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Coast Mountains School District Considers Video Conferencing

July 17, 2017

The Coast Mountains School District in northwestern British Columbia is considering implementing video conferencing into its schools in order to increase course opportunities for its students.

Using video conferencing to offer courses is a great idea—one that’s been used successfully by countless schools and universities around the world. Video classes are being considered as an option for multiple classes, but specifically French Immersion.

According to a recent article from the Terrace Standard, French Immersion classes have been taught through video conferencing before. Five students who took the video class in 2011-2012 weighed in on the idea, with three of the students saying the experience was “somewhat engaging.” One student said it was “highly engaging,” and the other said it was “disengaging.”

Aside from the one negative review, the majority of students in the French Immersion course felt engaged during class, even though it was through video conferencing. As we’ve seen in several other instances discussed on this site, classrooms benefit greatly from video conferencing technology.

The technology may be facing an uphill battle before it’s implemented into this particular school district, though. Some members of the school district staff have raised concerns over the use of video conferencing in the classroom, saying that it may not be engaging enough.

“When we compare [typical learning environments] to the proposed learning experience of video conferencing, which of these provides a more engaging and interactive learning experience?” members of the staff asked at the end of the report they had put together.

They also raised issues such as cost, staffing, training and the challenge of coordinating schedules between schools. These are all valid concerns, but other use cases show that video conferencing is actually a good investment in the long run. For instance, the University of New Mexico has actually been saving money ever since implementing conferencing solutions into its classrooms. There are also conferencing providers that offer special programs to educational institutions looking to use video conferencing in the classroom.

Video conferencing has the power to transform the way students learn during the school day. So far, there have been countless success stories reiterating this idea. With any luck, the Coast Mountains School District will overcome its apprehensions and become the next school to benefit from all video conferencing has to offer.

Edited by Maurice Nagle