The provision of education is evolving, creating new opportunities for both teaching and learning, yet there may be some apprehension among those more comfortable with conventional methods. So, it’s important to understand the benefits of video conferencing for education because students, teachers and parents alike have much to gain. As well as this, the vast range of video conference solutions available means it doesn’t need to cost the earth.
So, late adopters of technology, or those anxious about the level of investment required, needn’t worry.
The classroom now features blended learning environments and e-learning methods to enhance the quality of study which are all enabled by video conferencing. Digital Vision AV are leading suppliers and installers of flexible, robust and cost effective video conferencing systems, so get in touch if you’d like to find out more about our solutions for the education sector.
What Is Video Conferencing?
Video conferencing in education allows teachers and students to communicate no matter where they are based. Engaging in this way means learning can take place at any time, anywhere. So rather than simply learning from an online document, video conferencing provides a live connection between teacher and student allowing for a more natural form of schooling.
This creates a new environment with boundless opportunities to make learning more engaging and effective. As well as real-time interaction between student and teacher, classmates can collaborate online, teachers can share information among each other, and parents can meet with tutors.
What Equipment Does Video Conferencing Require?
All you need to host or join a video conference is a laptop or a mobile device, such as a mobile phone or tablet, and internet connectivity. Depending on the situation, other equipment may be required, such as a large format display or projector, and multi-array camera and microphones. There are a number of outstanding video conferencing solutions on the market, such as Yealink and Barco Clickshare, which can be integrated with platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. If you’re unsure what is the best setup for you, just contact us, because we are more than happy to discuss the options with you.
So, now that we know what it is and what type of equipment it requires, here are our top 7 benefits of video conferencing for education.
1: Connecting Students
Video conferencing allows students to feel part of their educational setting even if they are geographically separated by bringing them into a live environment of interaction between classmates and teachers. This can help to reduce feelings of isolation which can exist with traditional distance learning courses.
Hybrid learning has also been enabled by video conferencing, where classes have a mix of live and online students, meaning there is no limit to the reach of your course. Those joining from distant locations are able to interact with the rest of the class, replicating a traditional learning space.
As well as this, students with disabilities who find it difficult to attend an educational institution can join and participate in lessons online, which increases accessibility.
2: Increased Engagement
Teaching is more effective when video conferencing is incorporated because learning becomes interactive which is far more engaging than the passive flow of information associated with conventional lectures.
This helps to encourage communication, especially as student groups take advantage of virtual breakout rooms and digital whiteboards, to further their knowledge of a subject.
3: Recording Content
Pre-recording a lesson can reduce costs for education providers by saving teachers broadcasting the same lesson to students based in multiple locations with varying time zones. Not only this, students can watch pre-recorded lessons to prepare them for a class which streamlines learning for teachers and students alike.
By recording a live lesson, students can access and refer to the information at a later date. It can also be used as a learning resource for future students or those who were unable to attend initially.
4: Sharing Content
Both students and teachers can take advantage of video conference tools by sharing supplementary learning materials within the platform itself. Attendees can view the documents while the video conference is in progress which speeds up learning and development.
As well as this, teachers are able to easily share information among themselves during a meeting – all of which contributes to a more spontaneous and natural form of interaction.
5: Parents Evenings
Hosting your parents evening via a video conference can save a huge amount of time for parents and teachers. Travel time is reduced for parents, plus teachers can work to a much stricter schedule by allowing timed slots which never overrun. This results in a very efficient system agreeable for everyone, especially if the school is located a long way from home.
6: Wider Talent Pool
Being able to teach online using video conferencing allows a university to choose from a global pool of talent, not just for teachers, but students as well. As well as having the potential to increase the take up of your distance learning courses, you can also assemble the best lecturers to ensure the highest quality of education.
7: Cost and Time Savings
Training sessions and conferences which need to be attended by staff can be achieved using video conferencing which reduces travel costs and results in a better work life balance. The ability for tutors to set up ‘office hours’ for online one-on-ones with students makes it easy for the day to be organised, allowing for a calmer schedule.
Getting The Most Out of Video Conferencing For Education
It’s important to remember that adapting to using video conferencing as a standard part of education will take some adjustment. To get the best out of it, the same methods which make traditional teaching effective in classrooms today should still be adopted. Learning student names, encouraging the asking of questions, and fostering communication are more important than ever.
Yet, it is a different medium where body language is less present, so spoken language may need to be adjusted in order for emotions to be conveyed correctly. It may help to also introduce a video conference ‘rulebook’ which replicates the etiquette of a classroom to reduce distractions and ensure a fair level of interaction. For example, ensuring mics are off unless talking and using the ‘raise hand’ gesture before speaking.
With a bit of time and practice from teachers, students and parents, video conferencing will change an educational setting into one which has a traditional feel but with enhanced capabilities. The outcome is a learning environment which is more reflective of modern society, more engaging, and which can drive better results.
So, if you’d like to modernise your learning environment and take advantage of what video conferencing has to offer in an educational setting, get in touch with us or simply call us on 01442 620078. We can install any software and hardware you need, or we can integrate video conferencing with your existing audio visual equipment. We’re always happy to help.