E-Teachers Conference on Virtual Classrooms

July 28th, 2009 | Posted by Kevin in event

etcon-logo250x75This morning (China time), we had the opportunity to attend the E-Teachers Academy Conference on Virtual Classrooms, hosted by Kirsten Winkler.  It was one of the most interesting conferences we’ve seen on the future of the virtual classroom, and the panel was made up of some of the most forward-thinking companies and teachers in this evolving space (view list of panel speakers).

We were definitely impressed with the potential in virtual classrooms, and we’re sure that as the technologies mature, we’ll begin to see more of these classrooms gain wider acceptance.  There are many important features which are not presently integrated or handled well by standard communication tools like Skype, such as whiteboards, direct document viewing, shared screenshot viewing, and group / class management.  One thing that is clear from the conference is that virtual classrooms are being designed with significant input from teachers.

If you’re interested in following this debate, you can follow Kirsten on twitter (@KirstenWinkler) as well as the ETCon twitter itself @ETConference.  We’re definitely looking forward to the next conference.

Kevin and the italki team

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  • http://kirstenwinkler.com KirstenWinkler

    Thank you Kevin for your review of the ETCon. Although we had some difficulties during the event it was a very interesting evening with an important discussion about the future of our industry.

    I am looking forward to have you, Kevin, on the panel at the next ETCon. Thank you for your support and thoughts on the topic.

    Kirsten

  • italki

    Hi Kirsten (sorry about the late feedback),
    I thought the conference was great and there were really a lot of important and interesting ideas that were put forward. There were a few technical difficulties, but overall I got the sense that the classrooms had actually improved significantly even since the last time I tested them (maybe 6-9 months ago). We're very interested in virtual classrooms. I think we are in a strange period where P2P VoIP solutions like Skype are starting to intersect with more specialized solutions. The field is still evolving — I've heard some classrooms can cost roughly $1000 USD / user / year. In that respect, virtual classrooms might be considered part of virtual schools — with virtual building rent. It will be fascinating to have the same conference one year from now, and see how the entire landscape has changed.

  • http://kirstenwinkler.com KirstenWinkler

    Looking forward to having you on the panel at the ETCon 02 on August 27!

    That's a good idea, discussing the same topic one ear from now. Maybe we should make a list, seal it and then open it at the ETCon to compare what happened and what not. :)

  • girlinmelbournestore

    Because of the evolution of computers and internet, virtual classrooms are realistic. Education's direction is going this way. There will come a time that the number of students going to schools will be of less number.

  • girlinmelbournestore

    Because of the evolution of computers and internet, virtual classrooms are realistic. Education's direction is going this way. There will come a time that the number of students going to schools will be of less number.