Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Teacher Training

This week I am in a teacher training mode. With just under two weeks to go to our Poetry Slam I am busy visiting participating schools and training those teachers who will be responsible for using the videoconferencing equipment. Even those teachers who have used the equipment before can always use a refresher course. The first thing is to check that all the cables and wires are connected properly. That the cable modem (we use a TimeWarner cable modem for our IP connections) is showing four green lights, two steady green, two blinking green and most important that we have the remote and the batteries are still good. I carry triple A batteries in my pocketbook like other people carry a comb. We do a test call with NYIT, New York Institute of Technology. They have a camera that is on all the time. It is aimed at the campus parking lot. The audio is a local rock station. It's always good to see the cars and hear music. Signaling our videoconferencing is good to go.

I was out another videoconferencing training yesterday. This one was for a new videoconferencing/videostreaming network we have in eleven of our schools. This new system are Polycom ViewStations that are connected to a server located at a remote site in NYC. This videoconferencing network has the capability of live videostreaming of videoconferences and meetings. The videostreaming can also be archived for later view. This is very powerful stuff. Stan Silverman, from NYIT, talks about videoconferencing in terms of a box of crayons. It use to be a box of 8 crayons, the basic colors. But this is no longer the case. Now videoconferencing is that big box of 64 crayons. The possibilities are endless.

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