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AV and Multimedia Related Thread, Video Conferencing Options in Technical; Good Morning Everyone, I am after suggestions please, our foreign languages teacher has asked me to look into the possibility ...
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    Video Conferencing Options

    Good Morning Everyone,

    I am after suggestions please, our foreign languages teacher has asked me to look into the possibility of video conferencing (VC)
    so that the classes can talk to other schools around the country and abroad.

    I have had a look into the polycom solution but don't want to go with the first one I see, is anybody else using VC or can recommend
    any other companies due to past experience ???

    Cheers in advance
    Homeland.

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    Admiral208's Avatar
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    Skype.

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    We have done things similar to this in the past. We have used Skype to do one to one things with another school in Spain, for this we just used laptops with built in WebCams. We also had a session with a company who hosted a space expedition day where by the students were given tasks to complete from a VC session. For this we used a Polycom system in one class and the polycom software and a decent webcam. Both have worked quite well but depends on what you want to be able to do.

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    I'd also recommend Skype - we've used it to talk to schools in Africa and random other parts of the globe who won't necessarily have dedicated VC gear, but have access to Skype.

    Plus it's *much* easier to walk a random remote teacher through Skype issues - there's sufficient familiarity at the other end that someone will have used it before.
    Last edited by pete; 15th January 2014 at 11:37 AM. Reason: typo

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    Lync is great for that stuff and if you have Office 365 could be an easy win.

    Skype is a bit evil with firewalls and ports at times so be warned to test it well first (that is unless MS haven't re-written it all and made it a much improved product in recent times for that behaviour)

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    Low cost option is Skype. You may manage but its far from perfect (low resolution / image lag etc)

    Polycom offer a better experience but can come at a hefty price.

    Other considerations would be as follows:

    Bandwidth: Do you have enough bandwidth to support higher resolution images from polycom or similar hardware? Need to consider up and down speeds.
    Displays: Dont spend a lot of money on video conferencing if you planning on connecting to a five year old projector. Its worth budgeting for a good quality screen or projector.
    Who are you going to connect to? If other schools are using Skype, will the polycom connect with them easily? They used to use different video protocols and bridging between them can be difficult. I'm not upto date on what can and cant be done but its worth investigating.

    Possibly take a look at Aver (they will be at BETT if you are going), as they have a VC solution that is aimed at Education and is relatively low cost. Its more along the polycom lines but not quite so well refined.

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    JVCS?
    Video Conferencing for Learning: JVCS Booking

    of course you'd still require cameras etc....

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