When it comes to education, anything that can improve the effectiveness of teaching should be highly sought after. However, bringing new technologies or techniques into the classroom isn’t always embraced with open arms by school faculty. Even so, it’s important that any and all options for improving education are at least investigated, even if they aren’t adopted across the board. A perfect example of new technology that can be used to greatly improve teaching efficiency is video conferencing services. In many places, schools have already begun implementing video conferencing technology in their curriculums, but market saturation is still a long ways away. If you’re on the fence about whether you should look into using high definition video conferencing to assist in teaching, then read on and find out why it’s isn’t just a good idea, it’s a fantastic idea to use it!
The Price of Expertise
There are many different ways to expose students to real world situations where the knowledge they pick up in the classroom can be put to real use. One of those methods is having an expert in the specific field being discussed talk to the class. Regardless of whether it’s about economics, law, or chemistry, inviting an expert to talk to a class is an excellent way to show the students how their classwork can translate to the real world. The problem with bringing experts into the classroom is the amount of time and effort it takes to have that expert travel to the school and spend the time talking to the class. In many cases, this process requires a lot of money (travel expenses and lost work productivity), bureaucratic paperwork and red tape, and time from the expert. These issues are major setbacks that can dissuade people from visiting classrooms to talk. However, with video conferencing technology, the effort involved with bringing an expert into the classroom is slashed to almost nothing. With video conferencing, all it takes to bring an expert into the classroom is an internet connection and some time out of the expert’s day to talk and answer questions. The expert doesn’t need to spend any money or time traveling as they can talk to multiple classes from the comfort of their own office.
Bringing experts into the classroom is an excellent means of providing students with some real perspective on how their studies might be used in the real world. And being able to simplify and expedite the process of bringing those experts into the classroom is phenomenal. Additionally, showing students the connection between their work and the real world is an excellent way to boost their motivation and willingness to learn, according to Digital Journal.
Globetrotting from within the Classroom
While high definition video conferencing services are excellent options for bringing experts into the classroom, they are also fantastic methods for taking the classroom elsewhere for digital field trips. Going on a conventional field trip to a museum or factory or other location is always a great idea, but because of the time and money involved in setting it up, they aren’t always that common. By using video conferencing though, it could be potentially possible for a class to take a “field trip” every week, as long as the appropriate technology is being used by both parties. A perfect example of how this works, as reported by Mashable, was demonstrated by Mt. Lebanon School District in Pennsylvania when they used video conferencing to give their middle school students the opportunity to watch the volcano on Montserrat Island in the Caribbean erupt live. Additionally, experts were on hand to interact with the students and answer questions while also feeding data about lava flows, evacuation procedures, and seismic activity to the students to analyze and process as a part of the lesson.
Bringing Campuses Together
Using HD Video Conferencing in the Education Sector isn’t just a way to bring experts into classrooms and take classrooms out on field trips; it’s also a technology that can be used to foster collaborative tendencies amongst schools and universities. As discussed by Digital Journal, this sort of collaboration is already underway in different schools across the globe. As an example, Anderson High School in Scotland uses video conferencing to provide their senior students with a means to study with other schools and students based in Germany, Japan, and South Africa. HD video conferencing can be provided by teleconferencing companies like Blue Jeans.
But giving current students wider access to more varied education tools isn’t the limit. As reported by AVNetwork, Indiana University has adopted a video conferencing platform that allows them to bring students and faculty across the globe into a digital classroom space where over 175 courses are available. This sort of system allows many more people to get access to education opportunities they may not have had otherwise. Being able to access classes in a fully virtual space can be a huge benefit for potential students who don’t have the means to travel or move to be near a university. Plus, according to Learn Dash, when asked about their opinions on video conferencing in education, students that answered said it helped them feel more connected while also providing better access to information and education resources along with giving opportunities to attend lessons they otherwise would have been unable to experience.