Featured Article from Conferencing

More Schools Using Video Conferencing To Make Learning Easier

July 07, 2014

In this age of advanced telecommunication, video conferencing has become a powerful medium of classroom teaching. For the new age, tablet-using students, video-conferencing technology has become the means to connect to real-world use cases, take a virtual trip to the other parts of the globe and interact and learn from peers based in those unknown parts of the world. Above all, video conferencing in a classroom can help many students to access courses that are otherwise unavailable to them due to a number of reasons including geographical remoteness.

A recent article published in DigitalJournal.com enumerates several ways video conferencing is improving the value of education in a number of schools across the USA and beyond:  

Proximity to Experts

First of all, video conferencing technologies have made it possible for today’s students to directly interact with well-known experts in a field and learn from them. No matter how many miles away they live, experts can deliver lectures to the students through video conferencing. The direct communication with an expert helps the students to find a connection between what they are learning and its real-world use case. This way the subject matter gets permanently etched in their minds, they learn better and the overall value of the curriculum enhances.

Blue Jeans Network, a leading provider of video conferencing to schools, strongly advocates the introduction of subject matter experts into education.

“Studies show that when students see the connection between what they are learning and its real-world use case, their motivation soars, and so does their learning. One of the best, and most popular, ways to make that connection is by introducing subject matter experts into education. Using Blue Jeans, guest lecturers can use video to reach a classroom full of students from across the world, no matter what video platform they're using,” the company reps explained in an interview.

Intermingling and Experience Sharing:

Video conferencing technology gives the students the exciting opportunity of connecting with students from different countries and cultures. This virtual “coming together” allows for mutual experience sharing.

The articles cited the example of Scotland’s Anderson High School that has been sharing aspects of learning and teaching by video conferencing for several years. As part of the school’s Future Learning and Teaching project, the students have been sharing Advanced Higher courses – Math with Nara Women’s Secondary School in Japan, History and Modern Studies with South Peninsula High School in Cape Town, South Africa and Higher German with Germany’s Graf Friedrich Schule Diepholz.

This kind of educational and cultural exchange is believed to supply the students on both sides with different views and fresh ideas.

Virtual Field Trips:

Educational trips have always been a valued part of any curriculum worldwide. The real world experience gathered from field trips helps expand their knowledge. Thanks to video conferencing technologies, students don’t have to travel all the way to a volcano to witness its eruptions or visit a hurricane-hit region to experience the devastation. 

According to an article from Scholastic Instructor magazine, Pennsylvania's Mt. Lebanon School District was able to offer its middle school students a chance to see a volcano on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. The students received live commentary from a 'mission commander' about lava flow and evacuee progress, complemented by video clips of ash clouds over the island and seismic data and information about hurricane intensity right in their laptops. This taught them how to analyze the information, make predictions about risks, and suggest courses of action.

Access to Different Courses:

There can be number of reasons that stop the students from pursuing the courses of their choice. But video conferencing is helping address this gap by letting them enroll in the video-aided courses of their choice.

With the increasing use of video conferencing in classroom, an enhanced application of virtual technologies and electronic learning is likely to shape the future of education worldwide.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson