Columbia, MO Courthouse

Videoconferencing Uses

What Can I Do with Videoconferencing?

Members sometimes ask how videoconferencing could help their organizations. Here are some uses that K-12, higher education, library, community, telemedicine and military organizations in Missouri have found.

K-12

Education

  • Collaboration. Project work or research collaborations among classes allow those in different locations to share a visual connection even when a face-to-face visit may not be feasible. Groups from locations around the world can now work together, adding a dimension beyond a text based or e-mail project.
  • Interactive discussions. Face-to-face communications between teachers, classrooms, and students in different locations.
  • Musical performances. Student choirs and student ensembles
  • Student competitions. Spelling bees, geography bees, trivia challenges or other types of student contests and competitions can be held on-line allowing students to compete with those from other areas. This could even be a culminating team activity to test or review the information collected during collaborative projects.
  • Sharing or informal chats. Showing projects, sharing books read or reading original written pieces can be the basis for rich communication and the formation of relationships between learners or between learners and those mentoring them.
  • Reporting news. Videoconferencing can be used to show current events as they happen. Eclipses, cyber events and celebrations such as those which take place during National Science Foundation's Science and Technology Week, and NASA space flights have been broadcast for others to view.

Administration

  • Planning. Planning projects or future events with those in distant locations has been successfully done using videoconferences. Teachers and students can meet to plan their work, a conference, a lesson, or to touch base on progress towards a goal.
  • Curriculum development between schools
  • Interviews for faculty positions
  • Sharing meetings and reducing travel. Meeting to plan workshops for teachers or to plan with a business partner or university student teacher can all be done via this medium as well. Teachers can form a teaching team with remote teachers and plan lessons or even mentor another teacher during the planning process.
  • Remote mentoring for student teachers.
  • Tutoring and learning assistance.
  • Test preparation.
  • Consortium regional meetings.
  • Team learning and teaching. Teaching teams made up of students and teachers can be formed to provide experiences for those on the team. Much can be learned from those living in a different area or possessing content expertise. Presentations from various locations made by the teams can be enhanced with the newer features available in some of the videoconferencing packages.
  • Professional development for teachers and administrators.

Specialized Content

  • Guest experts. Scientists, politicians and others with special expertise have been able to visit with students in their classrooms without ever leaving their offices. Videoconferencing can enable students to interact with people with whom they might otherwise have never met. Distance is no longer a factor in being able to hold a meeting, conduct a panel discussion, meet with an author or receive feedback on a science project from an expert.
  • Guest visitors. Costumed guests representing specific historical or literary figures have been able to interact with students and role-play their characters through a presentation and question-answer session. Using videoconferencing in this way adds another level of interaction to an activity which in the past has been successfully conducted through e-mail.
  • Training. Students and teachers have been able to learn to use new software or techniques during videoconferences. Even learning to navigate the Internet or create a webpage can be done during a videoconference training session. Businesses have been able to offer job orientations and training to future employees as part of career preparation activities.
  • Virtual field trips. Aquariums, zoos, museums, libraries, hospitals and other facilities have been able to offer tours or specific programs for students. When distance, cost or time factors are deterrents to students taking a field trip to a location which would enhance their study, virtual field trips can often be arranged.

Higher Education

  • Professional development for faculty
  • Technical training for facilitator staff
  • Technical training for application users
  • Training from vendors
  • Specialty manufacturing and engineering classes
  • Articulation issues
  • Generating new outlets for courses
  • Building new course programs
  • Courses and support for distance education students
  • Faculty and administrator searches

Libraries

  • Sharing resources
  • Legislative updates
  • Professional development and training

Community Resources

  • Public hearings
  • Public testimony
  • Legislative updates
  • Access to premier speakers
  • Town hall meetings

Telemedicine

  • Consultations
  • Training
  • Demonstrations
  • Diagnostics
  • Education – grand rounds
  • Continuing medical education
  • Field contact with doctors and interns
  • Post-op follow-ups
  • Post surgery follow-ups
  • Televised surgeries to conventions

Military

  • Calls to family
  • Education at armories
  • Planning meetings
  • Arts
  • Bio-terrorism
  • Emergency preparedness with state agencies