Polycom Inc. recently introduced a videoconferencing package for education, called ClassStation. This package, based on the company’s VS 4000 product, allows teachers and students to see each other and interact clearly in a distance-education environment.

Polycom’s VS 4000 technology allows anyone with access to a web browser to broadcast and take part in virtual classes, board meetings, and speeches. ClassStation brings this same technology to the classroom and tailors it to the teaching environment through two major innovations.

ClassStation’s CamCommand feature enables videoconferencing cameras to switch from the instructor to the student automatically whenever a student microphone is activated, allowing the teacher to see who is asking the question easily. Also, the product’s touch-to-talk microphones will pan, tilt, and zoom around the classroom to focus in on the speaking student.

“Our new ClassStation package is a complete, integrated videoconferencing solution that allows instructors to focus on teaching instead of technology,” said Craig Malloy, senior vice president and general manager of video communications for Polycom.

There are three versions of the ClassStation product, for small, medium, and large classrooms. According to the company, each package includes an appropriate number of monitors, microphones, cameras, speakers, and storage facilities for venues of varying size. Full-package prices range from $32,250 for small, $46,250 for medium, and $62,000 for large systems.

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