The Digital Educator 2 - Page 6


BPS #45 Classroom Spotlight

In its continuing efforts to increase transparency and public accessibility to information about its schools, Buffalo Public Schools has embarked on an initiative where Board of Education meetings will be streamed live to the public on the BPS website.

Historically, BPS Board meetings were exclusively held in a conference room in City Hall. As public interest in District affairs has increased, so has the need to provide a venue that can accommodate larger crowds. The District responded to stakeholder requests by moving meetings on a rotating basis, the first of each month, to school locations throughout the city that have sufficient facilities and can support a public forum to encourage community participation.

Beginning this January, the Information Technology Department will shorten the timeframe that recorded Board of Education meetings become available to the public. Recently, Board of Education meetings recorded from the night before, would be posted on the BPS website the next day. Now school board meetings can be viewed via a live hyperlink that is made available on the BPS website.

Choosing live video web streaming technology was a logical choice to benefit the District. Live streaming has become a very popular solution for organizations to broadcast real-time events such as sporting events, church services and governmental meetings.

During a live broadcast, digital signals are converted into compressed signals that are transferred using special web servers. It broadcasts crystal clear audio and video content. Plus, all of this is done in real time.

It is the District’s intent to continue improving the educational opportunities for its students by using technological advances that can facilitate stakeholder communication and expand its audience.

BPS Board of Education meetings can now be watched in real-time anytime, anywhere thanks to live video streaming technology.

Teaching a diverse population of students, Elizabeth Vari uses technology to help reach her fourth grade ESL students. With support and collaboration from the building ITC, Heather DiGiacomo, Ms. Vari maintains a BPS Teacher Page to provide engaging learning opportunities for her students. Students use iPads to access Ms. Vari’s Teacher Page, finding individualized spelling tests that she created to address the students' particular learning needs.