GSSM uses cutting-edge technology solutions to bring students and instructors together in ways that promote learning, collaboration, and achievement. Mrs. Patty Long is Accelerate’s technology manager. She is the first line of support for Accelerate teachers, classroom facilitators, and technology personnel in associated school districts.
Statewide Video Conferencing Network
Accelerate students attend class, participate in discussions, work on group projects, and get after-class help through GSSM’s innovative high-definition (max 1080p30) video-conferencing network. Students from schools across the state connect to the network simultaneously and take live courses in engineering, math, physics, chemistry, and English.
Global Application Infrastructure Network
Students use GSSM’s Global Application Infrastructure Network (GAIN) to access modeling and design tools such as MATLAB and SolidWorks. GAIN allows students to collaborate with each other and complete assignments from nearly any internet-connected computer or tablet in the world. Files are stored in the cloud, and student work is safe from disruptions caused by power outages and computer failures. GAIN also allows teachers to offer advice and assistance to students as they complete their coursework.
Class Recordings and Simulcasts
All Accelerate lectures and seminars are recorded and streamed simultaneously. Students who miss class may watch the live simulcast on their computer, tablet, or phone. In addition, students who wish to review material may access any class recording at their leisure.
The Technology Behind Accelerate
Accelerate uses a scalable video platform known as Vidyo. A leader in next-generation online collaboration, Vidyo provides top-quality video and sound experiences for teachers and students via room-size video facilities, computers, tablets, and phones.
Accelerate's engineering classes require the use of MATLAB and SolidWorks software. Both products are cutting-edge and require powerful computing capabilities. To ensure that such complex software can be streamed across multiple devices, GSSM uses VMWare, a platform that allows for the creation of virtual desktops. Accelerate students can securely access these desktops in class, at home, and from nearly any internet-connected device. VMWare forms the core of GAIN, offers access to MS Office, and allows storage to and retrieval from the cloud.
Accelerate instructors create online courses on Canvas, GSSM’s web-based course management system. Through Canvas, teachers communicate with students, post and grade assignments, make announcements, distribute handouts, and hold out-of-class discussions. Students can access their Canvas materials around the clock. Parents and school officials may also observe these accounts if they request authorized access.
When students are working on difficult problems or learning to use complicated software, Insight allows teachers to observe student work and to offer assistance as needed. Teachers can also share one student’s work with other students by presenting it across multiple screens. Finally, if needed, teachers can turn off student screens to ensure that maximum attention is being paid to a lesson or lecture.
To ensure that students and teachers can connect with each other and maintain uninterrupted access to course tools, GSSM uses redundant internet connections and servers that automatically activate in the event of technological or power problems. For instance, during and after destructive regional weather events, generators, recorded lectures, redundant internet connections, and mobile teaching locations allow for the quick resumption of coursework. In many cases, online courses resume even before local school buildings re-open.