The value of virtual learning has primarily come to the limelight in the toughest of times. The coronavirus outbreak that forced educational campuses to close down and imposed social distancing directives was the torchbearer of widescale adoption of virtual education. And live streaming came to the rescue as the ultimate solution for distant learning. Facilitating conducting classes in real-time, video streaming allowed establishing virtual schools across the globe, regardless of geographic boundaries. The ability to record these lectures equipped the instructors to save and upload the videos for students who would miss the session or go back for a replay of a part of the lesson. The future of education is all set for a revamp!
The online learning industry is projected to pass $370 billion by 2026.
In This Blog:
- Growing Demand for Digital Learning
- Education Beyond Physical Space
- Changing Teaching Methodology
- Significant Cost Reduction
- Potential Challenges
- Final Thoughts
Growing Demand for Digital Learning
Live video streaming has mainly made remote learning possible. While technology had already found a reasonable space in the classrooms, such as interactive smartboards, live streaming leaped further to advance the entire educational system and set up virtual classrooms. And with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital learning became the new norm. With Zoom live streaming, Google Classroom Live, Skype, and several other platforms emerging to the forefront, educational institutes across the globe shifted their curriculums from semi-digital to completely virtual.
Interestingly enough, many educational institutes created virtual learning platforms on their websites by deploying professional hosting platforms equipped with live broadcasting and Video-on-Demand (VOD) streaming capabilities. As a result, the professors were better equipped to stream lectures and upload them to access videos as needed.
Education Beyond Physical Space
Live streaming has made virtual online learning more accessible for students across geographical limitations. Students dwelling in rural Oklahoma can attend classes in Los Angeles. Similarly, students working part-time along with their studies can log in to complete their school work in their free time slots.
What’s even more exciting is that this powerful technology allows a much wider audience to participate. You might not always have a full-strength class when you planned the most crucial science experiment or the trickiest math technique. With live streaming, the educators can connect with the entire course of students beyond physical attendance. Moreover, they can bring events from around the world into their classroom and create an in-the-moment learning experience for their students.
Changing Teaching Methodology
Traditional learning was primarily confined to physical classrooms and whiteboards, boring theoretical lectures followed by revision worksheets, and formal assessments. Fast forward to 2020; teaching methodologies have radically changed owing to live streaming. Students are now able to watch the experts of the field solve problems in real-time. They can visualize the entire scenario while interacting with the demonstrator in real-time. All in all, it makes the overall environment conducive for learning.
On a similar note, performance metrics have also changed. And this is expected to yield the most profound changes in education across the globe, especially from the administrative standpoint. Teachers and administrators are now considering students’ preferences and requirements while designing course methodologies and assessment tools to assess their knowledge and skillset better.
Significant Cost Reduction
Live streaming has and is further expected to reduce the cost of education drastically significantly. Although the live streaming sites and platforms charge a subscription fee to their service, this fee is still far minimal compared to the astronomical cost of physical classroom education. For instance, in the traditional setting, apart from the tuition fee and books costs, the students also have to pay other auxiliary fees, including transportation, lunch, etc. With live streaming, the highest cost is that of the monthly internet and electricity usage for charging the gadgets. Also, the campuses save up on managerial and administrative expenses of physically managing the property, plenty of overheads, and a lot more. You can do the math yourself.
Renowned companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Cisco are using live streaming platforms to conduct several day-to-day activities such as recruitment interviews, on-the-job training, weekly meetings, etc. It’s no big stretch in the educational sector either. Teachers and students are actively collaborating to take educational experiences to a whole new level. Group projects can be completed using collaboration software. Visiting faculty members save up on the hassle of commuting between campuses finding it challenging to get to their classes on time. With live streaming, they can conduct their classes from wherever they are.
Diversity, both in terms of equality in remote teaching opportunities and in terms of the subjects the students can learn. Live streaming has opened new horizons for the education sector, unveiling limitless possibilities to learn anything and everything. The future curriculum is hence expected to change drastically, as more instructors will be able to introduce novel subject areas that couldn’t possibly be taught in the traditional setting. Live-coded music is one great example.
Technology doesn’t come without challenges, though. Unforeseen technical issues might erupt as the most prominent obstacle when it comes to live streaming. The professor’s microphone might suddenly stop working, the internet connection might slow down, or the students might miss out on a particular portion of the lecture due to an error log out. All these things might pose a distraction for the moment, but a sound technical background can always do the magic trick.
Engagement during live streaming can be challenging too. If the professor decides to broadcast pre-recorded lectures, the students might be distracted enough to skip around or play it back at double speed. And if the lessons are delivered in real-time, the professor might face a hard time managing real-time interaction with the students.
Time zone differences might pose another challenge for live streaming in the education sector. If the student base is spread out all over the world, there might be no best time to live stream the lesson. Remember when the universities shut down due to the pandemic, and all international students flew back to their countries? We know of students staying up in India at 1 am to take live sessions broadcasting from the U.S. at 1 pm. This is hardly convenient.
Live streaming has radically transformed the educational landscape and is likely to change the future of education as well. Zoom, Google Meet, YouTube, and Facebook Live all give us a glimpse into what the future holds of live streaming in education. If you’re an educationist who’s not embraced live streaming yet, consider implementing it to help your students through this time. Let’s keep education a constant with all the uncertainty in the world!
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