A growing list of communication tools takes advantage of the proliferation of personal computing devices that feature video cameras, allowing users to easily engage in synchronous video. These applications allow users to easily have video calls, share documents and other resources, and, in some cases, record those conversations for later playback. These video tools enable classroom activities that previously were typically only feasible at considerable expense and logistical coordination, including video office hours, live interaction with instructors or other participants in a course, and engaging with remote guests. These kinds of synchronous video interactions can make learning more personal by providing a close approximation of the human, one-on-one experience, increasing engagement and introducing a new dynamic into certain kinds of education.
The 7 Things You Should Know About... series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.
In addition to the 7 Things briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.