Video conferencing in the classroom brings students and teachers closer together. As technology-based communication and collaboration tools improve, they increasingly become integrated into classrooms and around campus. But how do these tools actually improve the educational experience?
From the perspective of a college student, I argue that schools, colleges and universities benefit from using video conferencing for education by taking lessons far beyond the classroom walls.
Just how can video conferences be employed on a campus? Here are five ways interactive video conferencing in higher education can enhance learning and improve both the students and faculty experience.
1. Video Conferences Make Courses More Accessible
Let’s say you’re a college student or professor and you can’t attend a lecture due to illness or some other complication.
By simply hosting a video conference, professors 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 reading a book written by a doctor about how the brain process emotions.
Professors can set up video conferencing sessions with that doctor and allow the class to engage directly with him or her. Even if your guest is all the way across the world, video conferencing for education supports getting in touch without cost or the hassle of travel.
What’s even better, FreeConferenceCall.com allows recording conferences, so you can save that online meeting for a later date or to present during a different semester.
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.
Increasing the time students have to meet with teachers to discuss classroom subjects and assignments can greatly improve semester efficiency as well as enhance student participation.
4. Collaborate on Student Projects
Group projects are common 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 while others live on-campus. Not only that, students have to consider time availability between other team members. It can be challenging to get a group in the same physical location at the same time to work on a project.
Video conferencing for education can solve all these issues. Groups can hop on a video conference at a time that works best for everyone and share ideas with others through screen sharing. It’s a great tool to help teams get the “A” they’re strive for regardless of the challenges faced.
5. Save Money as a Broke College Student
As a college student, any way to lower costs and save money when you’re broke and living on student loans is going to enhance your educational experience. Video conferencing can reduce the cost of travel by allowing students to attend classes, group meetings and on-campus events from anywhere with a secure internet connection. This converts any coffee shop or library into an extension of your campus, helping you save money on gas and, if you decided to stay home and commute, cost of lodging.
Save the money you would spend on travel and use that extra capital to launch your business or pay down your student loans.
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 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.
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 entering her sophomore year at University of San Francisco with a major in Marketing. She is passionate about the relationship between technology and higher education.