Virtual Communication

vir-tu-al [vur-choo-uhexternal image thinsp.pngl]: adjective; temporarily simulated or extended by computer software
com-mu-ni-ca-tion [kuh-myoo-ni-key-shuhexternal image thinsp.pngn]: noun; the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs

Technically speaking, ‘Virtual Communication’ could be recognized as the modern technological phenomenon through which the transmission of information, and/ or action is achieved to the remote or distant locations, where the content, intentions, or actors may either be non-existent or be distorted, replaced or created in another form, using the advancements of information technology.

external image skypecast.jpgVirtual communication is breaking down barriers that have separated people for centuries. A new wave of technology is exploding into society. What other device could permit a student in a rural community of south Georgia,Los Angeles, or Missouri in the United States of America to connect with a student in metropolitan Bangladesh, Australia, China, Austria, or Qatar?

Digital Stories

A - Design and Innovation

Design and Innovation Instructions

Producer - Perola L

Video Number: 10.a.64
Title - Virtual Communication – Design & Innovation
Summary An interesting, informational and entertaining Video - This video shall enable you to effectively recognize the phenomenon of Virtual Communication, familiarize you with the relevant developments and its current and futuristic usage as well as provide you with a direct experience of some of its representative applications.
Location – Qatar Academy, Qatar
Outsourced Video Segment producer – Hilliary J, Westwood Schools, U.S.A.; F, Gillian. Personal interview.

Producer - Hilliary J

Video Number: 10.a.65
Title- The Shutterbug Sidekick (Design and Innovation)
Summary- The Shutterbug Sidekick is a camera that has a keyboard, touch screen, and connects to the Internet. This is the perfect camera for the freelance photographer. As soon as the camera is filled with pictures you connect to Flickr or Photobucket and send you pictures there. You can keep taking pictures while the other ones upload. It is an unlimited supply of space for your pictures. You can also edit your pictures on the camera before they are sent to Flickr or Photobucket. Instead of having to upload the pictures to a computer to edit and put copyrights on the pictures you can do it right there on your camera. You can even use the touch screen to sign the pictures.
URL- The Shutterbug Sidekick
Location- Westwood Schools, Georgia, U.S.A
Outsourced Video Segment Producer- Sumner W, Westwood Schools, U.S.A; Photo-shoot clip

Producer - Megan L

Video Number: 10.a.66
Location: PLC, Australia

B - Story and Empathy

Story and Empathy Instructions

Producer - Jesus M

Video Number: 10.b.83
Title: The Dangers of Virtual Communication
Summary: Dr. Whosinberger explains that although there are many benefits of virtual communications, young people must beware of the dangers.
Location: Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, LA, USA
Outsourced Video: Mike L., LACHSA

Producer - Anna K

Video Number: 10.b.67
Virtual Communication DANGER
This video shows the danger of virtual communication.
Location - Austria, Vienna International School
This video was not outsourced.

Producer- Sara Ann W

Video Number: 10.b.68
Title - Distance is No Issue
When we were in middle school, we were the best of friends, but when high came, we were split because of our parents job location. Now we never see each other because we live on opposite sides of the United States. I live in Georgia, and he lives in Los Angeles. We need to find a way to communicate easily every day.
Location - USA, Westwood Schools
Outsourced Video Segment Producer- Jesus, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, U.S.A.

C - The Fun Factor (Play)

The Fun Factor (Play) Instructions

Producer - Pietro

Video Number: 10.c.69
Title: Communication in games
Summary: A video on how communication is in online games and whats its used for
URL: only on wikispaces
Location: Vienna, Austria

Producer - Eli M

Video Number: 10.c.70
Title: Computers and Cheese
Summary: I made this video for a project I was doing on With the help of my international pen pal, Paula, who lives in China, and the wiki, I was able to create a successful video. I was part of group 10C; our topic was Virtual Communication, the Fun Factor. I hope you enjoy the video. Thanks a lot.
Location: Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, USA
Outsource: Paula N. (SAS)

Producer - Paula N.

Video Number: 10.c.71
Location: Shanghai American School (Shanghai, China)
Outsource: Eli M. / Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, USA (Los Angeles, California, USA)
Title - Virtual Communication in Mainstream Gaming
Summary - This video focuses on the impact of virtual communication on the world of gaming. After all, this is the fun factor, and fun is exactly what games are made for.


Virtual communications first started with instant messaging such as AOL Instant Messenger, and file-sharing services, such as Napster. It has now grown into VoIP (voice over internet protocol) services are now available for free download to make phone calls over the internet. These peer-to-peer networks allow users to communicate, share, and collaborate easily.

The most commonly used forms of virtual communication are:

  • Video-conferencing (teleconferencing): "An innovative, new technology that creates unique, in-person experiences between people, places, and events in their work and personal lives—over the network." [1] Cisco is one of the many video-conferencing companies available to the masses.

  • File-sharing: File-sharing is a program that allows users to swap and share files. While many file-sharing networks have suffered legal problems from copyright infringements (such as the aforementioned Napster), some have been declared legal by court rulings. Most current file-sharing programs operate under the Peer-to-Peer model, in which users upload and download files stored on their own personal computers and servers.

  • Desktop sharing: Desktop sharing allows someone to openly access your desktop from a separate computer. Windows XP has incorporated an "invite to my computer" tool into Windows XP model computers.
    • Desktop control: Desktop control is used by support technicians to locate a computer problem and inform the user how to fix it. Also, the technician can manually fix it from the shared desktop. This permits faster, more convenient assistance without confusion and long explanations of complicated problems.

  • Voice over Internet Protocol: Downloadable VoIP products available online, such as Skype, enable anyone with a computer and an internet connection to talk on the phone, instant message, video chat, hold a conference, or even call regular phones and cell phones for free.

  • Hybrids: Hybrids are programs that incorporate all forms of virtual communications, such as Elluminate. Elluminate is used forexternal image elluminate.jpg "real-time learning and meeting over the internet." [3] It enables web-sharing, desktop sharing, collaboration, chat, video, and many other innovative features that can be utilized.

Today in America, one of the biggest computer companies is Apple. Apple computers, particularly Apple MacTops, are the hottest accessories in the electronic market. Today, many teens use Apple MacTops with video cameras and microphones imported into them as a way to communicate with friends. For more information about Apple computers:

Listed here below are some of the Current and Futuristic Applications of Virtual Communication
(You may use the hyperlinks to view an illustrative video clip of the application):
1. Virtual Offices & Virtual Business: Interviews and Conferences through top-of-the-line Video Conferencing options

2. Virtual Learning: Online Courses, Trainings and Examinations

3. Virtual Learning: Simulation for all varieties of technical experience –
- Flight Simulation

- Surgical Simulation

4. Virtual Offices: Outsourcing of business through processes like Medical Transcriptions

5. Virtual Surgeries: Surgeon sitting in one part of the world, operating on patients in other parts of the world

6. Virtual Presence: Monitoring and Surveillance through 3G technology

7. Virtual Control:
- Maneuvering of various equipment and operations in the manned and unmanned Spacecrafts and Satellite Missions

- 'Unmanned Combat Vehicle’
- ‘Laptop tracking technology'

8. Connectivity across heavenly bodies or with the manned and unmanned Spacecrafts and Satellite Missions

9. Communication for disabled and helpless: Tele-medicine & Innovations for Speech Handicapped

10. Communication for disabled and helpless: Tele-medicine & Innovations for Helpless

11. Virtual Preview: Before booking and checking into the Hotels and Apartments

12. Robotic simulation

13. Games and Entertainment

-Virtual Communication can be a great pastime and method of communicating with friends from different nations instantly. It can be a safe, fun, and interesting way to spend ones spare time, but if used improperly and without caution and restraint, can be a nightmare that can’t simply be solved by logging off.
There are countless cases of young people harassing others online. This act is known as “Cyber-bullying” and has ruined (or sometimes even ended) many young lives. Cyber-bullying is a pointless and thoughtless trend that seems to be spreading like wildfire. People are bullied to the point where they are so hurt by the threats that they turn to drugs, alcohol, or even suicide.
Another threat is the risk of Internet predators. Internet predators pretend to be someone they’re not. Then, when they have lured a victim from a chat room or other public online place, they are persistent in acquiring information about that person so that they can use the information to track down, stalk, hurt or do unimaginably horrible things.
In closing, one should not be afraid of going online, they should simply practice restraint, good judgment of character, and always be wary when communicating with strangers online.

-Visit for more information

Current News

VoIP Blog

          skype_logo_connect-web.jpg Myspace and Skype
          In a deal that will connect two of the largest Internet services,MySpace, the social network owned by the News Corporation,will announce on Wednesday that it is teaming up with Skype, the Internet telephone service owned by eBay.

          Impact of ‘Virtual Communication’ in Qatar
          Quite in line with the rest of the world, this technology is bringing about sweeping changes in many walks of life in the booming economy of this country. The internet usage has already demonstrated an exponential growth showing steep rise from just a few thousands (2145) in 1996 to 30,000 users in 2000 and then to 126,000 in 2002, 165,000 in 2005 and 289,900 by August 2007.ITP Despite taking cognizance of the concomitant growth of the population also, the enhancement in the internet usage is clearly evident from the sharply rising levels in form of internet users as percentage of the total population.

          There is definitely a substantial increase in the applications like Internet-Banking, Internet based Airline ticketing, Internet based Qatar Government Services ranging from Immigration services to Q-Tel to traffic violations. The internet based technology is now also increasingly being used for ‘Video Conferencing’ for purposes like conducting business meetings, business and scientific conferences, on-line training etcetera, thereby avoiding the need to travel. Though, the IP telephony may not be advertised as a fully legal option in Qatar, but at the same time it is also known that it is already very popularly used by many for communication using skype, yahoo messenger or google talk, affording them extremely cheap/ virtually ‘no-cost’ alternative to otherwise expensive international calls. Recently, there has been a spate of installations of the VOIP capable CISCO instruments in Doha, including in our umbrella organization - Qatar Foundation and the introduction of various VOIP services and 3G mobile technology is just round the corner.

          These trends are strongly suggestive of that not only the usage of this technology will steadily increase further becoming more and more wide-spread in the masses of Qatar, but also the various forms and applications of its usage will multiply.

          Impact on Education

          1) Voice over Internet Protocol ho-img-free_and_cheap.pngVoIP can make learning easier and more exciting by allowing students and teachers as well as students and students to communicate over the computer by voice. VoIP has everything: call, chat, conferencing, and a webcam. Students from different countries can talk to each other, just as we did for this project. Students can also ask their teachers for help outside of school.

          ho-img_skype.pngSkypecasting enables an entire class to converse instantaneously. Teachers can choose a topic and record the conversation. Others can listen in, or it can be private. Skypecasts allow open discussion of a subject to ensure that all students comprehend it.

          When schools are closed due to political situations (as they are sometimes in Dhaka, Bangladesh), online tutoring companies, such as, allow students and online tutors to communicate. It is effective because it is faster for people to communicate and respond to one another. It is easier for students that seek help through tutors or teachers, and it is fun!

          One of the best VoIP programs is Skype, which could be considered a hybrid of all forms of virtual communication. It has helped teachers with common interest to share work, ideas, and new teaching methods. Also, students can talk to other students as well as teachers and tutors.

          2) Desktop Sharing

          Desktop sharing allows teachers and students to share their desktops, aiding in understanding of the topic. The teacher can show thesharingS.jpg student firsthand how to find something or perform a task. A few applications are available right now that enable you to share your desktop with another user via Skype.

          Unyte from WebDialogs is a great example of this type of application. Unyte enables you to share your desktop and applications with Skype users and non-Skype users. Unyte allows you to share documents and projects with anyone at any time from your desktop. Students are able to send each other files and documents if one of them misses school. Even teachers can share their class activities and worksheets with other teachers around the world.

          3) Instant Messaging

          external image aolinstantmessenger0ft.pngInstant messaging can be used as an alternative method of communication if students and teachers do not have the right components for voice or video chatting. The teacher can communicate instantly with multiple students. Students can communicate with their teacher(s) when they are not in school when help is needed.

          Online tutors might even want to use instant messaging to chat with their students, such as they do on IM is faster than emails and more effective. Not to mention, it's also free!

          The drawbacks include students misusing it and causing distractions when it is allowed in school. IM must be used responsibly.

          4) Video Conferencing

          a_PolycomV300102.jpgTeachers and students can have a discussion simultaneously with the help of conferencing. Video conferencing creates an environment similar to a classroom where the teacher lectures and the students listen. Students who cannot attend a local school or students in economically disadvantaged areas can also have the opportunity to take part of these virtual classes via video conferencing, such as homeschooled children in isolated areas of Australia.

          Video conferencing is an excellent way to bring students with social and cultural differences together to learn about their backgrounds.

          Smaller schools can also use video conferencing to offer courses they could not previously offer.

          Under the bracket of Video conferencing, web-based seminars have evolved to support lecturers at universities and teachers in schools to enable students who would otherwise be prevented from attending the seminar can now learn through a program called Webinar : short for Web-based seminar; a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the internet, most commonly used by students and lecturers in university.

          Impact on Industry

          1) Instant Communication

          Instant Results

          Many businesses are using Instant Messaging(IM) services because it provides an easy, efficient way to connect with others in the workplace. When IM is not used in a productive manner, it can cause distractions and waste time. Company managers must also ensure that employees are collaborating with each other--not conspiring against the company via IM. The same ethics that apply in standard communications also apply in virtual communications.

          Francis deSouza states in a CNN interview that he "believes companiesIM3.JPG need to formally incorporate it [IM] as part of their communications infrastructure."

          "Instant messaging has obviously evolved from its roots as a facilitator of teenager chats to a vital workplace collaboration tool. A growing number of businesses now depend on IM to communicate and collaborate internally, as well as with customers and partners. And industry insiders say "IM's business evolution is far from over." [4]

          Companies, such as Akonix , have created products to employ and regulate IM in the workplace. When instituting regulatory programs such as these, businesses have a stronger grasp on overseeing the use of virtual communication tools within the company to ensure safety, security, and productivity in the office. The Skype Manager and L7 Enterprise are examples of virtual regulatory products.

          "Pew Internet studies & American Life surveys reveal that more than four in ten online Americans use instant messaging (IM). That reflects about 53 million American adults who use instant messaging programs. About 11 million of them IM at work and they are becoming fond of its capacity to encourage productivity and interoffice cooperation."

          2) Teleconferencing

          Global Connection

          Imagine sitting at a table with two coworkers in a New York conference room. You initiate a program, and three other people working for the same company, currently in Tokyo, appear on a screen. A discussion begins, and a conference is started. How is this possible? Behold, the power of virtual communication.external image zu1.jpg

          Teleconferencing is revolutionizing the business world, enabling conferences from across the globe to take place. Products such as Cisco's TelePresence are becoming ubiquitous in national and international companies. One barrier that does stand in the way of any

          form of virtual communication (as Cannelle and I have discovered) is the time zone. Times of convenience have to be predetermined, and a conference cannot be scheduled on a whim.

          Many are opposed to removing the social aspect of conferences. They believe face-to-face association is essential.

          "The flat-panel screens display the people at the other site, which could be anywhere in the world. It makes you feel like you are all siting on the same table." [5]

          Worth the cost? Thomas Friedman declares in The World is Flat, "$250,000 each...That is nothing compared to the airline tickets and wear and tear on executives having to travel regularly to London or Tokyo for face-to-face meetings." [6]

          3) Voice over Internet Protocol

          Internet Telephony

          external image photo_careers.jpg Similar to instant messaging, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is enabling a faster, more facilitated connectivity between coworkers. VoIP is also going to create (predicted by Thomas Friedman) new companies that offer "SoIP (services over Internet protocol): who can offer you the best to someone while easily inviting a third of fourth and swap document files...send text messages at the same time...leave someone a voice message..." [7] Companies will not only thrive on VoIP, but other businesses will also be born as a result.

          An example of a VoIP benefit in the workplace discussed in The World is Flat is "employees and freelancers confer more often, allowing them to work faster and more efficiently." [8]external image voip_enum.jpg

          As previously mentioned, Skype is one of the easiest, most efficient VoIP products available. A companywide installation of Skype would take only a couple of minutes and could reap tremendous benefits.

          VoIP services will allow someone in a small town or a small country to run an international business based on cutting edge communication tools.

          4) Collaboration

          Share, Share, Share!

          external image Concept_2.jpeg Thomas Friedman states in The World is Flat "file-sharing technology is still around and is getting more sophisticated every day, greatly enhancing collaboration." [9]

          Companies are discovering the facilitation of a collaborative effort in using sharing software--desktop sharing and file sharing (also called application sharing). Websites such as Vyew and Webhuddle offer services that allow users to share desktops from any computer with internet access.

          The use of sharing tools can have a significant effect on teamwork projects. With new programs available, you can work on your computer in the workplace and talk with a coworker while sending him/her your drafted file and demonstrating what you are explaining. As in Instant Messaging, file-sharing must be monitored to prevent internal illegal activity and wasted time. Once again, ethical principles apply in collaboration as they do in other environments.

          Numerous application sharing programs are available, but it is important to research . Make sure the one chosen is reliable, safe, and competent for your company. Compare services based on size, popularity, and the opinions of users.

          Collaboration in business will get things done--faster, easier, and more efficiently.

          5) File-Sharing
          The dark side of virtual communication

          Though there are many upsides and positives to virtual communication breakthroughs in technology, there have been significant consequences and repercussions for industry in relation to file-sharing. With the advent of high-speed internet connections and increased storage capabilities for hard drives, mp3 files, relatively small, became increasingly easy to download illegally. Though the first generation of P2P networks rely upon a centralized server, each generation since has been decentralized, making it difficult to track down illegal activity.

          Record industries have maintained that file-sharing hurts record sales. From 2000 to 2002, record sales dropped by 138 million units.


          Extra Multimedia

          New communications. New connections. New possibilities.


          2006 - Casey C, Cannelle C.
          2007 - Sara Ann W, Hilliary J, Perola L,
          external image progress_flat_caption.gifcc3.JPG
          Leave us a message about this project!