Facing the World: Telepresence in Education

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A media-savvy generation of learners is now driving unprecedented change in the education sector. Students armed with laptops, smartphones, and tablets fluidly connect to each other through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs. With the explosion of social media in the last few years and its rippling effects on communications, there is growing evidence that streaming video and multimedia content are successfully engaging students in new forms of active and collaborative learning. New media technologies dovetail perfectly with emerging theories and paradigms for education, emphasizing experiential and collaborative learning.

This guide focuses on interactive video communication, or telepresence. Telepresence simulates a traditional face-to-face environment, the very oldest form of teaching, but no longer limits students and teachers to being in the same place. Participants at multiple sites are able to see, hear, and interact with each other in real time. Telepresence is assisting K20 schools around the world in overcoming geographic and financial barriers.