P. Irannejad1, N. Shahmohammadi2

1Islamic Azad University, Karaj Branch (IRAN)
2Ministry of Education (IRAN)
Videoconferencing technologies are being increasingly used for distance learning. These technologies lend themselves to applications requiring real-time interaction and visual communication. They can serve the needs of access and equity, maximise teaching expertise and bring value-added benefits in linking institutions, staff and students. Videoconferencing is capable of supporting multi-campus institutions and regionalised teaching where it is difficult to provide specialist teachers. The users of video-conferencing technology reiterate its educational and managerial benefits, cost savings and productivity.

The paper analyses the potential strengths and weaknesses of videoconferencing emerging from its being a technology which draws upon more traditional forms of communication used in face-to-face situations in the classroom. Its main limitation lies in the currently high installation costs. It offers teachers, trainers and service providers new ways of communicating across geographical boundaries. For a wider application of videoconferencing to take place, a mind-set is needed which values equity and is shaped by a vision of the regional, national and international potential.