Thanks to video conferencing technology, today’s classrooms can extend far beyond their physical walls to include classrooms in other countries, remote field trip locations and the offices or homes of authors and other experts.
In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the ways video conferencing can enrich student learning. More and more educational organisations are using this technology to provide students with experiences that have traditionally been impossible or prohibitively expensive until now.
Practising Language Skills
Director of White Rose Language School Ruby Vurdien has been teaching English language learners for 30 years, and she recently started using video conferencing to enrich her students’ experiences. She wanted to find a solution to the problem of students being hesitant to speak a foreign language in class.
Vurdien assigned her students to speak with other students in short debates conducted on video conferencing. This technology made it possible for students to speak without the fear of being criticised by other members of the class, and they could still see the facial cues and body language of the people they practised with. Vurdien determined that video helped her students to gain both confidence and improved language skills.
Virtual Field Trips
Unfortunately for many students, field trips are not as accessible as they used to be, but that doesn’t mean they can’t explore interesting places. In fact, with video conferencing, your students can gain entrance to places as far away as other continents.
For instance, Discovery Education has put together a collection of incredible virtual field trips that are accessible to students around the world. From their classrooms in Australia, students could visit the Arctic and Antarctic poles, Shakespeare’s home at Stratford-upon-Avon, or a Toyota manufacturing plant. These experiences are made possible by video conferencing technology.
Video conferencing can also meet student needs by giving them an opportunity to work remotely when necessary. For example, students sometimes fall behind when they have to be away from school due to illness. With video conferencing, they can stay connected with their teachers and fellow students and feel that they’re participating in meaningful ways.
Additionally, students can use video conferencing when they work on group projects from home. This is great preparation for the future; since video conferencing is being used more and more in professional settings, students will learn to be productive with this technology while they’re still in school.
Author visits can have a big impact on students and encourage them to read and write more, but it can be quite expensive to bring these professionals to your school. With traditional author visits, you’re often limited to authors who live relatively close, and students may have already heard from them.
With video conferencing, however, it’s possible to schedule author and expert visits from people living anywhere in the world. These visits are much less expensive (or even free!), and you have so many more options.
Collaborating with Other Classrooms
Exchange programs open students’ eyes to languages, cultures and friendships, but these programs are costly and generally available only to a limited number of students.
With video conferencing, however, your students can collaborate with students from other classrooms as they work on projects and even extracurricular activities. For example, students in Alaska used video conferencing to work on projects with students in Ghana and Palestine. Also, children from Norfolk Island have been competing in debates against students from other areas of Australia.
To learn more about how we at CommuniCloud can help you to implement these and other enriching experiences in your classroom, get in touch with us today.