At the Rochester Institute of Technology (N.Y.), biomedical photography students are using videoconferencing technology to show their work to audiences in Wales. A librarian is providing tutorials to students at satellite campuses in Eastern Europe. And researchers are holding meetings with project sponsors hundreds of miles away.
Athens State University—like many institutions of higher education today—is grappling with the challenges of a growing segment of students who take classes online. In fact, 51 percent of the two-year school’s student body takes classes exclusively online. To best serve those students by providing them with the flexibility to view course content anytime, anywhere, Athens State uses Tegrity lecture capture. However, that’s not where Tegrity’s benefits end.
What technologies and features do higher education favor for digital signage and video and web conferencing deployments? And what can be done to ensure that these technology purchases are used wisely? Here’s what is happening on the AV technology scene.
Alternative revenue streams are increasingly attractive to higher education leaders struggling to live in the new budgetary normal triggered by the recession. Monetizing assets such as audio, video, and images an institution already has or is continually generating through digital asset management (DAM) can be tantalizing to those managing a school’s coffers. But in the academic environment, can officials look beyond the perception that for-profit endeavors cheapen a school’s reputation?
Telepresence isn’t for every institution. Have your campus leaders considered other related technologies?
“Think of video conferencing on a spectrum from low cost on a student’s own device up to sophisticated telepresence systems,” says Lew Epstein of Steelcase. He explains that sharing projects outside the classroom or across the world can be done on almost any screen.” All of that can happen with the device in your pocket or on large screens in the classroom; the point is that within that spectrum, it’s all executable now and it’s all happening.”
Imagine being a student in a class listening to your professor as she writes on a whiteboard at the front of the room. She asks a question and you faintly hear a voice, but you can’t see who it came from or understand what was said—because you’re sitting at your desk participating in class through your webcam.
When H1N1 made its way to the mountains of northwestern Vermont two years ago, the technology experts at Saint Michael's College were concerned students or teachers might not make it to class. The virus didn't reach epidemic proportions at the small Catholic college, but it energized the team already considering ways to bring lessons beyond the classroom.
Across many college campuses, one of the most innovative, yet sometimes controversial, initiatives in recent years has been the embrace and development of online programs. While avoiding the philosophical debate between online educational delivery and traditional on-campus programs, it is more critical to discuss the philosophy of the creation of online learning and its relevance in American economic growth.
America knows higher education. No other country in the world possesses the breadth and depth of comprehensive educational delivery like our uniquely American system.