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Video class links teacher, schools

A new two-way interactive video system that allows a teacher to instruct students at more than one school at the same time was announced Wednesday by state educators.

The system, called Distance Learning, allows students at one school to take classes offered at another, said Monica Uhlhorn, superintendent of the Palm Beach County School District.

She announced the pilot program at a news conference attended by Gov. Lawton Chiles and other education officials.

Through the use of fiber optics, interactive video learning can now take place across town or across the state. Students from one or more sites are linked with a teacher at a central location through instant, two-way audio and video communication.

Students can ask questions between the main classroom and the receiving ones.

"It also helps prepare students for the workplace of tomorrow by teaching them how to use and react to technologies they have never experienced before," Ms. Uhlhorn said.

The Southern Bell system is being pioneered in Florida by the Palm Beach County School Board and Palm Beach Community College as a test model.

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