Generation Telepresence: Putting Video in the Palms of Students’ Hands
Put tablets, laptops, netbooks, among other devices, in the hands of grade- school students, and it’s only minutes before they’re innovating, creating, and communicating.
From the time they’re aware of the world around them, today’s children see and use technology. I’ve written before about the ubiquity of technology in the classrooms of our youngest learners, and as noted in a recent Education Week article, schools continue to experiment with available technology to determine the right tools to maximize their students’ learning.
As the article notes, students in many districts participate in one-to-one initiatives, wherein each student has access to his or her own laptop or other such device. These one-to-one programs open doors to incredible education opportunities. Imagine each student’s personal device outfitted with telepresence, enabling students to collaborate face-to-face, in real time, in high definition, whenever they need. With individual access to telepresence, students could also meet in-person (virtually) with experts in relevant fields of study, collaborate with students at other schools working on similar projects, and take part in courses held at other institutions. Telepresence would give them the power to personalize their educations, exploring in-depth their interests with unprecedented access to global resources.
Today’s grade school students are the first generation to grow up in a predominately digital society. Augmenting their digital experience and education with communication technology like telepresence ensures they will not only access the people they need to achieve their learning goals, but they will also be able to share knowledge with their peers. Access to telepresence builds a foundation in interpersonal communication that helps bring students closer together, teaches cooperation skills, and provides the chance to practice using technology for positive collaborative work.
What do you think? Do you know students who could benefit from having telepresence at their fingertips?