The Eyes and Ears of Distance Education

This afternoon I did some research on the audio/visual tools Skype and GizmoProject.  These services turn your computer into a phone and allows you to make an unlimited amount of calls for a reasonable price.  The only addition you need to make hardware wise would be a cheap headset to call whoever you want.

These tools would provide an additional communication tool for students.  In the event that one service goes down, like e-mail, this tool provide another means of getting in touch with classmates or your instructor.

The IM with video and voice would require purchasing a webcam and could emulate the face-to-face experience over the Internet.  However, I don’t know if this would be such a great thing since with distance education we are not trying to use the same methods in an online forum.  Some professors may prefer using a webcam to see their students in a chat, but I don’t think its really a necessary thing to use.


One Response to “The Eyes and Ears of Distance Education”

  1. “emulate the face-to-face experience over the Internet”

    This actually is a problem. You can have a moving picture of the head/face of the person you’re talking to, but the visual cues you’re respond to are “out of alignment” with the person on the other end.

    You dont get to see the expression on their faces very well, the “eye contact” that many people respond to is missing, and most of the body language is lost.

    This is one of those things that people always seem to want to do, but it *never* works out.

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