Confused by the myriad videoconferencing equipment on the market? Are you unsure if your school system's network and computers can handle desktop videoconferencing? If you already know all the answers, then you must be an engineer for Cisco or VTEL—but for the rest of us mortals, we'd like some simple explanations about the hardware for distance education, as well as other pitfalls that may be lurking to ensnare unwary schools.

First, an explanation of where we've been and where most of us are headed with distance education. Even the term "distance education" may be unfamilar to many, as

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