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Bednet: real-time distance education

Description: Real-time education for pupils/students with medical needs enables them to attend classes in the own mainstream school’s classroom from hospital or home. By doing so, the child’s focus is (at least temporarily) shifted from its medical condition to learning content, school retardation is being combatted, and the social contacts with classmates is maintained.
Notes: Bednet is intended for youngsters (aged 6 – 18) with long-term or chronic illness, who are registered in Dutch-speaking schools in Flanders or Brussels, and is a free service for participating schools. Eligible children usually have suffered from a serious illness or have had an accident necessitating an absence from school for at least six weeks. The Bednet system facilitates a live, real-time connection with lessons in the classroom. The pupil sees their teacher and classmates on a laptop screen and can follow everything that happens in the classroom. They can ask questions and communicate with everyone in the class. The camera can be focused on any part of the classroom and the pupil can zoom in on the board at the front of the class. The child can even take snapshots of what the teacher writes on the blackboard or projects on the smartboard. They can also call for the teacher's attention. The systems allows for the use of reading materials, homework and tests, and it transmits messages and audio-visual materials. There is a dual print/scan option allowing the pupil at home to take part in tests and exams at the same time as their classmates. The teacher can set up reading materials, timetables and homework tasks so that the pupil has access to all the necessary items outside of school hours. The required technical equipment is free of charge being supplied by Bednet. It is installed at home and in the classroom through a network of volunteers. Each Bednet project is supported by an IT helpdesk to avoid technical issues interrupting class time. The child and the school are also allocated a regional support person to ensure swift communication, introduction to the system and counselling during the entire process. Bednet uses for this purpose a broadband internet connection between the classroom’s site and the child’s site (at home or in the hospital) and dedicated software that uses the Vidyo videoconferencing system (or occasionally Skype). The equipment used during class time is also available outside class time for chatting and socialising between the child and the classmates. Up to now the scheme was running in elementary and secondary education, tests are running (2016) to extend it into kindergarten.
Link to additional info:
Key Educational Factors:
  • creating relationship
  • constructing knowledge
  • taking up new roles
  • metacognition
  • respecting individividualities
  • inter-institutional communication
  • software
  • internet
Educational Settings:
  • hospital school
  • home education
  • mainstream school
Target group:
  • teacher/assistant
  • ICT staff school
  • learner nursery sch.
  • learner elem. sch.
  • learner sec. sch.
Located in: Tools