Said Business School launches high-tech virtual classroom

The University of Oxford’s Said Business School has opened a one-of-a-kind virtual classroom on its premises. The school said that the classroom is the first of its kind in the UK and merely the second in the world.

Known as the Oxford Hub for International Virtual Education, or the Oxford HIVE, the classroom looks like a conferencing platform with many gadgets. It has 27 high-definition television screens positioned in a U-shape, but unlike a traditional conference facility, this room uses cutting-edge technology.

SyncRTC installed the virtual classroom’s technology, which runs on the company’s Mashme.io platform. It makes use of facial recognition, robotics and 4D projections to ensure that both students and teachers enjoy an immersive experience.

An educator can teach up to 84 students at a time, and these students can access the virtual classroom using Mashme.io. What makes the technology special is that it is completely interactive, allowing the educator to speak to each student individually or divide them into groups. The students can see and listen to each other with ease.

The technology can figure out whether students are being attentive towards their lessons. It does this by measuring the students’ levels of engagement and facial expressions.

Mark Bramwell, Chief Information Officer of Said Business School, commented that the school gives a lot of attention to digital innovation, and the Oxford HIVE can not only impart knowledge to students but also support competitions along the lines of Dragon’s Den. However, the most important aspect of the technology is that it allows busy students to interact with teachers and other students from across the world.

Peter Tufano, Peter Moores Dean of Said Business School, said that the school uses the Oxford experience to educate students. However, Said Business School is looking at new methods of teaching as well. The Oxford HIVE will help students and knowledge facilitators connect at a global level and even allow alumni to share their ideas and perspectives.

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