Troy facilitates governor’s address over ACCESS system

Posted: Thursday, 13 August 2009

TROY—Gov. Bob Riley addressed students at Dothan’s Northview High School and Mobile’s Murphy High School via the ACCESS distance learning system today.

The governor originated his virtual visit from Tarrant High School just north of Birmingham to commemorate the day as Alabama becomes the first state in the Union to link all of its public high schools through a web-based and interactive videoconferencing system.

“Gov. Riley took the time to personally ask, and listen, to each of the students’ thoughts on the ACCESS program,” said TROY ACCESS Director Reba Davis. “As each child talked to the governor, the camera zoomed in on their face and projected it on two of the three video screens hanging in the rooms. For the students, it is not like watching TV – it’s is like being on TV.”

ACCESS (Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators and Students Statewide) uses online and interactive videoconferencing technology to link classrooms and offer coursework – such as advanced-placement classes and foreign languages – to students in schools where those courses may not be available. ACCESS allows students from any part of the state to learn in a virtual classroom environment.

The TROY Support Center manages ACCESS classes for more than 127 high schools in south Alabama, and will serve more than 6,000 high school students this fall.

Gov. Riley first announced the creation of this system in 2005. Students now have access to more than 100 web-based and interactive videoconferencing courses they may otherwise not have had available to them.

“Courses are being added every semester to expand the opportunities for every student in Alabama, not just the students at large schools,” Davis said. “As the program continues to grow, so do the possibilities and hopes of Alabama’s youth.”

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Laylah Amatullah Barrayn

Kay Sanders, left, associate director of ACCESS at Troy University, facilitates a videoconference that linked Gov. Bob Riley from Tarrant High School with ACCESS learning classes at Dothan’s Northview High School and Mobile’s Murphy High School. (TROY photo/Matt Clower)

Laylah Amatullah Barrayn

Students at Northview High School take part in an interactive video conference with Gov. Bob Riley, on screen in background standing, on Thursday via ACCESS, Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators and Students Statewide. Gov. Riley addressed student live at Tarrant High School and connected via the Troy University ACCESS Support Center with both Northview High and Mobile’s Murphy High School to commemorate Alabama becoming the first state in the nation to link all of its public high schools through a distance-learning network. (TROY photo/Matt Clower)