Video conferencing has gradually become a household name to many communication technologies users these days for the accomplishment of both corporate and personal motives. Considering the current state of affairs, individuals are forced to reduce physical contact between one another, and in order to keep commitments and communication running, video conferencing is now the solution to all. The technology applied in video conferencing undergoes a two-way audio and video transmission between two points or amongst multiple points; supporting a virtual conference for more than two users.
Video conferencing serves as a virtual platform primarily for a rather formal purpose such as online business meetings, online lectures, so on and so forth where multiple users are involved. Second, video conferencing typically involves the sharing of pertinent documents such as presentation slides, annual reports, charts and so on. Despite an abundance of free video conferencing software and solutions online, certain organizations may prefer a paid platform designed uniquely to match their needs.
Impacts of video conferencing
In the year 2020, a severe pandemic befalls the globe termed as the Covid-19 outbreak where strict measures such as self-quarantine, lockdowns and social distancing are necessitated by law to prevent further spread of the infectious disease. Henceforth, video conferencing has been the solution to most industries to keep communication and commitments running. In this final section of the paper, positive and negative impacts of video conferencing on the education field will be discussed comprehensively.
First and foremost, video conferencing makes learning beyond the classroom possible, or even easier. This is done by virtually connecting students from each remote location, be it from the urbans or the suburbans; local or overseas, all students are given the chance to acquire knowledge without having to surrender to geographical barriers. With the ability to attend classes at home or any comfortable spaces possible, students can avoid spending on travelling costs which can be fairly expensive, particularly air tickets for foreign students whose only way to travel to the other side of the globe is by flight. Now that students have skipped spending on costly travel expenses, they can allocate pertinent budgets for something even useful in their life, for example, saving it up for further usage. Also, there are more spaces for educators to introduce new ways of learning instead of sticking to the traditional method where teachers are perceived as the backbone to an entire lecture. Flipped classroom or sometimes known as blended learning is a more effective learning approach where students are provided with relevant study materials prior to the actual lecture. By doing so, students are given the autonomy to explore on the topic assigned, be it discussing amongst their study groups or looking it up online before learning it in-depth, this learning approach is undoubtedly more effective than that of the traditional.
Next, there exists the feature of recording conference calls on certain video conferencing software which helps facilitate students in further revision. Keep in mind that each learning institution has its own policy in terms of video lectures where recording on the students’ side is simply impermissible due to proprietary rights. Nevertheless, it is one of the greatest upsides of video conferencing for it serves as a study material for absentees who are unable to show up for the lecture or for those who plan to review the lesson during their free time.
Before video conferencing being treated as a necessity in the education field, learning institutions can only rely on physically sending their educators to other learning institutions for training programmes aimed to brush up their teaching skills. Today, online education webinars or training of any sort is just a few clicks or taps away where educators no longer have to travel all the way from their workplace to another learning institution just to fulfill the academic or educational related programmes they are assigned to. Despite attending a video conference, educators are still allowed to interact with another and share useful information without having to physically present themselves at a designated locale. Aside from the autonomy given to educators in choosing an environment they are comfortable with while attending the seminars, learning institutions may also benefit from it by saving pertinent travel expenses.
Just like any other object available in the world, video conferencing surely has its downsides as well. Despite serving as an advanced platform to facilitate online interaction, certain aspects of personal information that are deemed meaningful may be harder to achieve. By putting this in an educational context, video lectures may seem more like a one-way information flow when it is meant to be a two-way negotiation where both educators and students actively discuss the information being delivered. Problems as such arise due to rules inflicted where students are asked to switch off their webcams and microphones respectively until they are allowed to do so due to network bandwidth and possible interruption. Thus the reduction in class engagement which may also contribute to demotivation and low on participation amongst students.
In addition to that, educators and students are bound to experience a decent amount of technical issues which may act as an interference to the lesson unless unifi malaysia is what they rely on.Poor network connectivity, overlapping sounds, echoes, freezing screen are few of the most common technical difficulties occurring in the midst of the lesson and if not properly troubleshooted, chances are the distribution of messages will become ineffective. To illustrate, participants making use of their devices’ in-built speakers are taught to lower down the volume of their speakers while speaking into the in-built microphone to prevent the sounds from overlapping. Also, byproducts of poor internet connection, for example the constant entering and exiting of participants from the system, choppy audio, lagging of screen and so on may cause participants to lag behind the lesson and eventually lose track of the information discussed. Thus crucial for educators and students to examine their internet connection before lessons to reduce the likelihood of technical snags from emerging.