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By Loubna Imenchal, Head of Video Collaboration, Logitech AMECA

A common misconception is that video conferencing (VC) solutions belong in massive corporate offices. However, the benefits of this technology now extend to countless industries and sectors, including South African classrooms.

Recent Microsoft reports reveal that over 240,000 educational institutions worldwide use Microsoft Teams for remote and hybrid learning. These findings highlight the growing number of schools across the globe using VC technology to enhance the teaching and learning experience, bridge the gap between in-person and remote learners, and even expand the learning environment beyond the confines of the four classroom walls.

VC solutions have become a great tool that educators can use to enhance the learning environment by introducing new methods of teaching that go beyond the physical classroom.  This technology improves students’ ability to retain information by exposing them to more than just a blackboard and a textbook. It also allows remote learners to connect with teachers or even form study groups from any location.

Here are a few ways that incorporating VC solutions in the classroom can help enrich the learning process for students and teachers alike.

It can connect learners to expert guest speakers

South African educators can use VC technology to introduce a special guest speaker who’s an expert on a particular subject matter. This can help break up the monotony of students consuming their learning material from textbooks or blackboards every day.

There are countless programmes aimed at connecting schools to experienced professionals across the globe, including Skype a Scientist, which allows schools to choose from a myriad of scientists, and SpeakerHub, which offers a range of guest speakers specialising in various subjects.

Using this technology, educators can quickly and effectively illustrate critical points in a lesson without waiting for an external specialist to make the physical trip to the classroom.

Absent learners won’t miss out on lessons

According to recent findings by the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (CRAM), 650,000 to 750,000 learners were not attending school in South Africa by May 2021. Delivering lessons over Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Google Meet can help prevent absent learners from falling behind in class and the adverse effects this can have on their grades.

Recordings of these VC lessons help absent students keep up with the curriculum but can also serve as additional resources to help students revise for exams.

It delivers the benefits of artificial intelligence in the classroom

In recent years, VC technology has evolved worldwide, and artificial intelligence (AI) is the latest innovation transforming sectors such as education. With the help of this technology, educators can bolster traditional teaching methods with more interactive and hands-on learning experiences that foster a culture of learning that was previously unthinkable.

For example, Logitech’s new Scribe whiteboard camera for video conferencing has proved to be a gamechanger for classroom collaboration, allowing educators to bring the familiar whiteboard into video classrooms. This allows remote students and guest speakers to engage in interactive exercises as if they were in the room.

The technology features a built-in AI and custom lens that allows educators to broadcast whiteboard content into video classrooms with outstanding clarity. The technology’s AI capabilities also render the presenter transparent, automatically enhance marker lines to make them easy to read and detect non-digital content, like post-it notes, to bring content to life.

The world is constantly evolving, so technology needs to keep up in the classroom. Through solutions like VC and technology with AI capabilities, South African schools can ensure that learners have access to the best resources that will sustain their engagement during lessons and prevent them from falling behind in their studies.