Technological advances in the realm of education have presented both students and educators alike with a slew of new ways to approach learning. You may have already heard of providers like Blue Jeans, who make it possible for today’s video conferencing equipment to be used in increasingly creative ways, resulting in innovations in the classroom and beyond.
According to Statista, 80 percent of teenagers reported that they expected to use mobile apps at work in 2015. With the use of such apps–including mobile video conferencing– in the workplace, it’s no small wonder that their popularity would begin to grow in schools as well. As the Huffington Post recently noted, the prominence of video conferencing apps on smartphones and other devices is making it easier, and almost commonplace, to connect with others all over the globe with merely a finger to your touchscreen, which, as a result, is changing the landscape of work and education. On a related note, The Telegraph recently reported on the rise of “digital nomads”, or employees who choose to work remotely in relaxing destinations via completely digital means.
With the rise of digital power in the workforce, it’s no small wonder that teenagers and students alike would be accustomed to–and expecting–the use of mobile technology at work and school. The benefits of this technology in the classroom, then, is truly a great exposure to how video conferencing can change the approach to education. Read on for six reasons why this spread of video conferencing can really make a whole new world of difference for both students and teachers alike in the classroom.
1. Virtual Guests, Presentations, and Trips
By far, one of the most amazing powers of video conferencing is the ability to connect with anyone at any time, all over the world. With this ability, the creative possibilities you may experience in the classroom are endless. You can have a guest lecturer from another country, a virtual field trip through a foreign landmark or an expedition through a rainforest, or just connect with other students across the globe. By seeking out the myriad of opportunities to connect with other educational institutions, educators, and social and cultural institutions around the world, lectures and classes can be supplemented in ways you may have never thought possible.
2. Recordable Lessons
Another handy benefit of video conferencing is that you can record lessons for later access. Students can access the lessons again at any time, and thanks to the power of cloud computing, they can also access supplemental handouts and readings that are made available, even on their mobile devices.
3. A Greater Course Selection
The use of video conferencing in the classroom allows the broadcasting of classes so that they are accessible online to remote students. Additionally, classes may be available at other facilities and schools, and video conferencing makes it easy to access additional classes as part of an extended or supplemental curriculum.
4. Virtual Office Hours
Video conferencing allows greater opportunity for teacher-student interaction, even if in-person office hours aren’t on the schedule. Hosting virtual office hours allows you to meet at any time, and also promotes greater communication between student and teacher. As a teacher, it’s important to be available to your students, and having a more personal connection as opposed to email or phone can help facilitate a greater engagement in learning. As a student, it’s comforting and supportive to know that your teacher is invested in you and thus available to you when they may have been previously unreachable.
5. Encourage Collaboration Between Students near and Far
By connecting with other educational institutions, you’ll find it’s possible for students in remote locations to collaborate with one another. In keeping with some of the benefits mentioned in point number one, collaboration across countries and time zones allows students to experience a whole new way of learning, as well as an exposure to new cultures and lines of thought. You can imagine how exciting it must be to connect with another classroom across the globe in order to learn a new language, take a guided tour of a cultural institution, or follow a current event in real time.
6. Hold a Class Online
Gone are the days when classes need to be missed just because you are sick– whether you’re the teacher or the student, there’s still a way for you to effectively connect. Teachers can also offer classes for institutions abroad, so that foreign students can dial in to your class and participate.
These are just a few of the benefits you may encounter in the classroom when video conferencing is involved. Many of these advantages were previously unfathomable, and as technology continues to evolve and educators get more and more creative, it’s likely that you’ll start seeing even more uses for video conferencing and other methods of digital education. Embracing the power of technology has truly opened up a whole new world of experience for students and teachers alike, and it’s likely that the future will only hold more and more of these unique features and benefits. By keeping abreast of advances in the realm of video conferencing, you’re sure to see even more amazing new things on the horizon.