Posts Tagged ‘web conferencing in higher education’

Will Web Conferencing be the New Trend in Higher Education?

September 27th, 2016

The increased wireless bandwidth makes it possible to develop new collaborative technologies that will change the learning spaces of universities and the ways of teaching. Web conferencing is going to play a great role in this revolution. Let’s see why.

Today’s classrooms are filled with any kind of personal internet-capable devices, like laptops, tablets, smartphones. Though, according to NMC Horizon Report of 2016 (http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2016-higher-education-edition/), the future could be radically different. Personal devices could be quickly replaced by web conferencing large screens and equipment like 3D printers that allow students to work together in real time in order to create and model objects.

The matter is that the technology development is going to toll the bell for bring- your-own-device culture in universities. Increased wireless bandwidth will make possible more connected spaces that will be equipped with new types of devices that enhance student collaboration. The point to understand is that all education is more and more about sharing knowledge and ideas. Thus, the shifting to a collaboration-focused approach is inevitable, with the consequent birth of new collaborative technologies and the subsequent need to set up educational spaces in a new way, in order to catch all the opportunities that these new technologies offer.

Web conferencing is going to play an important role in this scenario, as it offers more flexibility for all students and enable distance learning. Another important point is that web conferencing has become a mainstream technology in many workplaces. So, students should be trained to utilize it even since the years of university.

The impact on learning space design will be heavy. For a video or audio conference to be as effective as possible, the quality of the visuals and the sounds must be excellent. This will lead to a massive utilization of large digital screens, acoustic panels and ceiling microphone; in one word, to the creation of a new educational environment.

The new trend could affect back the world of web conferencing itself. On-premise web conferencing servers (like the ones of the company R-HUB) could be preferred to web conferencing hosted solutions, as they assure users a better quality at lower costs.

This last point is important. Considering that in the future education will demand a high level of virtual interactions among students and teachers, the problem of costs of web conferencing cannot be undervalued. The preferences of educational institutions should thus go to flat fee systems, as they allow an unlimited number of participant’s to a web conference without any additional cost per participant. And the flat fee system is the one adopted by R-HUB for their on-premise web conferencing servers.

In conclusion, technology will certainly give new opportunities to every actor involved in education, from students to professors. The increasing knowledge sharing will boost any kinds of social interactions, including the virtual ones, with the consequence that web conferencing will be boosted as well.

If you are interested in the new challenges and opportunities that web conferencing offers, you are going to find further resources and materials on R-HUB web site http://www.rhubcom.com/v5/index.html

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