The Breaking the Virtual Barrier project provided a unique opportunity for Jefferson Community and Technical College to advance the knowledge base in providing instruction in the construction trades. The project provided the opportunity to expand an existing partnership with the Dry Stone Conservancy and pilot unique ways to use emerging technology to provide instruction in the field of preservation trades training.

While the original project involved utilizing Interactive Television as the means for broadcasting preservation trades courses, ultimately wireless digital technology was used for implementation. A one week dry stone masonry course was conducted at two college sites some fifty miles apart.

Preservation Trades

Preservation Trades

The course was broadcast in real time to both sites simultaneously. The Master Instructor alternated sites each day so students at each site had the experience of interacting with him since this was a pilot project.

The implementation of the project presented its share of technological challenges, but none were impossible to solve. Future projects will benefit from the lessons learned by all parties in the process. At the end, the project was successful in that we were able to use wireless digital technology to transmit real time video and audio to both sites making the instructional experience interactive. It is then possible to take the instructors expertise and broadcast this to students in remote locations.

This project was made possible through Grant MT-2210-05-NC-03 from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT).