When video first started appearing at universities in the late 90s, it came with the hopes of connecting remote students and institutions as if they were in the same space. Academics coined the phenomenon "flipping the classroom": the idea that students could easily complete coursework - typically bound by a classrooms' four walls - from their homes. In doing so, video would increase efficiency, reduce costs and extend the global reach of Universities and learning institutions. In practice, however, video fell short of what it attempted to accomplish in the education space due to poor and inconsistent image and audio quality, complexity and investment of the hardware that was required, and lackluster content collaboration tools.
At Fuze, the way we think about video, namely performance, thoughtful UX and frictionless collaboration is having a significant impact on (finally) delivering the goals of the flipped classroom.
Moreover, while empowering students and professors to learn from, and deliver, the best possible virtual education experience, the benefits of video collaboration are also providing value inside faculties as a tool to communicate and collaborate with colleagues.
1. Image and audio quality For both student and teacher, it’s critical to be able to clearly see facial reactions in order to gauge someone’s level of interest and understanding on a topic. It’s important that learning includes rich discussions and real-time debate, that a student can pose a question and explore a line of inquiry without interference.
The video collaboration of “yesterday” severely limited the rich discussions, spontaneous debate and explorative discourse central to educational institutions; riddled with inefficient compression, image clipping and latency, remote learning fell short. We've come a long way - coupling high-definition image quality and reliable internet audio, Fuze enables simple, intuitive meetings for our array of educational customers. For institutions like Gallaudet University that rely on high-quality video experience to capture sign language's intricacies, they've found Fuze to be the only video collaboration solution to cater to - and make - remote learning possible for their students.
2. Frictionless mobility Taking the idea of enriched video conferencing out of traditional (class)room-to-room paradigm, and putting it in the hands of every student and teacher, on their cell phone or tablet, is freeing up virtual education’s delivery to an “any device” model.
Popularized by consumer apps like Skype and FaceTime, the idea of on-demand communication has been a point of friction in traditional video conferencing systems whose mobile apps are clunky, fragmented experiences and hardware necessitates professional orchestration. With a mobile-first approach, Fuze has unshackled students and professors from fixed telepresence locations, and unburdened IT, to empower consistent collaboration from any device. Video meetings no longer require gathering a list of endpoints in advance. No matter where you are, guest lecturers, professors and students alike can log in with ease and focus on learning instead of what device they must connect to. With audio and video that start right away from your phone or tablet, introducing a researcher from the Amazon rainforest into a classroom in Kentucky, or into a student’s home in a remote area of Alaska, is finally possible, and at a moment’s notice.
3. Consumer UX with Enterprise Horsepower Fuze’s ability to combine an engaging user experience with the high performance and rich collaboration features of an enterprise application, delivers a tool that caters directly to today’s real-world users while supporting a robust learning environment.
Consumer technology like Skype was not built for user (and data) dense environments. Consumer products are ideal for calling your family long distance but not for mission-critical meetings. Features like screenshare, pre-loaded content, recording and annotation on Fuze make space for lively debate, collaboration and learning. This method of interactive learning can take place through a smartphone or tablet in a frictionless environment makes it something your students (and faculty) will want to use.
Video is playing an increasingly important role in teaching and learning, and not just for remote students. Our customers have uncovered a whole range of use cases for video in academia, from the demands of virtual students in remote areas of Alaska, to cross-campus collaboration at UMass, to sign language studies at Gallaudet University. From global lectures and virtual field trips to student and staff interview application processes, the creative uses for Fuze are varied, and our pushing our video platform into new areas of application.
“This innovative classroom maintains the culture and climate of a dynamic classroom regardless of students’ venue. Students are free to speak spontaneously because they are unencumbered with traditional approaches in technology, such as pushing buttons to raise their hands or speak. Seminar discussion is liberated from the stilted and cumbersome interaction of asynchronous learning; social/informal interaction occurs naturally – so important in establishing collegiality and building mentoring relationships.” Andrew C. Mills, PhD, RN, Director, PhD Nursing Program
To learn more about how to get started with best practices from other Universities and teaching institutions, download the education use case catalog here.
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