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Consortium Uses Video Conferencing to Connect Workers, Companies, Educators

August 12, 2013

Broadband access and the invention of new technologies have transformed the way education is imparted to students. The need for classrooms has been greatly reduced because teachers and students can connect over the Internet using voice and video conferencing. This opens up interesting opportunities for the educational institutions as well as the students.

With such technologies in place, students get the most benefit. The geographical restrictions are erased which means students living in any part of the country can take courses from any school, which is particularly helpful for veterans and those who are physically challenged because they can educate themselves and increase their chances of finding a job from the comfort of their homes.

It is beneficial for the schools, too, because they have a wider audience for their courses and this means more money and publicity. At a time when colleges are struggling with tight budgets, video conferencing brings them new revenue streams. This is why more and more colleges are embracing technology and using video conferencing software to reach out to students.

The latest college to integrate video conferencing with their courses is the Central Lakes College of Staples and Brainerd. It is collaborating with Pine Technical College of Pine City and St. Cloud Technical and Community College in Minnesota to train 3,900 manufacturing students located within and outside the state of Minnesota. This program uses video conferencing extensively as a part of its teaching curriculum. The video conferencing facility is powered by a company called Video Guidance. Based in Bloomington, MN, the company is planning to set up a new video conferencing system funded by the Federal Department of Labor's Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT). This grant is awarded to companies and colleges that offer training to develop the skilled labor force.

The Central Lakes College is looking to make the best use of this funding to expand its student base across different states. It is hoped other colleges will implement such video conferencing techniques as well.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson