We often extoll the benefits of video collaboration in business. Thanks to a globalized workforce, video has made its way into the workplace mainstream, but video collaboration is also gaining traction in education. Technology can play a vital role in enriching the education of children of all ages, both culturally and academically. Schools all over the world are using video collaboration to better engage students and realize the following benefits.
Creating a Well-Rounded Educational Experience
Classroom teachers at the primary and secondary levels can do their best to bring the course materials to life, but often, an expert point of view can help students grasp the information even better. But busy schedules, work requirements, and geographical distance can make expert lessons cost- and time-prohibitive.
Now imagine the reality—we can bring in experts from all over the globe to engage with students via telepresence and video collaboration. Industry leaders may not have the time to travel to a school to talk about their projects—and the school may not have the budget to pay for it—but they may be more willing to join the discussion virtually.
Giving Access to Under-Funded School Districts
School districts often struggle to provide their students with the best experience possible given funding availability. Budget constraints can leave teachers at a loss for ways to engage their students without appropriate resources. Video collaboration gives less wealthy districts an opportunity to attend lessons from other districts when it wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
The universal right to a top-quality education can become reality, not just a theory, thanks to video collaboration.
Diversifying a Student’s Worldview
We know that the way we conduct business is globalized. Thanks to virtual technology, we complete tasks and communicate with workers from different ethnic backgrounds daily. In preparation for the real world, children should have this same opportunity. Video collaboration makes it possible for students to communicate with other children from around the world. Students can interview and present virtual pen pals from other countries, fostering a more diverse worldview.
Getting Creative with the Curriculum
Video collaboration allows teachers an unprecedented opportunity to teach subjects that would otherwise be impossible. Homeschoolers traditionally lacked the option of at-home labs and demos, but now teachers can walk students through science experiments or cooking classes in real time, provided the students have their own equipment at home. Meaningful virtual learning experiences are possible for those students who have to pursue their education from home, whether it’s for medical, social, or geographical reasons.
Making Administrative Tasks Easier
Leveraging video technology can ensure that a student never is left behind. Teachers can record sessions for students who miss school, allowing them the opportunity to catch up on school assignments from home. And for parents who miss parent/teacher conferences due to conflicting work schedules, video technology makes it possible to conduct meetings remotely, at a time that works for both the teacher and parent. Video collaboration provides the student, parents, and teachers the tools they need to give their children a chance to flourish.
As more school districts adopt video collaboration technology, the US can bridge the gap between under-funded schools and wealthier districts, providing every child the same quality of education regardless of where they live.
From virtual field trips to expert lessons, homeschooling applications and parental engagement, virtual collaborations have the potential to improve student outcomes. Educators should consider leveraging this technology to engage students and their parents in ways that were not possible before video collaboration became affordable and accessible to most districts.