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Ivy League Colleges Reinvent Lectures

April 16, 2012
at 5:00 am PST

Classes just got a little more interesting at Harvard Law School, Columbia University and Sciences Po, an elite university in Paris.

A 65-student class dedicated to making students think critically about reimagining society, “Progressive Alternatives:  Institutional Reconstruction Today,” is using telepresence to create a discussion that transcends three campuses located in different parts of the world.

According to an article in The Harvard Crimson, the class is taught by Harvard Law School professor Roberto M. Unger and includes commentary from Columbia University professor Jeffrey D. Sachs and Laurence Tubiana, a professor from Sciences Po.

With its telepresence system, the instructors and class are able to interact in realtime. The first hour of the class is a lecture and comment from each professor and the remaining one hour allows times for questions and a lively discussion.

In true Ivy League fashion, the professors are applying their class lessons to real life as they are recreating the traditional classroom setting and discussion. Unger hopes telepresence will assist other classes and universities to extend the physical boundaries of the classroom to include different areas of the world which hold different beliefs.

This isn’t the first use case which we have seen telepresence used to encourage innovative collaboration. A number of colleges and universities are using Cisco technology to create virtual learning environments on both a national and global scale. It’s also exciting to see new technologies, and combinations of technology, such as Cisco’s Lecture Vision and the impact they will have at all levels of education!

We applaud these pioneering uses of technology to create a world class learning environment and look forward to hearing more about the project as it moves forward!

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