Distance learning at Fort Hays State University has recently been made easier by a one-year, $24,750 grant awarded by Kan-Ed.
Dennis King, director of FHSU's Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning Technology, wrote the grant with supporting letters from Dr. Liane Connelly, FHSU nursing professor, and Carol Swinney, distance learning coordinator for Southwest Plains Regional Service Center, Sublette.
Kan-Ed, of which FHSU is a member, is a state organization formed to build private, secure networks to provide members access to high-speed content and services and provide a stable platform for videoconferences. Membership in Kan-Ed is open to libraries, K-12 education, higher education institutions and hospitals.
King said that FHSU would use the grant to provide videoconferencing equipment to expand classroom and clinical observation capabilities to schools and hospitals that the university has not been able to work with in the past. This expands the number of facilities at which FHSU nursing students and student teachers can perform clinical work and student teaching.
"Distance observation will allow for award-winning teachers and nutritionists from all over to hold conferences and exchange information electronically with FHSU students and faculty," said King. "We hope to start all of this in the spring."
At first, the new equipment will be used by the Nursing Department and the Education and Technology Department, with hopes for possible expansion into other studies in the future.