St. Petersburg College Uses First Virtual Communications’ Click to Meet for Real-Time, Active Participation in Virtual Classrooms
Redwood City, Calif. – June 29, 2004 – First Virtual Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: FVCXE), a premier provider of infrastructure and solutions for real-time, rich media communications, today announced St. Petersburg College (SPC), a multi-campus Florida state college, has integrated Click to Meetâ„¢ into its course delivery framework to help reach its goal of providing a complete associate’s degree program online. Click to Meet enables SPC’s eCampus instructors and students in speech communications and project management classes to meet, learn, interact and present online.
“Click to Meet is going to change the way the world looks at the online educational experience,” said Nancy Doolittle, educational technologist at St. Petersburg College. “As an educator and a technologist, I am excited by the opportunities this product provides both for our students and our instructors. Click to Meet allows us to achieve our goals and ‘raise the bar’ at the same time. Whether we’re cyber-counseling our online students or providing multi-video online speech classes, with Click to Meet, we are certain to maintain our reputation as one of the country’s leading educational institutions.”
In order to complete its Internet-only associate’s degree program and become one of the most successful online education programs in the country, SPC needed to offer a speech communications course over the Web. While other schools require students to come to campus or submit videotaped presentations, SPC’s speech faculty found those options unacceptable. Many of its eCampus students live out of state, and some are in other countries. The developers of the public speaking course thought that a web-based tool which allows students to see and hear each other could be a viable solution. The conferencing solution had to be real-time, easy-to-install, easy-to-navigate and easy-to-troubleshoot. It also had to have a low per-student cost.
The course developers chose Click to Meet over several other competitive solutions, which were evaluated on 28 separate criteria. By combining high-quality multipoint voice and video with web collaboration tools within a single browser interface, First Virtual Communications believes that Click to Meet offers a unique and easy-to-use set of communications tools for an interactive, real-time, rich media communications environment. Click to Meet provides the capabilities needed to instruct SPC’s speech class in a virtual classroom and allow active student participation, while still providing the teacher with control through effective conference management tools. In addition, First Virtual Communications believes that Click to Meet is a solution that can grow with the College in a cost effective manner since per-student costs decline as usage expands, due to a concurrent-user license model.
“We are trendsetters in offering public speaking online,” said Jan Ballantine, associate professor, Speech Communications, at St. Petersburg College. “And we are proud to be able to provide such high quality online instruction to students around the world using software like Click to Meet.”
St. Petersburg College is also using Click to Meet in its four-year technology and management program. Instructors teach project management courses, taking advantage of Click to Meet’s ability to share software applications in real-time. Students can fulfill the communication training requirements by interacting in the rich media environment. Project Management Instructor Tom Grisham said, “It provides the virtual classroom we sought to achieve.”
SPC is also considering integrating Click to Meet into administrative communications, faculty training and communications with and counseling of eCampus students.
“With today’s students demanding more learning options and wanting the flexibility provided by web-based classes, St. Petersburg College is striving to meet their needs. The college has built a successful online degree program and strives to stay on the cutting edge of technology integration in education,” said Gary Dietz, education marketing manager, First Virtual Communications. “Like SPC, other school customers are realizing that they could integrate Click to Meet into their learning blends so that they could offer top-notch courses that offer real-time interaction comparable to a traditional classroom without putting undue pressure on their technology budget or resources.”
First Virtual Communications is committed to delivering real-time, rich media communications infrastructure and solutions to educational institutions and nonprofit or government-sponsored educational technology consortia. Its award-winning Click to Meet combines high-quality multipoint voice and video with web collaboration tools within a single web browser interface to allow educators to create a blend of real-time and offline learning modules appropriate to the lesson, instructor, students and technological infrastructure. First Virtual Communications believes that institutions can incorporate Click to Meet into their remote teaching and meeting strategies because it is a premise-based client-server solution which is customizable, scalable and interoperable with many existing communications systems. First Virtual Communications believes that, with Click to Meet, educators can cost-effectively expand their reach to new students, expert faculty, guest lecturers and classrooms. For more information about First Virtual Communications, Click to Meet and the education sector, please visit http://www.fvc.com/eng/education.
About St. Petersburg College
The mission of St. Petersburg College is to provide accessible, open door, learner-centered education for students pursuing associate degrees, limited four-year degrees, technical education and continuing education within Pinellas County and globally, in program areas where the College has special expertise. As a comprehensive multi-campus state college, SPC seeks to be a creative leader and partner with students, communities and other educational institutions to deliver enriched learning experiences and to promote economic development. The College fulfills its mission led by an outstanding, diverse faculty and staff, and enhanced by advanced technology, distance learning, international education, innovative teaching techniques, an outstanding library and other information resources, continuous institutional self-evaluation, a climate for student success and an enduring commitment to excellence
About First Virtual Communications
Virtual Communications is a premier provider of infrastructure and solutions for real time rich media communications. The Company’s award-winning Click to Meetâ„¢ product line is enterprise-class software that enables corporate, education, healthcare and government customers worldwide to present, share, sell, train and collaborate. Click to Meet integrates the user’s choice of data, audio and multipoint interactive video into existing work environments and into everyday communication tools such as instant messaging, web browsing and e-mail. Click to Meet software solutions are widely deployed in over 1,500 customer locations and excel in challenging environments such as military intelligence, emergency response, disaster recovery, corporate training and geographically dispersed tele-working locations, among others. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, First Virtual Communications has operations in France, United Kingdom, Japan and China. More information about First Virtual Communications can be found at http://www.fvc.com or by calling 1-800-728-6337 or +1-650-801-6500 outside North America.
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Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements containing the words, “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects” and words of similar import. Such forward-looking statements have known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of First Virtual Communications, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others: the aggregate value of and impact on the Company of the investigation described in the Company’s press release dated April 30, 2004, including any possible expansion of the investigation and any possible restatement of previously announced financial results; any adverse impact arising from the delay in filing required periodic reports; any delisting from the Nasdaq Smallcap market; the risk that sales of the Company’s Click to Meetâ„¢ and Conference Server products will not increase or that new versions will not be released on a timely basis; the Company’s variability of operating results; market acceptance of web conferencing technology; potential inability to maintain business relationships with integrators, distributors and suppliers; rapid technological changes; competition and consolidation in the web conferencing industry; the importance of attracting and retaining personnel; and other risk factors referenced in First Virtual Communications’ public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company’s report on form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2003.