Real Time Communications Featured Article

Cameras, WebRTC Are Changing How We Learn

April 01, 2015

Distance learning is one of the most powerful new forces influencing the direction of education. With the help of cameras and the latest in communications technology, schools everywhere will be tied into one system, which means the exchange of information will be as good as being corporeally present in a classroom.

Virtual classrooms offer incomparable convenience and flexibility. You can access a virtual classroom from home, office, or any other place which has an Internet connection.

via Shutterstock

With the right equipment, like Web cameras and WebRTC built into the mainframe, students can ask questions verbally or by using a built-in chat functionality. Instead of interrupting the presenter each time, students use the chat window to type in their comments or questions. This is where WebRTC can play a big part in distance learning.

With a WebRTC-enabled browser, students can also dial into a room-based videoconferencing session and join from their desk down the hall or a remote location anywhere in the world. They could join in an internal videoconference or participate in one launched from a partner’s system — the technology wouldn’t matter.

This all plays nicely into the M2M and IoT space as well. Let’s say a student is taking an art class from a remote location, and said student created a work of art for a specific assignment. They can tag that artwork with the time, date, location it was painted, the media that was used for the painting, an audio artist statement or even a video of the artist discusses their influences and attaching images of those influences to that physical object, all thanks to IoT.

Distance education is becoming a common practice as evidenced by the number of universities that offer distance education programs, the number of businesses offering distance learning and training programs, and the number of distance learning projects K-12 that are being created or are currently in use. It seems that distance learning has the capacity to reach many more people in a more cost-effective manner than traditional classroom instruction.

Digital technologies for learning, such as self-paced learning modules, multimedia equipment use, simulations, video tutorials, and real time communications can increase the array of learning opportunities for students and their teachers.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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