Students are consuming information in new and different ways – books are being replaced by computers and blackboards are being replaced by video collaboration screens. To sum it up, technology is revolutionizing learning.
While educators struggle to deliver top-notch educational experiences amid budget cuts and fewer resources, they are finding innovative ways to provide better opportunities to their students. At the crux of this innovation are collaborative learning technologies, such as telepresence. From grade schools to universities, classrooms are combining video with learning and students, staff and parents are reaping the rewards.
When the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina introduced telepresence to the curriculum, it completely transformed the learning experience. Recognized as a leader in international business education and research, the Moore School prides itself on delivering a global experience. Thanks to Cisco TelePresence and Cisco WebEx, professors are bringing together globally distributed students and world-class subject matter experts to engage in a live and interactive experience.
Much like the Moore School, the Utah Education Network (UEN), a consortium of public and higher education partners, committed itself to enhancing education through technology. Investing in solutions, such as Cisco TelePresence Management Suite, has improved and accelerated students’ education. With more than 100 classes captured daily, students can access live and recorded K-12 and higher education classes. High school students also have the opportunity to take college courses without leaving campus. The ability to enroll in concurrent classes means more students are graduating high school with college credits, expanding their learning opportunities and saving money on tuition.
While telepresence helps administrators reduce costs and improve efficiencies, its true power lies in the ability to transform education by opening up a new world of possibilities in learning.
How do you see technology revolutionizing education?
Happy to see Cisco so adamant about transforming education to meet the 21st Century lifestyle and economy.
I wonder if we can now offer k-12 students an alternative to a brick and mortar public school setting?
Imagine a world where parents and students choose whether they want traditional schooling or an online school that uses telepresence and online teachers with a LMS to boot. Both free. Both equally accredited.
learning with video is powerfull metode to learning
Though I agree learning with video is a powerful tool in many ways, these permanently installed telepresence systems seem to be overly expensive and an inefficient way to spend school funding.
For example, we use a virtual classroom utility that integrates with our LMS and the built-in camera/microphone of the users’ computers or those plugged in. This provides for a mobile experience and the cost is limited to the software level.
I often see telepresence articles advertising permanently installed solutions that are only capable of video streaming. The Virtual classroom model we adopted at the university I work for offers video as well as slideshows, annotations, screen sharing, website sharing, file transfers, digital whiteboard, quizzes, and more.
We have a couple of rooms fitted with a permanent telepresence solution and the systems never get used. This may be our own fault of not putting them to use, but our virtual classroom solution is widely used both on and off campus. It allows us to free up room space as well.
You raise a very important point with regard to video collaboration: there is no one size fits all. I completely agree that there are situations where a fixed telepresence system is not the right tool for the job and a software based application is perfectly adequate. And there may be other situations where the opposite is true.
This highlights an important piece in the decision making process – determine the specific objectives you hope to accomplish in deploying video. Is it to connect remote students to a large lecture hall? Is it bringing in guest lecturers to a small class? Is it enabling collaboration between students in many locations? Is it connecting multiple school districts to expand course offerings? My point is, there are many solutions and many applications in how video can be used. Setting goals, developing a collaboration strategy and measuring against those goals will go a long way in insuring that an investment in collaboration is in fact a very efficient way to spend school funds.
Thanks for taking the time to comment!
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