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The Suburbanite
  • Coventry government classes use web video to learn

  • Coventry High School’s advanced placement (AP) Government class recently participated in a virtual classroom experience with Vanderbilt University. The topic was “Parties and Platforms of Democrats and Republicans.”

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  • Coventry High School’s advanced placement (AP) Government class recently participated in a virtual classroom experience with Vanderbilt University. The topic was “Parties and Platforms of Democrats and Republicans.”
    Teacher Tim Baugess said they were very fortunate to be the only class participating in the live broadcast from the University, located in Nashville.
    Usually the virtual classroom is filled with classrooms from across the United States. However, this Coventry government class had the full attention of two guest speakers. The students were able to ask questions throughout the presentation.
    On hand was spokesperson for the Democratic Party, Larry Woods, and for the Republican Party, Adam Nikas. Both representatives enlightened the class about the two political platforms and their positions on issues.
    “The opportunity for students to experience learning beyond the traditional classroom setting is invaluable. The guest speakers from Vanderbilt University reinforced what the AP government students studied in the classroom and were able to see how it applies to the 2012 presidential election,” Baugess said.
    Some of the planks that were discussed with the class included the economy, foreign policy, education, immigration and taxes.
    The AP students were not short on questions to ask both presenters.
    After the lesson, the moderator complimented the students for their participation.  The Vanderbilt personnel also asked the class if they would attend another political virtual classroom.
    Baugess said by bringing live guest speakers via video conferencing, AP students were able to practice their communication and 21st century skills. “The AP Government class attended three video conferences. I hope to get the opportunity to use the Vanderbilt virtual class next year.”
    “It was an amazing experience for our students, who had excellent questions prepared for the candidates. It was an excellent learning session,” Coventry High School principal Cindy McDonald said. “Other classes have had a number of opportunities through Vanderbilt distance learning this school year,” McDonald said.
    Quoted from Vanderbilt website
    “American politics is dominated primarily by the Democratic and the Republican parties. Both parties differ in their philosophies and ideals. This videoconference and lesson plan focuses on comparing and contrasting the Republican and Democratic parties and their platforms. In this lesson, students will examine political parties and their role in the U.S. political system. Our presenters may examine current issues of the presidential election and describe their party's platforms on such issues as the Economy, National Security, Education, Immigration, Health Care, and more.”