The following is an interview with Marci Powell, San Jose based Polycom’s Global Director of Education. The interview expands on my article on Polycom that gives an overview of the company as a leader in providing distance learning solutions via technology.
Please click here to read the article:
Marci Powell, Polycom’s Global Director of Education, kindly answered a few questions about Polycom’s role in distance learning. Note too, Ms. Powell is a member of the U.S. Distance Learning Association Hall of Fame.
1. How was Polycom seen as filling a need or an educational void? In other words, was there a specific event or general educational void that showed a need for Polycom’s services?
As we see it, the greatest educational void is making sure our education system matches that of the jobs and workplace of the future. Education is lagging behind and we must demand higher standards by transforming education. Most importantly, we must align education with the current digital world and global economy. That means building a more collaborative learning environment using digital tools to transform educational experiences.
One of our customers, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, keeps up with the demands a global economy has on education. By putting high-tech video conferencing in their Bay Area campus and at the Stanford Center at Peking University in Beijing, students experience real-world learning and collaboration comparable to high-tech jobs.
2. With so many distance and computer-based educational programs available, where can Polycom fit in among other distance learning programs that schools may use? Why use Polycom in conjunction with or instead of other programs now available?
Polycom’s integrated video conferencing solutions enable real-time learning experiences regardless of geographic location. Students become part of a live and vibrant learning community that extends globally.
Further, with the ability to capture the video and create reusable content (on-demand), instruction can be extended outside of classroom hours. With lecture capture and media management, the video is meta-tagged to be searchable, creating the opportunity for personalized learning. Central Arizona College (CAC), another customer, defies distance across the state and creates an intimate classroom experience using video collaborative solutions. Through the use of video content management solutions, CAC can also record, manage and stream lectures. Students can watch a class lecture they may have missed, or use it to review course materials. Polycom is able to bring these two worlds (real-time and on-demand learning) together seamlessly.
3. What is the future outlook for Polycom, if any at this point?
As digital technologies become more pervasive across education, the capabilities are becoming more mobile and collaborative in nature. The flexibility of video conferencing from a laptop or mobile device will be even stronger in the immediate future with the capability of video conferencing and content collaboration through the web-browser using WebRTC technologies.
Likewise, video content management using meta- and big data analytics will grow stronger making personalized learning more fluid. Video transcription for captured videos is becoming easier and translation into different languages is on the horizon.
If higher learning wants to move into the future and not be relics of the past, they must make education accessible wherever the learner is located, and in forms that meet their learning, social and psychological needs aligning them to their future.
Video collaboration live and on-demand is key. The future is quite bright!
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