Candice Miller for Congress, Michigan

Email Candice Miller Candice Miller on Facebook Subscribe to Candice Miller's RSS Feed

‘Virtual’ visit brings government to life

by Candice Miller on February 4, 2013

January 30, 2013

‘Virtual’ visit brings government to life

BY MARGARET WHITMER

Sanilac County News/Jeffersonian

CROSWELL — Learning how the U.S. government works can be a formidable task.

 

But it is a little less so when a U.S. legislator can come right into your classroom to tell you about it. And that is now a lot easier, thanks to modern technology.

 

About 200 students in Scott Coats’ government class at Croswell- Lexington High School got a real treat last week when, thanks to a program called “Government in Action,” they were able to interact directly with U.S. Rep. Candice Miller (R-10th District) via the Internet.

 

With the help of a program called Oovoo – a video chat service similar to Skype – the students were able to see and hear Miller in her office in Washington D.C. and ask her questions about her stance on issues currently facing the nation.

 

Miller, in turn, was able to see the students through a camera on one of the district’s portable IPads.

 

The students, primarily juniors, asked Miller about her stance on topics such as the fiscal cliff, gun control and gay rights, and upon occasion clapped and cheered at her responses.

 

Miller aides who attended the session in person handed out copies of the U.S. Constitution to each student and at the end of the session, students Marcus Taylor and Colin Manninen presented Miller with a T-shirt proclaiming her a “Pioneer Ambassador.”

 

“It was pretty awesome,” said Jordan Walker, of Lexington. “I’m from Texas and I never had any other school do this. You can actually talk to her. It’s a lot different from just looking it up.”

 

Cros-Lex is the fourth Michigan public school district to be able to use technology to bring real life into the classroom. Others have been Utica, L’Anse Creuse and Port Huron, said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Miller.

 

The idea came about last summer, when Miller was attending a fundraiser for the Lexington Arts Council at the high school.

 

She proposed the new online opportunity when she was invited to visit students in person.

 

“Students have been learning about how government works, and the importance of taking an active role in the formation of public policies,” said government teacher Scott Coats.

 

“When the opportunity of interacting directly with Congresswoman Miller presented itself, I quickly accepted the invitation. We have the technology in place that will allow this to happen.”

 

Students seemed to agree that it was a worthwhile learning experience.

 

“It’s cool to be able to ask questions,” said Haley Hoyt, of Jeddo. “That’s another thing kids our age never get to do. It’s good to hear her views on stuff.”

Previous post:

Next post: