More than 500 ed-tech companies exhibited at this year’s National Educational Computing Conference in Philadelphia. Here’s a sampling of news from the exhibitors offering school video solutions:
Networking leader Cisco Systems showcased its Content Delivery Networking (CDN) solution to support IP video distribution in K-12 schools. As part of the company’s Project Stream initiative, the Mississippi Department of Education will provide CDN statewide to 800 K-12 schools. Phase One of the roll out will include every school district seat in Mississippi. As a result, the Mississippi Department of Education will be able to create, manage, store, and distribute video materials, including instructional and professional development recordings, to every district across the state, the company said. Project Stream will give schools instant access to video, multimedia, and learning support materials from any classroom in the state. Phase Two of the project involves pushing out content to district offices to provide school administrators with consistent information regarding national and state-mandated accountability programs, such as No Child Left Behind and conference sessions. For teachers, Phase Two will provide additional professional development opportunities. For students, it will provide curriculum tools for remediation initiatives around the high school subject area examinations. Phases One and Two of the implementation are under way concurrently, with completion expected in August, Cisco said.
“Our work with the Mississippi Department of Education is a powerful example of Cisco’s commitment to help improve the use of technology in schools,” said Charles Fadel, global lead for education at Cisco. “By using IP technology for media distribution, every school in the state can have access to effective learning tools without the limitation of physical media distribution. This helps ensure that every student has access to the best possible resources which significantly improving the learning experience for pupils and the quality and diversity of the material available to help teachers.”
Cisco also used NECC as a launching pad for Packetville, a new educational web portal intended to introduce young students to the internet as it relates to math, science, real-world solutions, and careers. Students join characters Peter and Penny Packet as they “jump into the internet” and participate in a variety of fun activities to explore technology and its role in society. “Gaming is an exciting learning tool and can be highly effective, depending on the audience and content,” said Marcia Sitcoske, senior director of the Creative Learning Studios at Cisco. “The educational and interactive games in Packetville engage students and provide an entertaining learning experience.”
Library Video Company (LVC) and SAFARI Video Networks announced a distribution agreement with some of the leading educational video publishers. Scholastic Inc., Weston Woods Studios, the British Broadcast Corporation (BBC), Disney Educational Productions, A&E Home Video, and National Geographic are the latest publishers to join PBS, the Boston public broadcasting producer WGBH, and Schlessinger Media on SAFARI Montage–a broadcast-quality, plug-and-play video server for schools. These alliances bring even more educational programs to schools in a digital format, LVC said. SAFARI Montage provides schools with digital access to their choice of educational video content. This video-on-demand server, which comes preloaded with content, resides in the school media center or computer room and can be expanded to accommodate more programming and, ultimately, school-created content. The SAFARI Montage server avoids the problems associated with streaming and includes a feature that allows teachers to bookmark particular segments for classroom use. Additionally, its content will be indexed and correlated to state curriculum standards, LVC said.
TANDBERG announced its TANDBERG Expressway offering, an end-to-end, IP-based videoconferencing solution that allows users to videoconference through firewalls without compromising network security. The solution offers easy set-up features and a multi-vendor environment, TANDBERG said.