In addition to shuttering many businesses worldwide, the pandemic has battered the education system. Video technology is playing a significant role in shaping how schools educate and operate. Conferencing systems like Zoom, Cisco WebEx, and Microsoft Teams have offered solace, but while finding new ways to be efficient in distance learning, other benefits arose.
Professors and faculty in higher education are taking advantage of video conferencing and distance learning opportunities to interact on a more personal, one on one level, reach more students, and support graduates in their post-college professional journey.
Video conferencing in higher education has proved so useful that we can even expect a new model to emerge after COVID-19 has passed. There is a real opportunity for collaboration, innovation, and, most importantly, connection.
Below, we highlight how things are changing in higher education and how these changes benefit schools and students alike.
Improving Admissions Process
An often-overlooked way that video conferencing is reshaping the higher education landscape is by adding a personal touch to the admissions process. For decades, aspiring college students have waited for the standard letter letting them know if they were accepted. Not the best experience if you ask us.
Although efficient, it didn’t make the experience personal for many applicants. With admissions numbers down for the first time since 2012, many institutions were looking for a way to reengage high school graduates and find new ways to communicate with their target audience during a pandemic.
Video conferencing has been able to assist with the sometimes lengthy and stress-inducing clearing process that students undergo. Instead of phone calls and essays, colleges can chat with applicants virtually and record their interviews, enabling them to gain a better understanding of who the student is and their passion for their intended major. This technology gives schools the ability to reach hundreds of students simultaneously or to deliver the good news in an extremely personal one-on-one.
Sometimes a student’s geographical location and resources can limit their choices for schools, or even the option to attend college altogether. The use of video conferencing can reshape the higher education landscape by giving individuals access to resources previously unobtainable.
Students who couldn’t uproot their lives or leave their jobs and families now have the opportunity to explore more college options. They have the freedom and the ability to balance their school and personal lives. Distance learning further impacts higher education because it opens the door to lifelong learning for students of all ages.
Video as a Teaching Tool
COVID-19 might have sparked the uptick in video conferencing as a teaching tool, but it has been a steadily rising trend in the education sector for years. The advent of tablets, live-streaming platforms, and other vehicles for instant connectivity has created a unique opportunity for schools to redefine what higher learning means.
Video conferencing technologies reshaping the higher education landscape through distance learning offers students a more customized way to learn. Think one-on-one breakout sessions for students having trouble with the assignment, hosting virtual office hours where students can come and go as they please, or even better, learning material visibility through screen sharing.
As helpful as video is as a tool to teach and expand education opportunities, it can be a disaster if it’s not set up correctly. The right tools for video conferencing are a necessity that can be complicated and confusing if you’re not familiar with the equipment. Schools need tools like displays, sound systems, cameras, and other conferencing equipment. These are all things that are needed to run a professional and efficient virtual classroom. Because there is so much that goes into having a proper audio-visual setup, schools should consider hiring an AV integrator.
These experts help design and install the best setup for your needs. That is where Applied Global Technologies comes in. We are certified ZOOM, Cisco WebEx, and Microsoft Teams integrators and can do all that, plus maintain and troubleshoot your setup to ensure that your virtual courses always run smoothly. Please contact our team to learn more about our services!
Enhance Alumni Participation
One of the top concerns of college students is how to navigate their respective industries after graduation and all the ways they can prepare. An excellent resource to tap into is student alumni. Institutions can expand a student’s learning experience by creating communities and enlisting alumni to lead them and potentially mentor those students.
Video conferencing is reshaping the higher education landscape because it provides a more personal way for students to connect with those in their desired industry. Alumni can engage students online as guest speakers and through virtual visits in their field or small sessions.
An ever-changing aspect of higher learning is the steadily rising tuition costs. Attending university can be a big investment, whether students have a full-time job, live domestically or abroad. For example, the total cost of attending Syracuse University for undergraduates who live on campus has crept up to a whopping $76,000 for the 2021-2022 school year. For some, this means only attending local colleges to avoid out-of-state fees or room and board.
A solution that universities can invest in to offset rising tuition costs and keep student attendance high is distance learning. It benefits students and institutions alike by diversifying classrooms and giving opportunities to more students. This can result in an influx of students from around the world, which, in turn, brings things like different learning styles and perspectives into classrooms for a more well-rounded learning experience.