Videoconferencing Goes To Kindergarten

The empires of the future, says Winston Churchill, are the empires of the mind. He speaks justly. While in ancient times brute force was power, an educated mind is now a country's most effective weapon. Clearly, there is a greater challenge than ever for teachers to come up with innovative means of teaching. One such innovation is videoconferencing.

Two-sided Jury
Experts believe there is generally no difference in learning through videoconferencing and learning the time-honored way, which is face to face and from inside a four-walled classroom. Students are exposed to the same amount of knowledge; teachers go through the same process of preparing their lessons.

The drawback to teaching through videoconferencing, however, is that it's a medium ripe for abuse. Because teachers do not have to physically interact with their students, there is a higher risk of mediocre teaching strategies and style. The same is true of ineffective learning on the part of students, precisely because the teacher cannot physically and immediately gauge how blank a student's stare is, for example, or how frequently the student had doodled on his notebook rather than take down notes.

Lessons from a Virtual Classroom
Essentially, videoconferencing is a good innovation to education because it democratizes access to knowledge. In fact, through videoconferencing, knowledge can be shared to any part of the world, no matter how inaccessible this place may be.

With the influx of technology in almost all aspects of life, more and more schools are offering online education. The surprising outcome is that there are now also more and more students who have come to accept this mode of teaching. In fact, visionaries predict that at some point in the future, videoconference will become a very vital cog in the knowledge wheel. It will replace the standard face-to-face teaching method. Teachers will be imparting real lessons - from virtual classrooms, in real time.

The secret to becoming an effective virtual teacher does not lie in how well you are familiar with video conferencing technology (although this knowledge is also a plus), nor does it depend on how well you enunciate words to beat the expected video-audio time lag. It all depends on that old standby: the lesson plan.

Writing the Virtual Lesson Plan
How, then, does one become a good online teacher? The secret is not just familiarity with videoconferencing technology but also continued adherence to a very old and often overlooked fixture of classrooms: the lesson plan.

There is a need for teachers to map out their virtual teaching strategy. In doing so, answering the following questions would surely help:

1. What do you expect the students to learn after each lesson?
2. How will you present the topic?
3. 3. What materials you will use to support the lesson? Will you be using visual aids or audio clips?
4. How long will the lesson be?

Videoconferencing in Schools Today
Videoconferencing, while already used by a few educators and learners, is still in kindergarten, as far as education is concerned. In time, however, it will go to school the same way that other innovations did. When this happens, learning through videoconferencing could prove to be not just be a novel experience but a rewarding one at that.

Videoconferencing Goes To Kindergarten 8.6 of 10 on the basis of 1710 Review.