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Classroom of the Future…You’ve Come a Long Way Baby

- February 10, 2010 - 62 Comments

Afraid I am dating myself, but I remember sitting in an art history 101 class, listening to the teacher in front of the room lecture about 19th century artists while I furiously took hand written notes.  Eventually I ventured to the campus library to research Rodin’s “The Thinker” sculpture on microfiche and again took copious hand written notes for fear I would run out of quarters needed to feed the photocopier.

Now, almost two decades later (I say with a bit of a wince), university students carry notebook PCs from class to class across a wireless enabled campus. Many students don’t even go to a physical classroom at all, but catch up on coursework they might have missed via video on the campus Intranet.  Imagine being able to attend a class from virtually anywhere in the world and still feel part of the campus community.  Duke University’s new lecture facility provides Fuqua School of Business students with access to professors, business leaders and guest lecturers located around the globe, extending the in-person classroom environment across campuses and into the business world. Thankfully, today’s classroom has come a long way. 

Duke University Fuqua School of Business inaugurates custom Cisco TelePresence virtual learning environment.

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62 Comments

  1. This would also be great for parts of the world where distances are larger than here in Europe. The video presentation is really impressive.

  2. The technology is developed very quickly. We can see now technology is use everywhere also in education. Now student are attend their lecture from home.

  3. It's amazing how technology has progressed in the classroom. It's nice the gap is closing between school and the work environment.

  4. When I initially read of the experiment I feared the interaction between students and teachers would be cold and distant.Seeing the video clip, however, I realize the opposite is true.Here's to the future of global hi-tech education.

  5. Beauty,I disagree. Technology can't help make a boring teacher exciting. Also, there is no known correlation between technology and increased test scores.

  6. When I was at school, lessons could be dull despite the teachers best efforts. Today even the least interesting of subjects can be made interesting with modern technonolgy. This has to be a benefit for our children's education and society at large.

  7. I think it is amazing how far we have come. I am in my last semester in the Paralegal program and I could not have done it without options like this. I work full time and when I go home I take Online and Webinar classes. I have a 2 year old and finding a sitter is very hard to do. So, being at home listening and seeing my instructor but also being able to take care of my child is an amazing thing. It is just as interactive as sitting in a classroom. She can tell when we aren't paying attention and when we are.

  8. Unfortunately, with all the technological advances for education, I still see an oxymoronish application within some colleges. A university may offer distance learning, have a full-scale, user-friendly intranet, but the old-school professors will refuse to advance beyond PowerPoint slides!My hope is that companies like Cisco will mount an educational process that encourages college administrations to look into the pedagogical practices of such professors, thereby ensuring students truly have use of all the tools available to them.

    • Great comments, Vern! I agree with you that the faculty and staff must be onboard with the latest technology in order to have an effective long distance degree program.

  9. Haha, that is too cool!Just imagine what the average lecture hall will look like in 10 years, crazy. At my college we don't have intercontinental speeches yet, so I'm jealous!Thanks for the great article Robyn.

  10. I remember when i was in college in Arizona, we have special guest on our classroom that came from other countries, now with this technology, new students can benefit even more of the leadership presence of lecturers all around the world. Nice post Robyn!

  11. I find it amazing the progress made. Not only will this enable businesses to exert a worldwide presence but it also enables virtually anyone to obtain an education. This technology will reduce the costs and expense to both businesses and educational facilities.

  12. Maybe the day will come when everyone has to go to school for just one day in their entire life in order to have all knowledge and wisdom downloaded straight into a chip in their brain. Sorry, been watching too much Dr Who.New technology like this is great so long as it helps to spread quality learning - there will never be any substitute for good teaching skills.

  13. That is amazing, would be good for getting specialist lecturers.

  14. Today's children are so lucky that they are reaping the benefits of the advanced technology. With virtual classrooms, power-point presentations, and animations they can enjoy learning. But the question is, can people of every part of world afford to get it?

  15. And to think, we introduced this video just 6 months ago as a futuristic concept: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6UEoguiRS8 - The change has already begun :-)Kudos to Duke for bringing the classroom to where the student is.

  16. This is pretty fantastic technology. However, just to play devil's advocate a little bit, this will probably result in lower attendance rates. When I was in college, I missed a total of four classes. I imagine it would have been 40 or more if I had the ability to watch the lectures online. Why set the alarm for 7:00 a.m. when you can sleep until 10:00 a.m. and watch the same lecture? Don't get me wrong. The technology has a million uses, but I think colleges will eventually have to implement some attendance requirements to keep the lecture crowds a respectable size.

  17. This is impressive. I am in college, Not only are school campuses being transformed but this also opens up huge opportunities in distance learning.

  18. Your memories sound similar to mine (wince). I love the idea of using the latest technology in the classroom. That being said, it's easier to feel emoved"" from the learning experience in this type of setting. How do you use technology while still keeping a connection with the students? Thank you from Minneapolis Web Design"

  19. E-Learning has to be a big thing in the near future, it goes hand in hand with reducing carbon footprints...

  20. This is impressive. I am in college now and I have taken a couple online classes. The last one I took the professor was great about adding youtube videos he made, podcasts of his lectures, and really utilizing the web. I was able to get the whole classroom experience, without the classroom.

  21. Now, almost two decades later (I say with a bit of a wince), university students carry notebook PCs from class to class across a wireless enabled campus. Many students don’t even go to a physical classroom at all, but catch up on coursework they might have missed via video on the campus Intranet.regards,Zubair Mehar

  22. wow that is amazing, i wish my college include online classes in the future.

  23. I think it is good that all the school stuff is online and if you miss something you can look it back. I only hope that the students also can ask the teachers in real live about problems. Sometimes it is easier to look someone in the eye and write somethings down on paper.

  24. This is awesome,this is the future.I would love to study in that classroom.

  25. I wish I'd had that when I was at college. There's no reason for anyone to fail nowadays, the resources available are immense. Different learning styles were never really catered for back when I was at college - you listened to a talking-head lecturer who handed out notes - big differences in just a few years. I think technology is speeding up - you told the story about a change that happened in 20 years, but the changes we'll see in a few years will be just as life changing as that, I think. My 5 year old is comfortable on the computer... imagine what he will be doing in 5 years time. :)

  26. At my school we have been promised a re-build of our rather out dated school but after a good few years we realised it isnt going to happen so were stuck with a good old whiteboard at the front and text books =/

  27. It's been 12/13 years since I left high school and I think when I was there they only had around 10 computers in the whole school (some you wouldn't class as a computer!).My niece is now at the same school which has been ripped down and rebuilt (making me feel old already!) and the photographs of the computer suites and new auditorium etc are just crazy in comparison!These kind of changes are beneficial in making courses more accessible which can only be a good thing.

  28. Its a great inspirational video for classrom of the future, the phrase itself describes something unique.

  29. Yes...we have come a long way. And fast! Our two kids (13 and 14) now want (No...NEED!) their own laptops. Every other kid has one.Well...their grades are good but I wonder if we can keep them from using Facebook too much?Yes...we have come a long way!

  30. Realy impressive. I don't think that our university will invent technologies like these in near future...

  31. Technology is a great avenue, but I hope it doesn't go to far. There is a real sense of value to have that professor personal touch in grasping a concept. Ahhhh, what do I know I am just a oldie!

  32. How things has changed after reading this article now i know that the university are now using video conferencing facilities for their students.It is not like my country i lived in singapore we still need to catch up in future context.

  33. I was just reading Britannica blog written by an Anthropology professor, in 2008, titled A Vision of Students Today (& What Teachers Must Do)"" He was pointing out the frustration of the current student and faculty population pertaining to the education system. He had inferred that technology would ultimately be the solution. Cisco's TelePresence virtual learning environment appears to be an example of where education needes to go in order to continue captivating students."

  34. I'm attending an all online university now. It's the future for a lot of working people. They don't have the time to actually go to a physical building like the 18 year olds do. They have a job, kids, etc. Products like this will make that online clasroom even better.

  35. This is very impressive. it's pretty cool posttwitter follower adder"

  36. the opportunity with a future. today’s classroom has come a long way.

  37. wow now that what I call technology at it greatest it will make it easy for any one wanting to learn right from home.

  38. This is incredible. When I was in college, this type of technology was just emerging. Almost makes me want to go back to school... Almost :)

  39. Tech development is very fast indeed. This online course will surely be of great help to those from developing nations to fill the digital gap if facilitated by the concerned parties.

  40. This isn't just happening at school. Improved technology is changing the way we do business too. At my company, you no longer have to attend meetings in person. You can have a teleconference, or use Microsoft Communicator to send and instant message, call some and share your workspace, so someone else can see your computer screen. I'm on the East Coast, and when we were hit by a blizzard, I was able to conduct all of my work from home. I've heard some companies are not even requiring people to physically come to work any more, thus saving a lot of facilites related costs for office space. It truly amazing!

  41. I live in a country where education isn't that modern (I live in eastern Europe). Still, the last decade has brought lots of changes. I believe that we'll reach the leven that has been demonstrated in this post soon :)

  42. Getting college education is really no longer confined in the four corners of classroom. I love distance education for I am a product of it here in the Philippines.

  43. Wow, this is very cool. I graduated college in 2001, and would love to have had classrooms like this. Can't wait to see what the future brings!

  44. Issues have for sure changed rapidly over the many years. I remember our initial home pc, it just sat there about the desk, and was just utilised to play games our write a statement.This positive aspects not just the kids on campus but us “old fogeys” as well.

  45. Interesting articles, I wonder how long it will be before the likes of Harvard/Stamford etc start advertising world wide MBA courses using this technology. Imagine obtaining an MBA from one of these universities without having to leave your country of residence.

  46. Education has come a long way ahead in the developed nations virtual classrooms, wifi capuses and many other fetaures. It is really a positive step ahead but the standard of education in developing nations is still very old.

  47. Yes, indeed and that change is great. I also took a few online classes, they were just as good as the real ones, but the traveling to the Uni and back time was saved. Great opportunity for study for busy working people.

  48. Indeed the way to go. Would have been such a time saver to have followed those lectures by from anywhere basically. Also the ability to have incorporate guest speakers and industry leaders from anywhere around the World is an exciting prospect. It are exciting times :)

  49. Computer innovations may do away with traditional classrooms as we know it today and become virtual classrooms with students from around the world and all walks of life. Language doesn't even have to be a blockade with automatic interpretation software, such as what one might expect at a United Nations Council.

  50. WOW how things have changed! I only graduated college about 9 years ago and that was before laptops were really popular and the internet was really just being used for research. I live just down the street from Duke now...always wanted to go there! Seems like an amazing learning experience and the opportunities thanks to technology now are fantastic!

  51. Classes are being revolutionized by technology, I like where this is heading...

  52. I wish they had that back when I was in college - would have saved me from writers cramp :)

  53. I was student 7 years ago. In the past we didn't have all this technology, with wikipedia and all the university archives we can visit in seconds. I think networks have changed a lot of things and students get the best videos courses online (specially in computer science).Now I'm Dev Engineer and I use skype, online documentation everyday. You can really work from home without having problems (and the more ecological).

  54. Nice to know that the world has changed so much, but belonging to a developing nation in Asia of Africa you will see many so called nineteenth century classes, yet they produce scientists and engineers, changing of classroom is good but thats not the real factor that matters in learning process.

  55. Yes, truly the technology has come a long way. I work for a MNC and we save thousands of dollars in air travel by doing virtual conferencing where people feel they are just next to each other.

  56. WOW Man! I will love to study in a classroom like that! :) Cisco rules!

  57. It is amazing to see how far technology has come. Great strides have been taken over the past couple decades, it is almost impossible to imagine where we will be in ten years at the rate that changes are occurring. Being able to watch missed lectures is a complete blessing that I unfortunately didn't have the pleasure of having.

  58. It's a wonderful work.I think it's a nice idea to teach through online.In this you can present in a better way and can capture a lot of students at a time.Keep it up

  59. That's impressive. I remember my college days went by exactly as you described in the article: hand written notes all the way. More research, more hand written notes. More classes, a lot more hand written notes.Hopefully, the new technology will be wildly available by the time my son's in college :)

  60. I love this. Not only are school campuses being transformed but this also opens up huge opportunities in distance learning. This benefits not only the kids on campus but us old fogeys"" as well."

  61. Things have for sure changed rapidly over the years. I remember our first home computer, it just sat there on the desk, and was just used to play games our write a report.