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Reimagining Education

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“I am a believer in virtual education. I’ve experienced a fragment of what can be achieved with this already-dated and inexpensive technology.”

– Jesse Barton, Kirksville.

Jesse is a teacher in his local public school. Jesse was a fierce advocate for the Course Access bill which was passed in July of 2018. The Course Access bill created the MOCAP program which allows students to enroll in part-time and full-time virtual education paid for by the school district. Jesse being in the classroom every day, sees the benefit of this program which allows his students to be able to take classes not offered in his district. Because of his relentless advocacy with regular calls and emails to legislators at the capitol he helped pass legislation that created new opportunities for all students in Missouri. 

Jesse began constructing an online platform for general chemistry in 2018-19. His primary motivation was to address a growing trend in absenteeism, excused or unexcused, by simply “pointing them to the web” for remediation. Almost immediately he recognized a potential value for all students. By every measure (efficiency during lab, post-assessment scores) it has proven successful beyond expectations. 

Several years ago, he installed webcams in the lab and lecture areas. His daughter was scheduled for a major surgery necessitating a week-long absence, so he decided to try some remote teaching (VOIP) from the hospital in St. Louis. He discovered, surprisingly, that delivering content in this way was indistinguishably natural for the students. 

“My virtual presence was real; I could see, hear, and otherwise communicate with them as well as they could with me.” 

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