With the increasing abundance of technology available to schools, classrooms are beginning to implement video conferencing to improve student engagement and enhance curriculum. Schools take advantage of video conferencing to expose students to people and places they may never have been able to see otherwise. Graphics and videos can be easily integrated into lectures to allow for a more comprehensive lesson that helps kids absorb material better. Related technology, like desktop virtualization, allows guest lecturers to share information on students’ computers or tablets to enhance the lesson.
“Children need to have an emotional connection with what they’re learning in order to commit that to long term memory and when you’re learning out of a textbook, that emotional connection isn’t there,” explained teacher Michael Soskil in an interview with New York News 1. “Using technology in this transformative way allows kids to be inspired and it allows that deep learning to take place.”
Improving the classroom experience
A common use of educational video conferencing is to connect students with experts who can give better context to the material being covered in class. Allowing students to directly communicate with someone with special knowledge of a subject can help to create a connection between what’s being taught and how it’s relevant in the real world. This connection helps material to be better absorbed by students and increases the overall value of the lesson.
“Studies show that when students see the connection between what they are learning and its real-world use case, their motivation soars, and so does their learning,” explained a spokesperson for Blue Jean Networks, an educational video conferencing service. “One of the best, and most popular, ways to make that connection is by introducing subject matter experts into education.”
One of the most beneficial uses of video conferencing in classrooms is the ability to offer rural schools access to courses and teachers they may not have otherwise been able to have. Schools with limited resources or in rural locations may not be able to hire teachers knowledgeable in all of the subjects they want to teach, but by implementing video conferencing, students can have access to almost any course they are interested in.
Video conferencing also allows students in classrooms from around the world to connect with one another. This global connection offers students the chance to exchange educational and cultural views, which gives them the chance to see things from a different perspective and create new ideas. Virtual field trips are also made possible by utilizing video conferencing. Just as students can connect with other classrooms overseas, foreign locations can also be visited. Teachers can show their classes historic landmarks and important cultural locations, all by a video conference connection.
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