Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Videoconferencing's impact on education

Videoconferencing provides students with the opportunity to learn by participating in a 2-way communication platform. Furthermore, teachers and lecturers from all over the world can be brought to classes in remote or otherwise isolated places. Students from diverse communities and backgrounds can come together to learn about one another. Students are able to explore, communicate, analyze and share information and ideas with one another. Through videoconferencing students can visit another part of the world to speak with others, visit a zoo, a museum and so on, to learn. These "virtual field trips" (see history of virtual learning environments) can bring opportunities to children, especially those in geographically isolated locations, or the economically disadvantaged. Small schools can use this technology to pool resources and teach courses (such as foreign languages) which could not otherwise be offered.
Here are a few examples of how videoconferencing can benefit people around campus:
· faculty member keeps in touch with class while away for a week at a conference
· guest lecturer brought into a class from another institution
· researcher collaborates with colleagues at other institutions on a regular basis without loss of time due to travel
· schools with multiple campuses can collaborate and share professors
· faculty member participates in a thesis defense at another institution
· administrators on tight schedules collaborate on a budget preparation from different parts of campus
· faculty committee auditions a scholarship candidate
· researcher answers questions about a grant proposal from an agency or review committee
· student interviews with an employer in another city
· teleseminars


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