What is Telepresence?

Telepresence is a form of remote conferencing in which the participants appear to be physically present in the conference space. Body language cues like eye contact are easily transmitted and interpreted because of the fidelity, size, and position of the images. Several high-profile 3-dimensional demonstrations of the technology have taken place; for instance, CNN made extensive use of the technology during coverage of the 2008 US presidential election. Typically, 3D telepresence requires a specially configured space in which to capture a 360-degree image that can then be inserted into a virtual set, and viewed from any angle, but high-definition displays, seamless integration with software and data presentation, and full-surround audio make even 2D telepresence a very immersive experience.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - alan alan Jan 27, 2010

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • As Cisco says in their document Equipping Every Learner for the 21st Century, "Although the vision is global, the path to 21st century education requires a local journey;
    one that recognizes and responds to specific challenges and opportunities." - but nevertheless some of what needs to happen to create change an innovation is lead (and paid for) by the leaders who lead systems and districts. Having experienced it, Cisco Telepresence is an amazing solution for getting collaborative discussions, planning, collaborations or whatever between people actually happening. I think this technology can be used very effectively to get 'thinktank' thinking and actions happening. We need more collaboration and discussion - get rid of the education silos. Of course, it is also great at classroom level, but at this stage the costs don't make it feasible to have everywhere. While virtual worlds can help - the reality I believe is that people still want to sit around a table and be people - get excited about ideas and plan together. This is where body language and eye contact cannot be replaced and where Telepresence does a way better job than a bit of web-cam connection, because you can feel as if you are sitting around the same table - and for all intents and purposes, you are! - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 6, 2010
  • another response here

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Great for meetings - almost feel like being in the same room, but not so sure about its use for teaching and learning as standalones. Could this possibly merge with 3D virtual environment to allow for 'surrogates (the movie)'-like interactions? - horncheah horncheah Feb 5, 2010
  • another response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

  • By inspiring innovators and leaders, this technology can push the shift to 21st century learning. It's as exciting as videoconferencing was when it started - and we all wanted to be able to do that. It could also be used really well to connect particular groups of kids together - perhaps talented kids who are working beyond the normal curriculum or kids connecting with groups - say MIT. The significance and potential impact is on leaders, innovators needing to connect and do intensive work together, and 'smart' kids who can really push their own learning by connecting with relevant people this way. - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 6, 2010
  • another response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon K-12 Project form.