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Education: Schools & Universities

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  • Video Conferencing in Classroom and on student tablet

    Education is all about creating the best opportunities for every individual to fulfil their potential and achieve their goals and aspirations. Through empowered and inspiring educators, imaginative and engaging curricula, and fun, unique experiences, our schools, colleges and universities are the key to preparing students for their future, whatever path they choose to take. 

    Preparing for the Global Digital World

    Over the past 10 years, business has become highly dispersed and collaborative, meaning the skills required to succeed in the workforce have changed dramatically. Students need to be educated in new ways to ensure they are ready for the global digital economy, that today requires skills in analysis, problem solving, flexibility, teamwork, innovation and collaboration to succeed.  

    However education has been slow to adapt. 60% believe that higher education fails to enable students to adapt to industry, and 71% of recruiters believe their greatest challenge in recruiting individuals from higher education is due to the lack of practical experience and skills needed in their workforce.

    Education establishments are now recognising the need to focus on teaching skills and facilitating learning related to the business world, and ensuring digital, collaborative learning is not just encouraged but is a part of a student’s everyday life. 

    Digital Learning

    Digital learning ensures students can learn anywhere, anytime, on any device. It enables students and their teachers to engage and interact with others around the world, and access tools and information that previously wasn’t possible to reach. 

    The Connected Classroom

    Mobile and BYOD learning, interactive technologies, student-to-student/student-to-teacher connectivity and visual connections to the outside world provides a much more engaging and collaborative learning environment, enabling students to learn without boundaries. 

    The connected classroom improves interaction with students around the globe

    The concept of a “connected classroom” is more than simply allowing the use of tablets and laptops – it is about the connectivity, infrastructure and curriculum that enables technology to be an integral part of the learning experience, wherever the student is located. The connected classroom bridges technology and learning to create a truly collaborative and innovative environment, and equips students with the right skills necessary for today’s digital world.

    Virtual Classrooms & VLE

    The Virtual Classroom breaks learning out of the traditional walls of the classroom. By providing the platform for students to learn on-demand, from anywhere, engagement and interaction with resources around the world is now possible.

    Online communities, Video Conferencing, Unified Communications (i.e. Cisco Spark and Skype for Business) and virtual learning environments encourage worldwide collaboration and extend the education establishment’s reach to far further than ever previously possible. Students can learn and interact with more people in new places, and research across boundaries can be brought together, enabling innovation and inspiration like never before.

    Lifesize Video Conferencing in classroom

    Visual Communications

    Face-to-face communications are even more important today than ever before. Virtual environments, worldwide collaboration and learning from anywhere, anytime means students are continuously connected to screens, networks and technology, and so it’s vital that we ensure the tools are in place to facilitate human interaction too.

    For relationships to develop, collaboration to take place and for teams to understand one another’s opinions and feelings, visual information is key. Graphics and colours, hand and facial movements, smiles, frowns and other body language have often lost out to past technology, but today’s collaborative tech is now making face-to-face interaction possible, whatever the distance. 

    “Video conferencing allows our students to see things that they would have never experienced any other way. For this county in particular, it is critical to show these students the options, opportunities and potential they all have.”

    – Wanda Creel, Superintendent, Barrow County Schools

    So how are some classrooms of today using Visual Communications to assist the learning practice?

    • Connecting with international experts and guest lecturers
      Meeting with subject matter experts around the globe no longer requires that guest to travel, meaning a much wider access to experts in any subject or location, on a much more regular basis. Gain access to professors at an international university, a specialist in a specific field of medicine, or bring together children with an Egyptian Archeologist in an instant. 

       

    • Collaboration with geographically distant communities and cultures
      Previously, children were lucky to have spent a week during their whole education with an exchange student, or with a family in another country in Europe. Now, students can do monthly culture sharing and meet new friends around the world on a regular basis. Learning about culture in China? Meet and speak with Chinese children during New Year celebrations. Learning Gamalan music? Hear from real Gamalan performers in Indonesia. Language classes? Hold real conversations with native speakers weekly.

       

    • Distance learning for remote schools, rural communities or unwell students
      Remote schools in rural communities or coastal towns have previously been let down by the UK education system, with reduced access to resources and teachers, insufficient availability of courses or apprenticeships, much higher travel requirements, and inability to provide for specialist education, such as SEN, excluded pupils or niche subjects. Remote visual collaboration means rural areas can have the same access to information and experts as any others in the country, better preparing them for university and the future workplace.

       

    • Enriched curriculum with virtual field trips
      A handful of real field trips throughout the year is fantastic. But imagine being able to visit a new museum or science centre each week, speak with astronauts at NASA and the next day with a conservationist in the Serengeti during the yearly Wilderbeest migration? Interactivity in this way provides exciting, engaging and inspiring education for every student involved. 

       

    • Re-accessing content and learning to an individual schedule through recording and playback
      Whether students want to revisit content from a lecture, view a missed class due to absence, or share a presentation with other students for a collaborative project, recording and on-demand playback has proved hugely beneficial for Virtual Learning Environments (VLE). This can also greatly benefit rural education establishments, where the need to travel distance creates higher levels of absence, and to reduce the effects of exclusion or long-term absence on education. 

    “Suddenly we can offer our students a much wider variety of subjects, which will give them a vital advantage before heading off to university. It is a major boost to rural schools who previously could only offer a limited choice of course options.”

    – Edward McEvoy, Vocational Education Committee

     

    polycom-education-1

    Polycom Video Conferencing technology within a lecture space

    More Information?

    VideoCentric have 15 years of experience working with schools, colleges and universities to provide the most secure, productive solutions for the education sector. Whether looking to grow your virtual learning opportunities, connect classrooms or improve collaboration for your students, VideoCentric and our Cisco, Lifesize, Polycom and other technology partners can help you implement the tools, technologies and services to greatly enhance the learning experience for everyone.

    VideoCentric have also been recognised within the Cisco Education Partner Programme, one of only a handful of selected partners holding this status.

    Contact our Education team today to discuss the solutions in education across the UK, the implementation of cloud and on-premise solutions, technology to improve the classroom, and solutions that can integrate with your current learning environment. 

     

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