It's tough for some to remember life before the conveniences of modern technology: e-mail, the Internet, digital cameras and the like. But technology has created a major convenience for Southeast Missouri State University students in Malden, Kennett, Poplar Bluff and Sikeston, Mo.
Instead of driving long distances to attend classes in Cape Girardeau, they can sit in classrooms near their homes and take classes being taught at the university.
It's called interactive television, or ITV, and it allows instructors and students who are miles apart to see and hear each other. Four ITV courses were offered at Southeast in 1995. The number has risen to 25 this year and likely will keep growing.
University students aren't the only ones benefiting from the technology. The new Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center will offer its first ITV courses next semester.
The educators who decided to offer this opportunity at schools in Southeast Missouri are to be congratulated for their foresight.
While some limitations exist with ITV -- classroom teaching has benefits that will never be matched by technology -- interactive television opens more educational opportunities to our area, and that's a good thing.