This 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