A National Park Service ranger presents
a distance learning video conference.
National Park Service photo
By David Harrison
WASHINGTON — A few years ago, when he was governor of West Virginia, Bob Wise attended a graduation ceremony at Pickens High School in Randolph County, a tiny school on top of a mountain where the graduating class consisted of only two students. As he was leaving, he asked the principal how the school was able to attract foreign language teachers.
"He laughed and said, 'We have one of the best Spanish instructors in the country.' And I said, 'How could that be possible here on this mountain?' And he pointed to a satellite dish and he said, 'She comes in every day at 10 o'clock from San Antonio, Texas.'
"That's when I learned the power of distance learning," says Wise, now the president of the Alliance for Excellent Education.