Education Featured Article
February 25, 2013
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Launches Virtual Classrooms
By Monica Gleberman, Contributing Writer
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Cisco (News - Alert) have created a new initiative designed to bring technology into the classroom. The school is using high-definition visual communications to enhance the way faculty and students interact.
“The single-classroom experience is so immersive that Wharton has given the two rooms a special classification, informing students that beginning this spring, bicoastal class will be held in the ‘Cisco Connected Classroom.’ That means that all students, regardless of location, will be able to collaborate and participate as If they were in the same room as one another and their professor,” the school said in a statement.
The school is using Cisco TelePresence technology to connect the students and teachers through a virtual space, allowing them to be thousands of miles apart, yet feel like they are in the same room. The specially designed room will have a floor to ceiling screen and LED monitors to help make viewers feel like they are in the space.
“From the viewpoint of the professor at the lectern, students on the other coast appear to be seated in rows directly behind the local students; the students in the remote classroom see the professor projected in life-size high definition on the floor-to-ceiling screen,” said Wharton.
“[We] will also utilize the Cisco Capture, Transform, Share (CTS (News - Alert)) video platform to enable professors to record lectures and make those lectures available for replay. This provides access to key content from any location and at any time, increasing the value and reach of each lecture and classroom discussion.”
This technology will allow for the school to bring together experts and teachers who might not have been able to make it into the classroom otherwise. The university said it also plans on recording all of the classroom sessions to make them available for students to replay at any time from the classroom’s website.
Tom S. Robertson, dean, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said he is excited about this new technology. "We are delighted to partner with Cisco on this project. This major technological advancement will connect Wharton's campuses and community in ways never before possible. The Wharton School and Cisco share a passion for innovation, and with this enhanced learning tool Wharton extends its role as a knowledge-creation leader."
Edited by Brooke Neuman
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