By Caroline Leff
More than ever before, education is evolving and rapidly expanding. As technology-based communication and collaboration tools have improved, they have increasingly become integrated into classrooms and around campus. But there are still opportunities for growth. From the perspective of a college student, I would argue that colleges and universities would benefit from using video conferencing for education in more innovative ways — to take education far beyond the classroom walls.
Just how can video conferences be employed on a college campus? I have compiled four ways in which interactive video conferencing in higher education can enhance learning and be utilized by both students and faculty.
1. Make Courses Accessible
Let’s say you’re a college student or professor and you aren’t able to attend a lecture due to illness or some other complication. By simply hosting a video conference, the professor can allow students to tune into the lecture. Professors could either host a video conference live or make an audiovisual recording of the lecture to release at a later time. Using a free, easy-to-use and reliable platform like FreeConferenceCall.com allows faculty and students to come together using video conferencing with screen sharing.
2. Connect with Subject-Matter Experts
Maybe you’re taking a psychology course and currently reading a book written by a doctor about how the brain process emotions. Your professor can set up a video conferencing session with that doctor and allow the class to engage directly with him or her. Even if that doctor is all the way across the world, video conferencing for education supports getting in touch without cost or the hassle of travel.
3. Hold Online Office Hours
Office hours are a set period of time during the week where professors let students come in for questions, advice, or guidance on how to succeed in the class. Office hours are indispensable in improving the confidence and knowledge of the pupil. Typically, professors devote only a narrow, inflexible block of time for office hours — and this is where many students run into complications. Students — just like professors — are very busy people, involved in multiple activities. Professors could easily shift office hours online with video conferencing. That way, if a student can’t physically make it to office hours, they can at least request a conference call.
4. Collaborate on Student Projects
Group projects are a common occurrence in college, requiring students to communicate and work together as a team. But attending the same college doesn’t mean students are all living in close proximity. Some students commute from significant distances while others live on-campus. There are also time considerations. It might be challenging to get a group in the same physical location at the same time to work on a project.
Well, this is where video conferencing for education comes into play. Have the group hop on a video conference at a time that works best, and share your ideas with others through screen sharing. It’s a great tool to help you get the “A” you strive for regardless of the challenges faced.
Support Open Communication
Video conferencing is an advanced tool that should be taken advantage of on college campuses. It promotes flexibility and — most important to students — it’s also affordable. FreeConferenceCall.com is an easy-to-use platform for having video conference and screen sharing sessions, allowing students and educators to keep the communication lines open.
So try hosting a video conference yourself and imagine the possibilities. Anywhere, anytime, and always for free. Let’s all start adapting to the future of education and embracing alternatives to the traditional classroom-style of teaching.
FreeConferenceCall.com’s guest blogger, Caroline Leff, is about to enter her sophomore year at University of San Francisco with a major in Marketing. She is passionate about the relationship between technology and higher education.