Tech savvy teaching


Mr. Ron Fredrick, English, conducts a lecture on John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” over Skype to his AP English 12 students. Mr. Fredrick used Skype to conduct class when he was not able to come to school.

Sarah Bredar, Author

Within the last 20 years, school systems across the nation have been encouraging teachers to integrate technology into a classroom setting. Tools like SMART Boards and Chromebooks have allowed Lake Central teachers to expand teaching beyond the walls of the classroom.

Mr. Ron Fredrick, English, has taken this technological surge to the next level. In 2013, Mr. Fredrick first used Skype to conduct his AP English 12 classes when he was unable to come to school.

“I was concerned about missing school while I recovered [from surgery]. My doctor indicated that I could be out as long as [four] weeks, [however,]I only missed two. My wife suggested Skyping my classes. It worked well enough then, so I decided to do it again,” Mr. Fredrick said.

Using Skype as a means of instructing allows the teacher to keep his or her students on the right track in regards to the class curriculum. For teachers like Mr. Fredrick, however, it takes away from the interaction between the students and lesson being taught.
“Skype offers me the opportunity to at least teach my students, even if it is not in a style [or] setting I prefer. Because of the limitations of the technical setup, the give-and-take of discussions is lost. It is much more difficult as well to gauge the students’ ‘response’ to the information that I am presenting since it is being received, both at their end and mine, through the filter of a camera and microphone. In the end, though, it sure beats not seeing and working with them at all, and that is its most significant feature,” Mr. Fredrick said.