Drexel University announced a collaboration Oct. 15 with Advanced AV to bring Vidtel’s high-definition video camera conferencing to campus.
The technology system will be set up in the Creating Excellent Organizations LEADership lab and will allow students and student organizations to communicate across video chat platforms in high definition. The CEO lab, which is located in the Student Organization Resource Center in the lower level of the Creese Student Center, already includes a projector and screen, video and audio recording equipment, a SMART Board, three plasma LED screens, built-in microphones, panel and podium controls, a Blu-ray disc player and video game console, as well as webcast and videoconference technology.
Student Life, in conjunction with the Department of Information Resources and Technology, worked together to bring Advanced AV to Drexel to connect lectures via cloud service to users from Skype or Google Chat from PCs and video-enabled phones.
The partnership will enhance what Drexel had in the past. Instead of having just a basic projector, the new system will allow for videoconferencing to be put online for class lectures, presentations and student groups.
“A lot of video clients have not previously been able to connect to each other, e.g., if you used Skype you could not connect with someone using Google Chat, so this caused some frustration. Vidtel is one of the few companies that provides a service that finally lets users of Skype, Google Chat and H.323 connect at a much higher quality level,” Robert E. Rasberry Jr., assistant director of facility resources for IRT, wrote in an email.
“[The system will] enhance how we can engage virtually from our classrooms. For instance, the Korman classrooms are wired with HD cameras and microphones, so, someone with Skype could connect to the classroom HD cameras via Vidtel and hear the students and instructor. This both provides interoperability and enhances the experience AV quality for everyone,” he continued
The technology available has already assisted Drexel students in their academic and professional pursuits. International companies and government agencies have conducted job interviews with students, and some doctoral students have presented their dissertation proposals and defenses to committees scattered around the world.
“More frequently: Students who work during the day and can’t make it to a particular class can watch the lecture as it happens or its archived version later. Archives serve the additional purpose as review and study tools for lecture review. In some instances, students can view lectures on a mobile device,” Rasberry wrote.
“The room has multiple functions for users on campus and off campus. It allows for functions as simple as listening to music, watching DVDs or even playing video games, as well as more complex functions such as videoconferencing and the ability to produce webcasts,” Jenny Kaus, assistant dean of budgets and administration for Student Life, wrote in an email.
There will also be weekly CEO LEAD workshops that one can attend in person or via online videoconferencing, which will also be stored in an online database for students to access archived videos. Any questions about the new programs can be directed to [email protected].