Technological development has inevitably changed the way we envision the world surrounding us. This reality has, therefore, expanded its realm of influence to the educational field. Traditional teaching, constrained to the physical boundaries of a classroom, has lost the ability to respond to the needs of a new generation of learners. Innovative teaching methods supported b
y technology have surged, in which time and place no longer confine learning from taking place.
Video Conferencing is one of the means used to provide both educational staff and learners with innovative, more exciting educational opportunities. In a simplistic perspective, it permits communication to take place with the aid of video cameras, microphones and video monitors. In a broader viewpoint however it puts people, independent of their geographical location, in contact. Videoconferencing allows, in real time, for a student in the United States, for instance, to communicate with other learners or tutor, for that matter, in any part of the world thus enlightening their educational experience. On the other hand, teachers and other educational staff are granted new resources which facilitate teaching and make it a more enjoyable process altogether.
Video Conferencing has responded to the needs of a non traditional student population as well. Currently, students with geographical, financial, time constraints are granted educational possibilities anyhow, a reality somewhat impossible a few years back. Students with physical disabilities, who cannot commute to a school, for example, are granted the same educational possibilities through videoconferencing. What’s more, it puts both institutions, in general and teachers in particular, in contact thus creating opportunities for them to share professional and personal experiences. What’s more, videoconferencing has allowed institutions stricken by financial difficulties to grant their students with quality education in any case, as they can visit a museum or zoo without leaving the comfort of their classroom.
Video Conferencing and all its potential has only given its first steps and its full potential yet to be explored.