At school and at university: video conferencing usage, and its benefits for teachers and students.
More Than Online Lessons
Theoretically, the number of ways to employ video conferencing is unlimited. In the modern world there are even universities that organize online theatre auditions. For example, when theatre students were performing at Birmingham Southern College, Alabama, a director – who was unable to be present on campus – attended the event via videoconference, connecting directly from New York. Today many universities offer dozens of online degree programs, reaching thousands of students. Thanks to distance education and e-learning, the use of video conferencing and web conferencing has expanded even more over the past few years. Students use it to collaborate with each other, hold virtual meetings with teachers or participate in distance learning programs. Marketing departments make use of video conferencing to recruit new students, while the administration – to prepare future students for campus life.
Key Word: Simplicity
Simplicity is the keystone: a PC with a webcam, a tablet or a smartphone is enough to participate in a web conference session. These devices can be perfectly integrated with group video conferencing, i.e. the one that involves the use of H.323/SIP systems (endpoints), installed in classrooms or meeting rooms. The flexibility of these tools allows schools and universities to more easily host speakers from around the world, without having to incur travel expenses or limit themselves to attendance at special times.
Cloud: Best Value for Money
While video conferencing is becoming more and more widespread, it is also true that companies with limited budgets can not afford to buy hardware, like MCU, ant to implement multipoint video conferencing, i.e. the one that permits to connect many participants at the same time instead of making individual video calls. In these cases, the best solution is to adopt a cloud video conferencing service, which is economic, adaptable to your preferences, and extremely reliable. It’s no surprise that experts predict that cloud video conferencing systems will become even more popular over the next three years.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing
According to Andrew W. Davis, analyst for Wainhouse Research, there are three main points for IT managers to consider when choosing a cloud video conferencing service.
Supported Operating Systems
First, it is important to know what operating systems are supported by the service. Obviously, it is essential that it is compatible with Mac and Windows, as well as with iOS and Android. It’s also important to understand whether the service can be accessed over a browser via a link. Companies that already have video conferencing room systems, need to verify whether the service is compatible with them, in particular, when it comes to H.323/SIP video conferencing systems (endpoints).
Most video conferencing services work via a “meet me” connection: i.e., you activate your videoconference and then invite other participants to join it. Some of the new cloud video conferencing services offer “point-to-point” video calls. In this case a video call between two people can be made instantaneously (similar to a voice call).
Try Before You Buy
New services are being launched all the time in the conferencing market, and prices range a lot. Whatever your choose, it is always advisable to try the service for a few days, to see if it meets your needs before signing up for a longer period.