SEOUL — When Seoul American High School teacher Brandi Johansen showed up for first period on Monday, it wasn’t actually Monday.

It was Sunday evening, and she was in a studio nearly 7,000 miles away from her Seoul classroom, where about 20 students and teachers and administrators had gathered for a long-distance lesson in folk art.

Johansen was in Washington, D.C., in a studio across the street from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. With her was a museum employee who gave her advanced-placement art history students a lesson in “found art,” or folk art, in the museum’s collection.

The students followed along on digital handouts, images of the art they had downloaded onto laptops before the lesson. They asked questions via a live camera feed, and the Smithsonian worker answered.

“It was just like talking to the teacher face to face, as if she was right there,” said senior Richard Johnson.

The museum has conducted videoconference lessons with Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Japan and Europe, but Johansen said she believes this is the first time the Smithsonian has conducted a videoconference with a school in South Korea.

“It was really beyond what my kids would be able to do in a regular classroom setting,” she said.

Johansen learned about the program in October through a Web site for DODDS teachers and scheduled the videoconference for March 3, when she would be in Washington for a teachers conference.

Johansen and Smithsonian education technologist Paula Mood said the equipment — basically a camera, a television monitor, and an automatic Internet dial-up to the United States — was easy to use, though Mood had to reset the

Internet connection four times during the conference.

“In fact, I got wrapped up in the presentation. In a couple of items, I gave my two cents,” Mood said.

She said students giggled when they came into the classroom that morning and needed some prodding to sit in front of the camera, but they became absorbed in the lesson after it started.

“Those kids have been doing videoconferences on their home computers probably since elementary school,” Mood said. “Technology is not a new item for kids. It’s part of their world. To them, that is just the way business is being conducted.”

The videoconferencing exposes students to experts and possible career paths they otherwise wouldn’t get to see because they’re outside the United States, Mood said.

Johansen said two other teachers are trying to set up videoconferences for their art, world history and literature classes.

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