Real Time Communications Featured Article to Use WebRTC for Online Tutoring

May 26, 2015, a service that allows students to communicate with each other and with tutors through its mobile app, has announced that it will begin using WebRTC to power communications on its website as well.

Its users will no longer have to use the app for communications. If they are on the website, students can connect with tutors without having to employ the use of any plugins or additional downloads. Web browsers that have native support for WebRTC include both Firefox and Chrome. The announcement at the blog says the addition of this technology will allow the “flipped classroom” to flourish.

The mention of a flipped classroom refers to the type of service that tutors can provide through a reliable audio and video connection through the Internet. Instead of having students complete all their learning inside a classroom with a live teacher, students can do their learning from remote locations through links to instructors who may have access to teaching many students at once through a single communications feed.

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The messenger on the website will try to create a version of flipped learning by connecting multiple students and tutors at a single time. The company's app already supports simultaneous use by as many as four students at once. They can engage in video messaging, send text to one another, and send files that may be relevant to their learning experiences.

For tutors reaching out to multiple students, the possibility of working with small groups can make learning exercises efficient because single lessons can reach more than one student in a session. Tutors can schedule lessons with multiple students of similar learning abilities who are all studying the same material. Then they can share learning with tutors and reach out to each other.

The addition of WebRTC should extend the possibility of learning to more students than was possible before. The mobile app can work well for students who have smartphones. Some students, however, may only have access to a school desktop, so all they will need on those machines are modern Web browsers. Students can now expect to be able to complete their learning from anywhere – the classroom, the home, and on the go.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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