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video conferencing in the classroom

The goal of education is to create the best learning opportunities for as many students as possible. Unfortunately, not all educational institutions have the ability or resources to offer the enriched programs that they wish they could offer, and students may be left hungry to learn. With video conferencing, you can bring the world into the classroom. Lifesize is leading the way to a more interconnected, inspiring learning experience, and our background working with school districts and universities all over the world has helped us tailor our technology to meet the particular needs of educators. In this guide, we will look at some of the best uses of video conferencing technology in education.

“As an educator, I find that the most successful technology solutions we have are those that are simple to use, manage and deploy. At Educational Service Unit (ESU) 10, we’ve deeply integrated video in our curriculum through programs such as virtual field trips, guest lecturers, and cross-campus collaboration. This is a critical tool as we continue to offer enriching, video-enabled programs to our students across the district.”

??— John Stritt, Distance Learning Coordinator, ESU 10

Enhance Curriculum

Imagine a class enriched through the addition of virtual field trips, collaboration exercises with remote classrooms and accessibility to subject-matter experts all around the globe. From visiting world-renowned museums to learning about the stars from astronauts who have seen them from space, the power of HD video in the classroom can facilitate incredible, interactive learning experiences. All educators want to make coursework more engaging, and video conferencing enhances curricula without straining resources.

At Barrow County Schools, a high school science class collaborated with a Georgia Tech University professor for a nanotechnology project. They viewed examples of carbon nanotubes in such crystal-clear quality that the students felt as if they were in the professor’s lab with him.

“Video conferencing allows our students to see things that they would have never experienced any other way. For this county in particular, it is critical to show these students the options, opportunities and potential they all have.”

— Wanda Creel, Superintendent, Barrow County Schools

Enable Distance Learning

In the past, students in sparsely populated rural areas have missed out on many of the opportunities that their urban and suburban peers have taken for granted. Connecting these rural students via video conferencing can dramatically improve the quality of their learning experience. This enables them to attend school from home and gives them access to field trips and experts they would otherwise never have the opportunity to experience.

“Suddenly we can offer our students a much wider variety of subjects, which will give them a vital advantage before heading off to university. It is a major boost to rural schools who previously could only offer a limited choice of course options.”

— Edward McEvoy, CEO, Co Offaly VEC (Vocational Education Committee)

Collaborate Globally

In our increasingly global society, it’s more important than ever for students to have an appreciation for and understanding of the world around them. Instantly connecting to other classrooms in countries all over the globe puts a face on geographically distant communities and cultures, preparing students to be citizens and stewards of the more open, more tolerant and more interconnected world of tomorrow.

With video conferencing, Alief Independent School District (ISD) connects its schools with other schools around the globe — from Houston to South Carolina and even all the way to Germany. One school, Chancellor Elementary, uses this technology to cross traditional classroom boundaries and celebrate literacy and reading around the world. Students present book reports over video and share a brief overview of their location, the time of day it is and current weather conditions. Because of the program, the children are able to meet new students and even be introduced to new cultures, all while sharing their experiences with various books to a broader audience.

“Students don’t want to watch movies anymore — they want to be able to see other people and what they’re doing and talk and have actual conversations. If you’re not using video conferencing in your library, you’re not reaching your potential or your kids’ potential.”

— Stephanie Bennett, Library Information Specialist, Chancellor Elementary

Record and Share in the Classroom

Video sessions can be recorded for students to watch later, whether they were absent or just wanted to go over the content during study time. Video recording and sharing enables the delivery of recorded course material to be displayed in the classroom, at home on a laptop or via mobile device while on the go.

School counseling and art therapy students at George Washington University conduct mock therapy and counseling sessions with patients and have them recorded for professors to review later. Video conferencing technology in education enables students and educators alike to learn on a schedule that suits them best.

“We don’t want our students to have to worry about the technology; it should be an enabler, not a hindrance. The students are excited to use it, and, most importantly, they can focus their attention on what matters most — learning how to become the best counselors and therapists they can be.”

— Sean Connolly, Director of Information Technology for Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, George Washington University

Use Video Beyond the Classroom

The in-classroom video benefits may be the leading reasons for investment, but there are enormous benefits of using video conferencing as a tool for internal and administrative practices too.

  • Broadcast administrative updates and school news straight to the classroom over video rather than holding assemblies.
  • Conduct remote parent-teacher conferences to help minimize scheduling conflicts using just an Internet connection and a webcam.
  • Host video staff meetings and provide a recorded session for those who are unable to attend the live meeting.
  • Use video to train teachers and teaching assistants wherever they are, on any device.
  • Record onboarding sessions and stream HR updates for personnel throughout the district.

“Technology is not an issue with Lifesize. The quality is superb. A student assistant can easily set up a video meeting and manage the conference. The only thing to worry about is agreeing on the right schedule, the right time zone, the number of participants and the booking of the room.”

— Arjan Sas, ICT Coordinator at the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Amsterdam

Lifesize in the Classroom

Video conferencing solutions for education can bring the world to your classroom more simply and cost-effectively than you’d imagine. We invite you to explore how video conferencing from Lifesize will help you optimize learning opportunities and extend the reach of your classroom. Contact us to learn about special discounts for K–12 and higher education solutions.

Built for Classrooms and Auditoriums

The Lifesize® Icon 800™ delivers the ultimate communication experience to auditoriums and other large meeting spaces. Additional audio and video inputs let you connect multiple devices — from cameras and laptops to DVRs and microphones — to drive an immersive large-room meeting experience. The rack-mountable design enables system integrators to install the Lifesize Icon 800 into any industry-standard server, podium or other rack-mount space.

Unlimited Guest Invites

Send a meeting or calendar invite to anyone inside or outside of the classroom and connect over video right from your browser with the Lifesize Web App. Connect with students, teachers and professionals all over the world without long dial strings or hold music. All both parties need are a camera internet access and the link to the meeting, and you’re ready to connect.

Share Your Screen with the Classroom

We make it easy to share your screen with others during class. You don’t have to sacrifice your video feed for your PowerPoint® or graph — with Lifesize, you can narrow in on a single app or share your whole desktop with your audience with a single click.

Supports BYOD and Browser-based Calling

Whether you log in from a Lifesize® Icon™ video conferencing system in the classroom or a laptop or mobile phone from your couch, it’s easy to connect face to face with Lifesize. We support a wide range of devices to support BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies and user preferences with apps for PC and Mac® computers, Android™ and iOS phones and tablets and even a browser-based web app for Chromebooks™ and anything else that can’t download applications. The experience is the same — it’s just the size of the screen that changes.