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Online Professional Development Part II Webcasting & Videoconferencing COABE Conference April 27, 2004 John Fleischman Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN) Sacramento County Office of Edducation Matrix of Modalities for DL What is a Webcast?

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Online Professional Development Part IIWebcasting & Videoconferencing

COABE Conference

April 27, 2004

John Fleischman

Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN)

Sacramento County Office of Edducation



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What is a Webcast?

  • Live video and audio transmitted via the Internet

  • Simple definition: TV via the Internet


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Webcast Advantages

  • Low cost

    • Uses existing resources (network/Internet)

    • People can travel to central locations or view Webcasts at their own locations rather than paying for travel, etc.

  • Allows for low level of interactivity

    • Computer chat software

    • Fax transmission


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Webcast Disadvantages

  • Relies on the Network

    • Can be prone to network congestion

  • Requires high level of technical expertise at Webcast transmission site

  • Requires low to mid level of technical expertise at receive sites

  • Host (receive) sites require a fast network/Internet connection – minimum T1 connection recommended


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How Does a Webcast Work?

  • Video and audio are captured in a studio or meeting room and mixed together

  • Video is “encoded” into a computer media format (Windows Media Player, etc.)

  • The encoded video is sent to a streaming server

  • Viewing sites run the media software and connect to the host site’s server to view the video and audio


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How Does a Webcast Work?

  • Video and audio 

  • Switching equipment 

  • Encoder workstation 

  • Streaming server 

  • Internet 

  • Receiving site computer


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Setup for Viewing Webcast

Computer

Projector

Internet

Speakers

Chat Computer


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Communicating with Presenters

  • A chat program is used by receiving sites to communicate with presenters

  • Questions are written on index cards at receiving sites and entered by “Chatmaster”

http://chat.scoe.net


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Viewing Tips

  • Set video computer screen size to 800x600

    • Video will look less “blocky”

  • Test out the Webcast feed well before the event

    • Ensure you can receive a 384 Kbps transmission without any problems beforehand!


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Hosting your own Webcast

  • Recommend fast network connection

  • Calculate bandwidth requirements ahead of time (384 Kbps x receiving sites = total bandwidth requirements)

  • Need technical staff to monitor the Webcast

  • Perform “live” tests ahead of time with all sites connected simultaneously to work out problems


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Production Tips - Computer

  • Get a fast computer as your “encoder workstation”

  • Create streams with multiple bit rates (example: 384 Kbps, 256 Kbps, 128 Kbps)

  • PowerPoint presentations should be kept to no more than 5 lines per page with relatively large text


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Production Tips - Video

  • Select a good location for your productions

  • Use two cameras & switcher, if available

  • Ensure adequate lighting is available

  • Use “external” microphones to ensure quality audio

  • Use a scan converter for computer output (converts computer to video signal)


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Create a Webcast web page

  • Create generic Web page for upcoming/archived Webcasts

  • What should the Web page include?

    • Test or sample video streams

    • Companion PowerPoint or other files

    • Technical information

    • Archived Webcasts

SCOE Webcast page


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Types of Webcasts for PD

  • Webcast with computer chat

  • Webcast with chat and local facilitation

  • Webcast with chat and video and/or DV distribution


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Webcast with Computer Chat

  • Useful for:

    • RFP, RFA announcements

    • Provision of regulatory information

    • Specialty presentations

  • Example

  • WIA application process


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Webcast with Chat & Local Facilitation

  • Useful for:

    • In-depth training on a process or procedure

    • Sharing specialist expertise with many locations simultaneously

    • Combining direct information with local practice / collaboration

  • Example

EL Civics Training


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Webcast with Chat and Video and/or DV Distribution

  • Useful for:

    • Situations where wider information distribution is required (training of trainers)

    • Implementing a continuum of training

  • Example

CAPA Assessment(testing implementation)


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What is a Videoconference?

  • Real-time video and audio connection between 2 or more locations

  • Simple definition: A telephone call with pictures



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Level 1 - Desktop

  • It requires no more skills than using the Yellow Pages


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Level 1 - Desktop

  • Useful for staff development where online presence is needed

  • Relies on chat or audio

  • Good shareware available

VRVS


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Level 2 – Conference Room

  • It’s a great deal easier then herding cats


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Level 2 – Conference Room

  • Point-to-point

  • Multipoint

  • Best for professional development

  • Statewide or national meetings

  • Connecting with guest speakers

  • Virtual field trips


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Level 2 – Conference Room

  • Hardware

    • Polycom

    • Tandberg

    • Sony

  • Cost

    • $400 to $10,000

  • Connectivity

    • ISDN

    • Internet Protocol (IP)


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Level 3 – High Stakes

  • Unfortunately it requires the expertise level of a jet pilot


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Research and Reference

  • K-12 Videoconferencing – Interactive Videoconferencing. A Literature Review by Marilyn Heath and Donald Holznagel. A Policy Issues Review by Kirk deFord and K. Victoria Dimock

  • Effective Use of Desktop Videoconferencing in Teacher Education and Professional Development. NCAL TECH21 Report by Janet C. Smith


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“There is one thing worse than not being able to see, being able to see and having no vision”

Helen Keller


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