6 Ways Video Conferencing Technologies Expand Educational Horizons

May 26, 2015 by


When we think of video conference for education, the first thing that usually comes to mind is distance learning. For sure, that is a correct answer and the right idea about what the goal is for the usage of this technological innovation for education.

However, while the answer is correct, it is a short-sighted view of how big the impact is of video conferencing to the education sector. Sure, it is an effective way of reaching students that do not have access to a regular classroom, thus, giving them an alternative route towards a good education; but it is so much more than that. Adapting this technology can provide the school, faculty, and students a broader horizon, which was not present before.

It allows teachers to reach more students

The notion that this technology is going to marginalize teachers is absurd. The technology can never replace the real expertise of teachers, the technology is meant to help teachers reach more students in their limited amount of time available. Imagine this, in the past, a professor has a class in one school and has to travel to another school for another class in an hour. He would have to beat the traffic to get to the next class. With this technology, the same professor can hold the same class for those separate classrooms at the same time. Or in another scenario, students who sign up for the class can access the conference remotely from even their dorm room. All in all, it is just more convenient for both the professor and his or her students.

It lets students take a global (but virtual) field trip

Logistics is the bane of all field trip organizers, not to mention the cost of organizing one. Then there is the human side of the problem. Not every student will be engaged in the trip and there will always be mischievous students who will try to make trouble. If the worst should happen, you could even lose a student.

Virtual field trips on the other hand let you control the “trip.” Whether it is a virtual trip to the zoo or museum, you have the students in a controlled environment. And though they are not there physically, it does not mean that there would not be any interactions. The institutions that provide these virtual trips usually have some sort of activities that will involve the students and let them immerse themselves in what they are seeing.

Former out-of-reach courses are now available

There could be a course or some kind of training that you would like to take but is offered in another school or is only available from some other institution out of your state. In the past, you would not have many options on how you can take the said course; you either travel or just forget about it. Fortunately, there are now schools that let students take the course in a video conference set-up.

Schools are no longer limited to their geographic location

There are more than 30,000 video conferencing systems in the country, according to a study by Wainhouse Research, which is not surprising as school districts are now able to recognize its advantage. And it is not only about reaching more students but also getting hold of subject-matter experts. In the past, getting an SME to speak, let alone teach at your school involves a lot of scheduling, haggling, logistics, and travel. With travel removed from the equation, it becomes easier to schedule and coordinate with the SME. And this is not limited to lower grade levels. Video conferencing in education sector with Blue Jeans has been adapted by popular universities like Princeton not only to expand the reach of their programs but also provide their students with different perspectives on different subject matters. Speaking of which…

Students are given a wider perspective

Video conference systems in the education sector not only widen the reach of schools and educators, it also exposes students to a wider world and more opportunities to learn. Imagine students in the US working with students from the other side of the world like Europe or Asia. Aside from seeing other people from different countries, it also gives them a chance to learn and understand different cultures outside of reading a book.

Students are trained to adapt to the modern workplace

The modern workplace is no longer limited to the four walls of the office. A lot of the work are now done away from the office desk and more on their mobile devices. A lot of the meetings and collaborations actually happen in video conferences. As a result, students who were exposed to video conference technology in school would be much more prepared compared to students who only learned inside the classroom.

In summary:

Video conference systems in the education sector are more than just distance learning. It is about expanding the reach of the school, the educators, and the students. In some ways, this is the future of education.

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1 Comment

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    Video conferencing technology has provided many benefits to education sector in terms of reduced costs, effective collaboration between students and teachers, learning from anywhere anytime etc. Tools like R-HUB, gotomeeting webex, etc are used for conducting online trainings.

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