Video conferencing is a way to virtually bring together people in a synchronous online environment. Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom are just three popular free video conferencing tools.
Video conferencing can create a virtual way for students to travel and experience people and places far away. Conversely, web conferencing can help bridge long distances and allow for more personal, one-on-one conversions with students who are at a distance.
Read 7 Things You Should Know About Video Communication from Educause to learn more about how it’s being used in education.
Use it to make “face to face” class discussions possible in a virtual environment.
Instructor and student social presence is an important element for students to succeed in an online environment. One way to help accomplish this is to have some synchronous sessions, where you “meet” the students virtually to consider complex concepts from the class.
Use it to promote student collaboration.
Students may be able to collaborate more effectively on joint work if they are able to meet virtually for face-to-face discussions at key points in their project.
Use it to make virtual office hours more personal.
Being able to see your students’ faces may help you judge understanding and thus be able to answer questions more effectively in virutal office hours. In addition, you can use screen sharing capabilities to expand functionality of the tool.