Video Conferencing Transforms Traditional Study Abroad Programs

Video takes the student “study abroad” program to a new level. With unified communications technologies, universities give students who can’t otherwise afford study abroad programs the opportunity to connect with other classmates and instructors overseas. How does it work? Today we’re sharing some valuable insight with you on the impact of international distance learning programs.

Planning On Going Global?

Who isn’t “going global” these days? Universities and businesses are inevitably becoming more interconnected with people through technological advancement, and there is a greater need for UC as a result. Many large enterprises, as you know, are taking advantage of video collaboration as a tool to enhance teamwork, engagement and productivity inside and outside of the company. Why the shift? Global organizations with video infrastructure are saving big bucks on travel expenses, while allowing for a more efficient means to engage with customers.

What Makes It Possible?

There are multiple options for connecting with video today and multiple devices to connect with, which calls for video conferencing interoperability. Cameras are on every device now and video communication is becoming more ubiquitous with phones, tablets and laptops. Businesses are beginning to utilize each platform as an opportunity to connect with people inside and outside of the company.

What Does International Distance Learning Mean For Higher Education?

The same virtual meeting rooms used by thousands of enterprise companies are now available in colleges and universities across the U.S. Take St. Edwards University for example, located right here in the heart of Austin Texas. St. Edwards, with over 5530 students, has partnered with over a dozen universities around the world in order to provide students and faculty with a variety of opportunities for global learning.

The experience at St. Edwards is unlike any other in that students can get a cross-cultural understanding of insights, ideas and approaches to challenges through the use of virtual meeting rooms, without ever leaving the campus. Students and faculty can use the global digital classrooms with Cisco Telepresence conveniently located on premise at St. Edwards.

The rooms include five large TV screens, a large whiteboard, two video cameras (for a complete view of the room), four ceiling-mounted microphones (to record audio anywhere in the room), one lapel microphone, and one microphone at the instructor’s station.

5 Ways Telepresence Works For Higher Education

Here are 5 the ways in which telepresence has helped students and faculty in higher education gain an understanding of course material from a global perspective. You should consider all of the following if you’re planning on joining the movement of interconnectivity and digital collaboration:

1.) Expand the study abroad program.

With video collaboration, schools can cost-effectively expand their study abroad programs with virtual rooms. This creates an opportunity for students to learn new perspectives from experts miles away in real time. Expanding the program with global digital classrooms also creates a low-cost method of getting high-quality interaction with instructors overseas.

2.) Connect students with peers.

Virtual meeting rooms allow for multiple participants from multiple devices anywhere. Students can enter the virtual classroom and interact with peers from endpoints anywhere to collaborate and work together on group presentations.

3.) Share content with partner universities.

With user-friendly touch-screen controllers, instructors can easily share content with students and faculty can share content with partner universities.

4.) Bring together students and experts from around the world.

Instructors who want to bring in an expert for a guest lecture can do so by inviting them to join the virtual classroom. This helps eliminate logistical barriers and delays during the semester.

5.) Record and store lectures for review and share in a secure network.

One of the best features for high volume video lectures is having the ability to record and store lectures for review. Students who can’t make it to the lecture or want to review the lecture before the test can find the video easily with a simple search. This also helps participants overcome problems associated with time zone differences such as those connecting from China or Australia.