipment. They researched software.

And finally, they webcast the third grade class every day so that Casey could see her classmates and keep up with the various happenings in the 3rd grade classroom.

This was not simply one-way communication. Not only could she see and hear them, but they could see and hear her all the way from Boston where she was getting treatments. They could view her on the large smartboard and could talk and instant message back and forth. Their project, dubbed Casey Cam, made clear and meaningful connections for the students.

Did this help her academically. Surely. Did this connection with her class mean that and so much more? Undoubtedly!

At a time when technology can get some bad press, we need to remember that it can make a real and positive difference – connecting us not just with information, but with each other.

Thankfully, Casey is back in school having the regular face to face time that all students deserve.

Kudos to the tech team (voluteers!), and to the third grade teacher, Donna Stolnacker, the principal, Dorothy Gudz and the tech teacher, Mary Schott and to the pastor Fr. Timothy Judge.

Do you find that technology connects people and makes a positive difference? Feel free to share your examples.

Read more about this in the Catholic Standard and Times.

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