Sunday, 30 March 2008

Tandberg Content Server

A group of ePrincipals has been meeting to discuss Protocols around the use of the Tandberg Content Server. (TCS) the TCS records video conferencing sessions, stores them on a server, where they can be edited and made available for others to view. We talked about it's purposes for use and the management of this tool. It could be used for:
  • capturing generic lessons such as demonstrations, practicals, interviews with experts;
  • students can use it to catch up on missed lessons;
  • eteachers can use it in their appraisal process; capturing sessions for teacher pd;
  • authenticating student work such as oral language presentations, & practicals that can be performed in front of VC
Issues surrounding its use and management were to do with how long to keep the content, archiving & deletion. Access to logons & passwords - only ePrincipals have access at the moment, booking recording time with Asnet who currently manage the TCS, recording with the knowledge & authorisation of all those in a VC, how to allow access to the intended audience without logons & passwords. (This one was solved pretty easily by Trevor who discovered that individual recordings can be passworded - thereby all you need is to provide your audience with the URL & the password to view)
I think this is a great tool for our online learning toolbox but still a little ahead of our time for seamless operation with our still limited bandwidth. The biggest barrier is the huge files sizes - a 2min clip is about 35 mb. A typical VC is likely to be an hour.... you do the math.
Asnet will copy recordings to DVD & post out to schools but to realise the full potential we should be able to stream or download quickly on demand - still away off for us who in the rural remote areas (which is most of the VLN schools) are a long way off joining any high speed loops anytime soon.
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