How to use web conferencing in classrooms

Friday, October 12 2012

The best schools are the ones that use every available resource to help students learn and grow. Incorporating technology into daily classroom activities can engage young minds while teaching the curriculum through modern devices.

Web conferencing software gives teachers greater access to materials that would otherwise be unavailable. Including these programs in schools means students will have opportunities to use learning aids besides traditional textbooks and lectures.

Online video software has many applications in the classroom. Teachers can use the technology throughout to their educational routines give their pupils a modern learning environment.

Guest lecturers
Even the best teachers may lack expert knowledge. Bringing speakers to a school requires a great deal of planning and can ultimately be more frustrating than it is helpful. Video conferencing, however, simplifies the process of connecting students with leading minds.

Teachers can set appointments with lecturers and then broadcast the discussion in their classrooms. This eliminates the extensive preparations involved with bringing special guests from their places of businesses to schools.

In addition, it gives educators greater flexibility in whom they can have speak to their pupils. Instead of being limited to local experts, teachers can hold remote meetings with anyone from around the globe.

No missed days
Students with poor attendance records likely aren't learning as much as their peers. Some of these children face special circumstances that prevent them from getting to school every day. Snow days and other emergencies can interrupt lesson plans and prevent pupils from receiving the best education possible.

Some schools are using collaboration software to connect remote students with their classrooms. When unable to physically go to class, pupils can watch their lectures online and talk with their teachers. This prevents any lessons from being forgotten due to extended absences.

Field trips
Sometimes, seeing live demonstrations is better for students than lectures. Unfortunately, field trips are costly and with many districts operating with shrinking budgets, school outings are often one of the first things to be cut. While these decisions are fiscally sound, they ultimately prevent young minds from reaching their potential.

Mashable writes that a growing number of institutions use web conferencing so students can go on virtual field trips. Many businesses, including zoos and museums, have added the digital meeting technology to their facilities, which means schools can visit those exhibits for fractions of their original prices.