Videoconferencing: the new frontier of education

Videoconferencing: the new frontier of education

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At school and at university. The applications and benefits of video conferencing for teachers and students.

Not just online lesson

The video conference applications are theoretically unlimited. In the world there are even universities that organize online theater auditions. It happened at Birmingham Southern College, Alabama, where theater students performed while a director – who could not be present at the campus – witnessed New York on trial with a remote video link. Today many universities offer dozens of online degree programs reaching thousands of students. With distance education and e-learning, the use of video conferencing and web conference has extended over the years. Students use it to collaborate with each other and for virtual meetings with teachers or distance education programs. Marketing offices use videoconferencing to recruit new students and administration to prepare future students for life on campus.

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Word order: simplicity

Simplicity is the key: to participate in a web conference session is enough for a PC with webcam or a tablet or just a smartphone. These devices integrate perfectly with group videoconferencing, that is, the use of H.323 / SIP (endpoints) systems installed in classrooms or meeting rooms. The flexibility of these tools allows schools and universities to accommodate much more easily speakers from all over the world, without having to bear travel expenses and limit their commitment to the actual hours of their intervention.

Cloud: the best value for money

While business video conferencing is increasingly widespread, it is also true that limited budget institutions can not afford to purchase hardware systems such as MCUs to implement multi-videoconferencing, ie the ability to connect multiple workstations simultaneously instead of single Video call. In these cases, a cloud-based videoconferencing service is of great help, which has very low costs, can be modulated and is very reliable. Not surprisingly, experts predict that cloud systems will be the most popular in the next three years.

Considerations to be made before purchasing

According to Andrew W. Davis, analyst at Wainhouse Research Center, there are three main points that IT managers need to consider when choosing a cloud videoconferencing service.

Supported operating systems

First, it’s important to know which operating systems are supported by the service. Obviously, it is essential that it is compatible with Mac and Windows, Ios and Android systems. It is also important to understand if you can access the virtual room through a simple link. For organizations that already have a video conference room, it is also essential to know whether the service is compatible with existing systems, in particular standard H.323 or SIP videoconferencing endpoints.

Video call

Most video conferencing services work through a “meet me” connection: a person is invited to join an already active videoconference. Some of the new cloud services also feature video point-to-point calls. This way you can also make a video call between two people instantly as in normal phone calls.

Try the service before purchasing

New services are being launched continuously in the conference market and prices vary a lot. Whatever your choice is, it is always advisable to test a few days to verify that the service responds to your needs before subscribing for a longer period of time.

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