English Language Fellow Laurie Hackett’s reach is broader than you might expect. She trained 31 teachers representing more than 20 schools in the rural district Eden Karoo in South Africa – and she didn’t even have to leave her chair. Hackett recently conducted her first broadcast using Stellenbosch University’s Telematic Services technology. This platform integrates satellite, cellphone, web-based, and videoconference technology and can transmit to schools and learning centers throughout the entire country.
Her first broadcast focused on training in academic language development for science teachers. The event was the first of its kind for a Fellow in the Western Cape, and it represents a major success in using technology to reach geographically dispersed populations. “The satellite technology provides teachers in underserved areas with quality professional development opportunities. I can’t wait to come back and do it again next month,” Hackett said.