Since I have started my masters, I have been going to my classes regularly. Once I entered the class room, I was amazed. Every class room is equipped with internet. Every student can use internet while listening to the lecture. You can browse, chat, download the slides or do anything you want. Every class room has at least 2 42'' SONY LCD TVs and 2 SONY projectors.
Is that all?
Once the lecture started the 2 TVs turned ON and showed another class room full of students. I noticed there are cameras on the ceiling so I thought ah this is showing the class room on the TV, why?! I was wrong.
That was a class room from another university, in another city! Those students were attending the same lecture I was attending, directly LIVE from another city (Kyoto). The room they were in had 2 huge TVs that showed my room. It also had microphones and speakers to carry voice and sounds bidirectional. The professor asked the students on TV if they can hear him, they all waved their hands confirming a YES.
The lecture started with us, and students on the TV listening carefully. Once the professor started writing on the board, on the TV I saw a student carrying a remote control and start to play with it. Suddenly I felt the camera above my head moves, and focuses on the board! On the TV I saw that now the camera shows to the students a focused image of the board!!! OMG!!
Suddenly, one of the students - on the TV - raised his hand. The professor stopped talking, and the student started to ask questions. We all heard his questions through the speakers, and the professor answered him directly! amazing!
Long story short, they were living the same exact experience we were living, except they were in another city!!
I have heard alot about stories of connecting universities together on a network, but never knew this was already applied in Japan. I once attended a 3 days meeting called ICT in Jordan, that discussed this matter with the head of universities in Jordan, but from what they were talking, it felt like a dream! Coz they kept saying its hard and impossible!
My next lecture after this one has started. And guess what?
Vise Versa!!!!! We were to attend it through TVs and cameras, because the professor giving it was in a whole different campus! OMG!!
Amazing! Incredible!! Really really genius!!!
I was living the future, in a small class room!!! WOW!!