Web Based Video Conferencing and Streaming Solutions for Educational Institutions

Benefits of Video Conferencing in Education


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Dear Readers, we have been learning about skills that can be used for study like study skills and memory skills etc., in our earlier articles. I thought I should share something about using some interesting technologies for our learning  purposes. I would like to write about a new phenomena is transforming the internet, widget-like SaaS applications to boost your web presence.

Looking for a way to broadcast your video event without having the requirement for tons of server software and a lot of installation time? How about something that’s 100% web-based and needs no software programme installation at all. That is what VideoWhisper.com provides you. It offers flash video plugins for streaming live video. It is possible to use it for video conferencing and video collaborations.

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If you have a need to communicate real-time with consumers, vendors, associates, or even investors who could be interested in what you need to present, Video conferencing  is a superb tool. Nobody needs to download software programme to be able to get in on the conversations.

The web site even offers completely free versions of the computer software that you simply can attempt, including editions already integrated with well-known content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Give it an attempt and see what you think.

VideoWhisper.com delivers web based video communication software that will be installed and integrated on virtually any type of web page. Solutions include niche software programme packages for streaming live video events (1 to numerous video streaming), video conferencing amongst several participants (multi way video chat), 1 on 1 p2p video chat, webcam chatroulette with advanced filtering for speed dating, video collaboration with advanced moderation and presentation features, webcam video messenger for instant private video chats.

The software programme is 100% internet based with no downloads or computer software installations necessary for end users. It is actually highly customizable and comes with tons of skins, icons, interface and sounds, to select from. Video Whisper is custom built to reduce anxiety though integrating with all kinds of web sites and you will discover many settings and permissions. Zero cost editions exist for rapid install to Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, Elgg as well as other platforms.

At its simplest Video Conferencing  is a tool that allows users to see and hear the person they are communicating with. Video Conferencing  calls are usually point-to-point calls which set up a direct link between participants. Calls can be made locally, nationally or across the world.

Multi-way or multi point conferences are also possible where more than two users or groups take part in the call.

To make a video conference call each user needs some form of video conferencing system and access to suitable communication link.

Video conferencing  systems come in a variety of formats – some are computer based, some are dedicated units –but all have a number of common features: Camera, Microphone, Speakers, TV or Monitor and Methods of establishing a connection to remote users via on-screen options.

The choice of system should on its tended use. Some systems are only suitable for person-to-person or small groups use; others have the facilities to support use by whole classes.

A Video conference allows you to  take part in live audio/video presentations in your classroom and to collaborate through them.

It is possible to video conference between two classrooms in the same town, or between two classrooms in different parts of the globe. The distance between each location is only restricted by the ability of each site to make the required connection.

Live video conferences differ from other multimedia resources, such as  video recordings or television  presentations, because they are interactive. You are meeting and talking face to face with someone else in `real time’, but in a different  location.

Video  conferencing is not `big and scary’  or too complicated, technical and beyond your capabilities. It does not need to take up excessive amounts of time, once you  have mastered the basic techniques associated with any new, unfamiliar resource.

Video conferencing is exciting, stimulating and easy to use with practice and confidence and has the potential to totally involve pupils. It is perfectly within the possibilities and capabilities of what  you can achieve in your classroom. The list of resources available to the teacher in the classroom is changing and becoming more sophisticated day by day. Equipment based on new technologies is being developed all the time, extending our ability to communicate and collaborate with greater ease.

However, it is ultimately the skill and ability of the teacher in harnessing the technology that will determine the success of video conferencing in the classroom.

A video conferencing system must be able to fulfill the following tasks: 1. Establish a link to another user, 2. Enable the user to hear and see the user at the far-end,  3. Provide a means of controlling the sound and Provide a means of controlling the video

Much as a  telephone call is made by dialing another user, a video conference call is made either by dialing the other user’s ISDN number or selecting the network address of the other user if the unit is on a network. Most systems will have an on-screen address book or directory in which numbers can be stored.

Basically, it is a two-way video communication and a way to bridge distance. It is a wonderful way to be in multiple places at once. It can bring students new adventures in their studies and in the techniques of studying. This is an interesting way to interact with your students and peers. It helps to  reduce travel to long distances for the sake of your study. It is again a way to promote going green and a wonderful way to reduce costs

In a regular classroom set up we need teachers for each physical location or for each classroom. Teachers teach same students everyday.  Students interact with same classmates each day. Even  guest speakers must physically travel to the classroom location. Similarly, in a traditional classroom set up the class creativity is limited to in-house supplies. The teacher can use only whatever minimum is available as teaching aids. Apart from that the teacher’s expertise  is limited to a single classroom location. The traditional teaching methodology has all the above limitations. Whereas the modern video conferencing methods have some interesting aspects to it.

Video conferencing first of all increases the reach of expert teachers. It has more mass appeal than the classroom in many cases. It connects geographically distant classrooms. This reduces or eliminates unnecessary travel. In fact even guest speakers from anywhere in the world can form part of the faculty involved in shaping the minds of the students. There is no geographical limitations to this way of teaching and sharing information. Above all this brings in change in routine – variety! It also saves quite a bit of our money.  Above all, it is fun learning this way !

Merlyn Ross

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