VTEL Upgrading Videoconferencing Units in Ohio Schools: Six Hundred VTEL Systems Eligible under Ohio SchoolNet Program
The VTEL program, which has been underway since December 2003, allows each of the installed systems to be upgraded to a common platform covered by VTEL’s three-year factory warranty. “By taking advantage of the VTEL upgrade program, videoconferencing systems under my direction, as well as others around the state, will have the advantage of participating on a level playing field.
With this standard platform, time and money devoted to providing support, training, and content development will be considerably lower,” said Linda Sakemiller, Distance Learning Coordinator at the Allen County Educational Service Center and West Central Virtual Learning Consortium, in Lima, Ohio. Sakemiller oversees distance learning in 14 school districts that use 25 VTEL videoconferencing systems, which were among the first to be upgraded. “It was paramount that designated videoconferencing systems under my management be upgraded within certain parameters due to daily course content delivery.
VTEL provided the new systems in a very timely manner, and VTEL’s reseller partners completed the installations without disrupting our distance learning classes.” “There are 600 VTEL videoconferencing systems installed in Ohio school classrooms,” said Bob Swem, VTEL President and CEO. “For years, we have worked closely with Ohio SchoolNet to provide distance learning solutions for Ohio’s students and teachers.
This upgrade program provides a cost-effective way to put today’s modern videoconferencing technology into those same classrooms.” The VTEL systems in Ohio connect students and teachers who are located in separate classrooms that may be hundreds of miles apart. Some classes taught using VTEL distance
learning solutions allow high school students to earn college credit. School districts utilize VTEL systems to provide science for gifted middle school students taught by high school teachers who are located at a different campus, and for career awareness opportunities, such as meeting authors and other professionals. Simulating legislative sessions and holding mock trials over video are student favorites. Ohio teachers use the VTEL systems for attending graduate courses and professional development programs. School administrators use videoconferencing for multi-campus meetings and recruiting staff.
For each VTEL system upgraded, VTEL and Multimedia Instructional Network Delivery System, LLC (MINDS) are including one year of access via the Internet to the MINDSconnects application. Created by MINDS, the MINDSconnects product offers VTEL upgrade customers a searchable database of videoconferencing content providers, as well as an eLearning section that includes training on how to maximize productivity and enhance usage of VTEL endpoints. VTEL’s PC-centric videoconferencing endpoints are well-suited for accessing MINDSconnects, which makes use of the Internet for the playback of streaming video and audio. Teachers can use MINDSconnects on VTEL endpoints to enhance lesson plans and expose students to a more diverse learning atmosphere.
About VTEL Products Corporation
Based in Austin, Texas, VTEL Products Corporation is a leading provider of PCintegrated video communication endpoints, video network management software, multipoint conferencing systems, and network access and streaming solutions to education, government, and corporate enterprise customers worldwide. Additional VTEL information is available on the Internet at www.vtel.com.
With offices in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Texas, MINDS is dedicated to enhancing education through interactive learning and was formed to assist educators in deeply embedding the daily use of multimedia technology for enhancing instruction and learning. MINDS offers solutions to schools for implementing instructional projects, professional development and public relations efforts to meet increased state and federal requirements targeted at student achievement, teacher quality, administrative leadership and continuous improvement. Visit the MINDS Website at http://www.minds.tv for more information, or call 877.751.8100.
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