Written by on July 31, 2013
Categories: Blog Posts

Video ConferencingA recent Washington Post article noted that teens spend more than 7.5 hours each day consuming media, whether it be watching television, surfing the web, social networking or playing video games. That study also concludes time spent on mobile devices by teens is on the rise.

With these figures in mind, it should come as no surprise that research conducted by the Center for Digital Education shows that video-based learning can improve the educational process, as students feel more connected to the technology that they are familiar with both inside and outside of school.

According to that research,89 percent of respondents suggest students are simply more engaged with technology, and they enjoy utilizing video conferencing solutions to learn from faculty and collaborate with their peers. Other findings from the survey include:

· 85 percent of respondents believe that video conferencing learning solutions will play a significant role in the future of curriculum delivery

· 86 percent of respondents provide or are planning to provide video-based learning solutions

· 76 percent of respondents said that video technology will be used for virtual learning at some point

· 54 percent of respondents agreed that the bring your own device (BYOD) trend assists video-based learning

· 61 percent said that video technology allowed them to accommodate more students at less cost

“These results demonstrate the power of video-based learning, a system that delivers simultaneously on several core needs for schools—for example, one that reaches a wider audience, improves engagement and lowers costs for educational institutions.” explains Justin Greeves, the Center for Digital Education’s vice president of research. “It can also do this at the right time, in the right place and on the right device for students. This rare opportunity to do more with less plays right into the needs of today’s educators as well as learners across the spectrum.”

Survey respondents did note some difficulties in acquiring the technology: 61 percent said funding was an issue, while 67 percent responded that funding for video technology programs would come through the school’s general fund or through grants.

Luckily for districts in need, a government program subsidizes eligible school districts to the tune of $2.25 billion annually in order to help ensure their communications infrastructure is modernized.Through the E-rate program, eligible schools receive between 20 and 90 percent reimbursement should they qualify.

Other hurdles schools face when deciding whether to implement video technology include training faculty to use the technology (54 percent) and acquiring the IT support necessary to maintain the equipment (47 percent). Survey respondents also noted that they needed to expand bandwidth and upgrade WLAN services to make video-based learning a reality at their institutions, something they could potentially apply to the E-rate program to receive help funding.

As students become increasingly familiar with technology, educational pedagogies will be forced to adapt in order to keep kids engaged in our fast-paced world. Because kids spend so much of their days enraptured by screens, it makes sense to translate that to the educational world and harness the power of video conferencing so they’ll be more invested in learning. 

By: Dana Jaffe