I’ve written extensively about the uses of video teleconferencing (VTC) in education here at the TANDBERG Public Sector blog, and there’s a reason for that. In today’s educational environment, VTC is not only a useful tool, but also an answer to some difficult problems and questions plaguing school districts today.
With 48 out of 50 states currently looking down the barrel of significant budget shortfalls, state and local spending has been cut and expenditures are getting the axe. In many places, those cuts have been in education spending.
VTC has the ability to make education more efficient and cost effective. For many smaller districts, VTC can improve educational opportunities without increasing costs. If a teacher of a particular subject is unavailable locally or would cost too much to transport, they can instead appear via VTC to teach their classes. Also, virtual field trips via VTC enable all of the education without the need for a bus, bus driver and multiple admission costs.
The advantages of embracing VTC in traditional educational environments are numerous and obvious. However, the advantages of VTC are even more pronounced and impressive in some of the more untraditional and innovative installations.
Take this recent article in Technology & Learning Magazine for example. The Kentucky School for the Deaf has a student body of approximately 150 students, which is only 3% of the total population of high school and middle school students in the district. That’s dwarfed by the national average of 10%, which means that the students have less opportunity to interact with other deaf individuals.
In an effort to bring deaf students from different areas together, the school purchased TANDBERG systems with dual screens, one of the speaker and one for the interpreter.
The new system has been used to enable interaction between deaf students in different states. The system has also allowed the school to share resources such as AP teachers with other districts.
There’s more to VTC in educational environments than just cutting costs. VTC is enable a new way of teaching, and TANDBERG is proud to be at the forefront.