Jeb Bush and the National School Choice Week wrote an editorial for CNN highlighting the benefits of video conferencing in our education system. In this article, Mr. Bush explains why nontraditional classrooms using video conferencing is beneficial to everyone involved.
A great example of how these nontraditional classrooms can benefit students is the story of Kaleigh Fair. A student from Las Vegas suffering from two diseases, Kaleigh was unable to attend her high school due to treatment and mobility restrictions. She was able to transfer to an online public high school – The Nevada Virtual Academy. By attending classes in this manor, she was able to go on to graduate and is now attending online classes through the University of Nevada. This is a great example of how video conferencing in education is able to provide access to quality education, regardless of location or situation.
Another benefit that Mr. Bush highlighted in his article is that according to the US Census Bureau, the cost of traditional classroom education in Arizona public schools average $7,848 per student. The Carpe Diem Schools, an Arizona-based online public school that is tuition free costs $1,000 less per student. The collective savings from electing to use a model like Carpe Diem or similar nontraditional classroom environment could potentially cut expenses and balance budgets.
While all of these options are very attractive and beneficial to all involved, none of this would be possible without video conferencing solutions. Not only do these solutions provide education for those who cannot attend regular school, do not have the means, schedule, or are unable to attend a traditional classroom environment, they are connecting students with people all over the world. Not only are professors able to teach classrooms with students from different high schools or colleges in the US, but globally. Students are also able to take virtual field trips and meet French peers to take immersive language to the next level. These technologies are also able to record lectures for viewing at a later date or multiple times online through a “lecture capture” system.
By enabling states to use these nontraditional learning environments, school systems can allow students to learn in their own ideal learning environment, save money, and take learning and education to a new level and place that was not possible before or without these technologies.