The advantages and disadvantages of video conferencing in education are important to understand as you determine how to best enhance the classroom experience. More than ever, administrators are being asked to strategize and manage new ways to connect students and instructors in cost-effective and efficient ways — without sacrificing the education each student receives.
The good news is that you don't need to be an expert in telecommunications — you just need to know who to ask for help. This is where 8x8 can help. But first, you need to understand the opportunities and challenges that come with video conferencing.
Traveling opportunities: Thanks to video conferencing capabilities, instructors are able to "take" their classes on field trips in more cost-effective ways. Taking a class of students to a museum, place of employment or another facility that's important to their learning can be cost-prohibitive due to any number of logistical concerns. But, through the power of video conferencing, overhead costs disappear and students have more opportunities to "visit" other locations.
Increased enrollment: Your school or institute might be attended by more students if they lived closer. Since moving is not a possibility for many, video conferencing can close that gap and allow those who are far away from campus to still have an opportunity to enroll and participate.
On-demand schooling: Young people have grown up being able to watch any show they want when they want. Likewise, they are able to look up any topic online at a moment's notice. So, requiring students to arrange their schedule around being at a certain location at the same time every day is not ordinary for many students. One of the greatest advantages of video conferencing in education is the fact that lectures and lessons can be recorded and viewed at a convenient for the student. Ultimately, this gives more students the ability to take advantage of learning opportunities.
Lack of personal engagement: Though students and instructors who use video conferencing tools in education still have the opportunity to interact, some find this level of personal engagement lacking when video conferencing is solely used. You could compare it to watching a sporting event on TV vs. watching it live in a stadium. Likewise, being in a classroom setting with other students who are working with you to understand concepts and ask intelligent questions can be helpful.
Opportunities for technical difficulties: The truth is that any time technology is used, there are opportunities for technical difficulties. By not using video conferencing in your institute of learning, you can certainly ensure you won't have any risk of technical difficulties. However, if your obligation is to help students know how to navigate the world upon leaving school, neglecting to use technology would not serve your students well.
Security issues: Utilizing video conferencing in education could potentially open up a classroom to security issues if someone were to gain access to the technology. Though confidential information is not often shared in a classroom setting, if your school uses video conferencing to connect administrators to parents, there are definitely some inherent risks.
Making Up Your Mind
Considering all the advantages and disadvantages of video conferencing in education, you now need to decide if you should promote it in your school. If you're leaning toward "yes," know you don't need to be an expert — that's our job at 8x8. The most important thing for you to know is the solutions provided by 8x8 can help you avoid paying large upfront costs that you might incur from a traditional provider. Likewise, the VoIP service provides extra features you wouldn't receive from traditional phone carriers, including voicemail to email service and web conferencing capabilities.
Perhaps the most important thing to realize is that 8x8 fully realizes the advantages and disadvantages of video conferencing in education. Thanks to this understanding, 8x8 knows how to maximize the advantages and how to put safeguards in place to minimize any potential disadvantages.
By replacing aging systems with cloud-based digital communications, your institution can save money on both capital and operating expenses and still offer increased functionality and features to students and instructors. This helps them achieve their ultimate goal: making learning more effective. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out our online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 Product Specialist.