This thesis describes the design and testing of a videoconferencing system for supporting the academic and social needs of hospitalized high school students. The underlying technologies of PEBBLES (Providing Education by Bringing Learning Environments to Students) were incorporated into the High School PEBBLES Prototype (HSPP) with new functionality such as application sharing and a whiteboard. Laboratory studies were conducted with four groups of high school students in a simulated classroom/hospital environment, assigning them a storyboarding task that encouraged use of the prototype's videoconferencing and application sharing features. The results indicated that the students could work collaboratively through the HSPP, and the students were able to experience presence. Some of the critical requirements for effective presence through videoconferencing were identified. The systems development approach used in this thesis highlights the value of intelligent modeling of systems in order to meet the specific requirements of the users.