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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 ii webcasting videoconferencing

Online Professional Development Part IIWebcasting & Videoconferencing

COABE Conference

April 27, 2004

John Fleischman

Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN)

Sacramento County Office of Edducation

what is a webcast
What is a Webcast?
  • Live video and audio transmitted via the Internet
  • Simple definition: TV via the Internet
webcast advantages
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
webcast disadvantages
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
how does a webcast work
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
how does a webcast work7
How Does a Webcast Work?
  • Video and audio 
  • Switching equipment 
  • Encoder workstation 
  • Streaming server 
  • Internet 
  • Receiving site computer
setup for viewing webcast
Setup for Viewing Webcast





Chat Computer

communicating with presenters
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”

viewing tips
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!
hosting your own webcast
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
production tips computer
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
production tips video
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)
create a webcast web page
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

types of webcasts for pd
Types of Webcasts for PD
  • Webcast with computer chat
  • Webcast with chat and local facilitation
  • Webcast with chat and video and/or DV distribution

Webcast with Computer Chat

  • Useful for:
    • RFP, RFA announcements
    • Provision of regulatory information
    • Specialty presentations
  • Example
  • WIA application process

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


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)


What is a Videoconference?

  • Real-time video and audio connection between 2 or more locations
  • Simple definition: A telephone call with pictures
level 1 desktop
Level 1 - Desktop
  • It requires no more skills than using the Yellow Pages
level 1 desktop22
Level 1 - Desktop
  • Useful for staff development where online presence is needed
  • Relies on chat or audio
  • Good shareware available



Level 2 – Conference Room

  • It’s a great deal easier then herding cats

Level 2 – Conference Room

  • Point-to-point
  • Multipoint
  • Best for professional development
  • Statewide or national meetings
  • Connecting with guest speakers
  • Virtual field trips

Level 2 – Conference Room

  • Hardware
    • Polycom
    • Tandberg
    • Sony
  • Cost
    • $400 to $10,000
  • Connectivity
    • ISDN
    • Internet Protocol (IP)

Level 3 – High Stakes

  • Unfortunately it requires the expertise level of a jet pilot

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

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

Helen Keller