Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Living the future: The class room..

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!!


Qwaider قويدر said...

I do this with my folks back home in Jordan while I am in the US! I see them and move the IP-camera around the room to see things from the comfort of my living room. I talk to them, and they talk back to me!

Long live the Internet :)

subzero said...

Nope. You have seen 10% of the picture im trying to deliver here.

Imagine the fully equipped class rooms, the bandwidth reserved to complete the task. Imagine the universities are ready for this and considering this as an active teaching method. Imagine when a Kyoto uni student says "oh ill register this class with that prof from Tokyo uni"! Imagine when u can take classes with any professor in any uni inside Japan!

Basically this can turn Japan into a one huge university!

Qwaider قويدر said...

Did you know that King AbdulAziz University in Saudi had this for years now mainly to keep the male and female students away from each other?

As for what I'm doing with IP-Cameras and Voip, imagine virtually visiting your parents from anywhere in the world, and having them be with you all the time. While you control everything from your end.

The place I work, we have video teleconferencing devices in every meeting room. We talk audio-visually with our subsidiaries in India and China, This includes the use of "wireless" projectors, white boards, and audio video in BOTH directions :)

The projectors have 12 feet screens and running at 1600x1200 :)

It's pretty neat! But again, thank god for the Internet :)

subzero said...

As far as I know, I have never seen this in Jordan including the universities.

So that was the first time for me to see such a thing.

I dont know when this was applied at Tokyo uni, but im pretty sure it has been there for ages. Its just the first I see with my own eyes this thing, after reading about it in books for years.

Kanji_chan said...

Video conferencing is there in Jordanian universities..but is not used for lectures. Instead its used for university presidents and deans conferences, with presidents and deans from universities around the world.
I saw a whole hall in Yarmouk university equipped with the full system for this purpose during my training(and i was amazed actually), so i guess there must be similar halls in other universities.
But i don't think any university here have the budget to apply this in all class rooms...there might even be no need aslan^^;
The internet need to speak more! :D

Hasna' said...

"Amazing! Incredible!! Really really genius!!!"
it is really like that, I thought that these "things" exist just in Anime!

Wael said...

I bit it was an amazing experience. Sadly to say it's far from being implemented in our developing countries, where most challenges are titled as impossible to implement. Do you know that many universities out there have already started creating virtual 3D learning environments?; Check Appalachian’s 3-D virtual University in Google. This university in US have implemented A 3D world where avatars are used to represent everything inside their learning community. Basically, they re-created every objects in their real campus such as classrooms, library, cafeteria...etc and made a 3D environment.

Wael said...

By the way I forgot to add concerning the part on controlling the video cam with a remote controller; There are many video cams in the market which come with a sensor to be placed on the clothes of the presenter. Then the video cameras will automatically grasp and change directions as he/she moves in the class.

Wael said...

I agree with Kanji chan. Live Video conferencing exist in Jordan. In addition to Yarmouk university I know that Jordan have - Atheer center inside university of Jordan plus, and - An equipped room inside Hussein Medical City that allow surgeons and doctors in there to watch live surgery in US.

Moey said...

wow that is just beyond awesome, to think of it the japanese are always smart.