Education is a big sector with huge scope of improvisation in terms of technology apart from techniques of teaching and learning. Many professional and non-professional courses have started using video conferencing as a way of imparting education.The timing of the classes can be flexible and students or executives can choose the timing accordingly. This method has helped those who face challenges to travel a distance and get the valuable knowledge they striveto achieve.Video conferencing has appeared as a boon to students in remote areas with almost no infrastructure for education. This technology saves the pain of travelling for field trips and is also a cost effective substitute for the field trips. Many universities conduct video conferencing and connect students with the experts to impart knowledge which otherwise was provided by organizing field trips in yesteryears.
The best part of the video conferencing in education sector is that there are no limits in the number of students. A teacher can simultaneously provide the same teaching to the classroom students as well as to the students attending the class using video conferencing tools in far off locations. Due to lack of proper infrastructure, teachers are at times not willing to go in such areas and hence use of video conferencing can improve the literacy rate in those areas.
Serious and uninteresting subjects like history, civics or maths could be taught in a very interesting way by connecting to the subject experts from across the world using video conferencing. When the experts show models and examples of such uninteresting subjects and explain the processes, like, the life cycle of a frog, the model of Harappa-Mohenjodaro civilization, mathematical puzzles, etc., subjects can be explained in a much better way. Subjects learned this way leave great impression on students’ minds. This saves the schools or universities from the trouble of arranging trips. Using video conferencing not only saves cost of the trips, but also reduces the responsibility to take care of all the students. It is as interactive as it is in the classrooms. The same kind of question-answer sessions are also possible.
Virtual tour to historical museums or science museums using video conferencing can also help students. The teacher here becomes facilitator and the experts there in the museum become teacher and make those uninteresting learning of old and new civilizations, more interesting.
The materials could be saved by recording the lectures and could be reviewed and revisited and those students who missed the class can benefit from this. Problem solving, taking advice and guidance from the experts of the relevant fields have become easy and affordable. Seminars and workshops using video conferencing again are very easy and affordable. When teachers and mentors guide from the comfort of their own houses, the energy and time saved from travelling is channelized in creatively imparting training and knowledge to the students.
Teachers have also benefited from video conferencing as they get to learn newer teaching ideas. This has reduced their burden of writing notes and saving the copy.
The students from across the world can build network with other students from any part of the world or university. They don’t have to be dependent on student exchange programs to know the other part of world’s way of education and culture.
Preparing for projects in a group has coordination problems, in meeting at a particular time and place, due to weather, distance or may be health issues. Using video conferencing such groups can meet in a virtual place and discuss their projects and divide their work easily.
The quality of education is improving with the ease of access to the study materials, notes and lectures from across the world. This also keeps the learning spirit high and charged, and more interesting.Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bangalore is using video conferencing since years as a tool to monitor and control the observatory in Leh and, at times, in guiding the scientists in any kind of repair or maintenance work in the observatory from Bangalore observatory. This saves their cost, time and energy of sending scientists and engineers all the way to Leh from Bangalore. From Bangalore observatory, using remote control, the scientists can move telescope in their desired direction and capture the data required. All this is done using video conferencing.
Teachers and professors also can get benefit of video conferencing by connecting to the experts. They can have discussions with their peer groups, exchange knowledge and ideas to teach in a better and more interesting way. They can attend refresher courses available for teachers using video conferencing tools.
Teachers can have parent-teacher meetings using video conferencing tools. Although this system has not yet started but if this happens, it can help parents avoid traffic and managing with their jobs on the day of meeting. Parents also can benefit by saving time and hence this meeting can be more fruitful than it being a mundane job.
Video conferencing has made learning very easy, interesting and unlimited. It has provided a window into the classrooms to the other world and hence made classrooms seamless. It’s no more confined to traditional one classroom only with a blackboard and a chalk. The classrooms have expanded virtually with real knowledge and real people in a virtual place.