Welcome to the future of higher education.
The Associated Press reports.
Harvard Launches ‘Virtual Classroom’ for Students Anywhere
The newest classroom at Harvard’s business school has no desks or chairs. Instead, the professor teaches facing a towering digital screen that stretches from wall to wall, filled with the live video feeds of up to 60 students tuned in from their computers.
In the futuristic classroom, housed in a television studio 2 miles from campus, class plays out like a giant video conference.
Students can jump in to ask questions or respond to their classmates. The professor can stop a lecture to quiz individual students, or send the group a quick online poll.
The project, called HBX Live, is a departure from the genre of online courses that are recorded in advance to be taken later.
Here, Harvard sought to create a live, online replica of its campus classrooms.
“With one difference of course, which is we collapse geography,” said Bharat Anand, a business professor and faculty chairman of HBX, a digital initiative at the school.
At a recent test of the technology, alumni connected to the room from Thailand, New Zealand and the Philippines.
“That’s something we’ve never, ever done before,” Anand said.
Harvard Launches 'Virtual Classroom' for Students Anywhere (The Associated Press)