Teachers vote for video communication

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Polycom has reported the results of a survey of 500 grade-school and university teachers across the UK, France, Germany, Russia and Nordics. The survey found that videoconferencing is the most desirable way for school teachers to communicate with parents, students and colleagues—when in-person interactions cannot take place.

Key findings of the survey included:

  • Three-quarters of the teachers (77%) think that more investment in videoconferencing would benefit their students and improve their education, citing the increased impact and engagement with subject matter that videoconferencing encourages.
  • Two-thirds surveyed (67%) believe that videoconferencing improves core skills for use in later life and the workplace.

Another finding of the survey is that the uses of videoconferencing in learning are viewed somewhat differently by school teachers and university tutors:

  • Teachers of school-age children saw the most potential for using videoconferencing as a collaborative working tool (65%) and for virtual field trips (60%) – in other words as a way to expand the scope of the learning experience.
  • University tutors, on the other hand, said that a more important benefit of videoconferencing, from their experience, is the ability to  include more students – such as reaching home-based students (64%) or enabling those who missed a class to view it later (62%).
  • Over half the university tutors (54%) also stated that access to subject-matter experts was an important feature of video conferencing; and 56% see videoconferencing as a means of extending their educational services, therefore enabling them to teach via distance learning.

“The popularity of videoconferencing as a method of communication in education is not surprising with an overwhelming majority (85%) of educators who expect the use of these technologies to increase over the next five years.” comments Gary Rider, EMEA President, Polycom.

“The ability to connect students with other teachers and students around the world face to face has enormous benefits to their educational experience,” continues Rider. “Video is the only technology that allows a visual, rich learning experience outside of being in the room together. Video also enables higher quality collaboration and learning. This is important in an educational setting, especially distance learning, where teachers can ensure students are focused and absorbing new information better, while students can benefit from a richer learning experience.”

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