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Properly Placed Telepresence a Must-Have in Higher Ed

January 19, 2012 - 2 Comments

We’ve seen telepresence take off in higher education programs, as we shared in a post on how the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business uses the technology to connect its students with executives across the world.

As more and more universities, including Duke in North Carolina, Madison College in Wisconsin, and Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania join the ranks of schools with fully equipped telepresence classrooms, it’s exciting to think of how these institutions are forging global scholarly dialogues and worldwide collaboration.

Witnessing the power of video to connect the academic world made me especially appreciative of a recent informative story in University Business. Writer Kristen Domonell details the importance of installing telepresence equipment in fully operational telepresence rooms in order for higher ed students to realize the benefits of the video technology.

In essence, Domonell writes, a telepresence connection should make people in disparate locations feel closer to each other; they should feel as though they are in fact in the same room.  Though, as she notes, building a proper telepresence set-up capable of creating this personal connection requires a significant financial investment, the pay-off more than justifies the price. Simply adding a camera to a traditional classroom does not capture the same nuances that a telepresence room can bring to students on the other side of the screen.

With a properly designed network of telepresence classrooms, professors can engage their students with all of the same modalities available to live instructors lecturing from the front of classrooms. Telepresence rooms afford students the ability to view visual aids, hear audio clips, and watch professors move about learning spaces.

As Domonell writes, students have come to expect the kind of flexibility and access to global resources telepresence-based instruction can provide. To draw the best students, universities need to ensure they keep up with top-of-the-line technology, and telepresence is quickly gaining ground as a must-have for institutions delivering world-class educations.

Have you attended a lecture via telepresence? We would love to hear how telepresence has enhanced your educational experience!

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  1. Interesting question! I would suggest contacting a local Cisco partner for guidance. You can easily find one close to you using this tool –
    Please keep me posted on your progress!

  2. How can I inform the African people and/or educational institutions within the continent about this Telepresence application to enhance learning in Africa?