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7 Things You Should Know About Telepresence

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Telepresence refers to the application of complex video technologies to give geographically separated participants a sense of being together in the same location. These systems use high-definition cameras feeding to life-size, HD displays with high-fidelity acoustics that, in many cases, localize sound to image, simulating the effect of each voice coming from the video display for each participant. In sophisticated telepresence rooms, the furniture and displays are arranged in ways that further enhance the simulation—participants sit at a conference table and see high-resolution video of participants in remote locations at similar tables, allowing participants to imagine sharing a single table. Costs can be an obstacle, but as these systems become more affordable, they have the potential to open new kinds of shared instruction and provide a legitimate alternative to in-person meetings.

The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.

In addition to the "7 Things You Should Know About…" briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.

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