VTEL and VibrantC Connect Students With Author Lynne Reid Banks in Virtual Field Trips

January 30, 2002

VTEL Products Corporation, a leading manufacturer of videoconferencing systems, and VibrantC, a videoconferencing consulting firm, teamed-up on Jan. 24 and 25 to provide primary and secondary students a virtual field trip with author Lynne Reid Banks.

Banks, whose books include “Indian in the Cupboard” and “Moses in Egypt,” connected to students in Texas, South Dakota, Kentucky and Ohio using VTEL videoconferencing technology. The field trips were coordinated by VibrantC and fostered an interactive distance learning environment allowing author and students to see, hear and ask and answer questions of each other in real-time.

“The field trips with Lynne Reid Banks were truly a unique and enriching learning experience for these students,” said Marci Powell, President of VibrantC. “Videoconferencing provides a very effective means for distance learning which in this case, gave students the opportunity to interact with and learn from the world-famous Lynne Reid Banks.”

Participating from the VibrantC Headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, Ms. Banks displayed and discussed some of her works with primary students who were then able to ask questions of the author. For secondary students, Ms. Banks discussed topics such as the journalistic aspects of authorship, the process of having a book made into a movie, and working with an illustrator as well as taking questions from the students.

“I welcome the opportunity to interact with students in a virtual fieldtrip,” said Ms. Banks. “It allows me reach many more students than I could without using videoconferencing and the experiences are always exciting for both me and the students. The groups I met with this week were no exception. I enjoy interacting with young people and hopefully these fieldtrips inspire the students to read and write more.”

Up to four interactive sites and one view-only site participated in each field trip session on Jan. 24 and 25. Not only did each site have a videoconferencing system but VTEL also provided the videoconferencing bridge that connected all the sites within each field trip.

“Virtual field trips are a perfect distance learning application for VTEL’s videoconferencing technology,” said Andrew Knox, Education Market Manager for VTEL. “The technology brings the learning to the students in an interactive and dynamic way and gives students access to material and experiences that might otherwise be beyond their reach. We are proud to have sponsored the Lynne Reid Banks field trips with VibrantC.”

About VTEL Products Corporation

Based in Austin, Texas, VTEL Products Corporation is a leading manufacturer of PC-integrated videoconferencing systems primarily serving education and government customers worldwide. VTEL sells virtually all of its products through value-added reseller channels and has developed significant expertise in large-scale deployments of both traditional (H.320) and emerging video-over-IP (H.323) networks. Visit the VTEL Web site at www.vtel.com.

About VibrantC

VibrantC is a consulting firm dedicated to helping organizations make the most vibrant use of VideoConferencing possible. Whether videoconferencing is used to deliver instruction, conduct meetings, provide customer service, or create a true team environment with remote offices, VibrantC works to enrich videoconferencing applications and experiences through offering training, consulting and content coordination services. www.vibrant-c.com.

CONTACT: VTEL Products Corporation, Austin

Marisa Santangelo, 512/821-7028

marisa santangelo@vtel.com