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So Easy a 10-Year-Old Can Do It

March 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm PST

Hear 10-year-old child prodigy Adora Svitak discuss how she uses video conferencing on a daily basis.

Virtual Field Trips Enhance Education

Classrooms around the country are adopting video conferencing despite recent cuts in funding because it provides unique opportunities and experiences that can enhance the quality of education.

For example, Physics students at Southampton Intermediate School recently had an opportunity to observe the Brookhaven National Laboratory via video conferencing. During the session they were able to follow scientists from the National Synchrotron Light Source lab while they checked oysters from Southampton waters for toxic metals.

“It’s a very valuable program,” Brittany Tusa, a Southampton High School senior who helped to organize the event. “Beyond getting your feet wet in the scientific community, you also make a lot of connections with local researchers.”

Students at Tropical Elementary in Florida recently got to experience the Iditarod, the 1,100-mile sled dog race in Alaska, without ever leaving their warm classroom.

“It’s really neat because we’re far away, but they’re right there and you can see and hear them,” said Abbey Sims, 12.

To learn more about how to integrate video conferencing into lesson plans, check out the new book Interactive Videoconferencing, published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Swift Justice: Collin County Courtrooms Go Digital

The morning commute for a round of arraignments in court has gotten dramatically shorter for a Collin County judge. Check out this really innovative way to use video conferencing to save tax dollars.

What are some innovative uses of video conferencing you’ve seen in a work environment?

Report: Telepresence Can Help Businesses During Economic Crisis

More and more organizations today are leveraging technologies like video conferencing, telepresence and unified communications in a bid to improve communications capabilities, reduce costs and stay ahead in the competitive marketplace.
In the current state of the economy, with the recession impacting just about all industries, research firm Frost & Sullivan believes these solutions provide a viable solution to not only face current challenges, but also to prepare for when the up-turn occurs.
According to the research firm, earlier recessions have shown that companies who invest in their IT and communications during the crisis have been in a stronger position when the storm passes – even having the ability to grab market share from their competitors.  Read more.

Interest in Video Conferencing Grows as Companies Look for Ways to be More Efficient

Evidence is mounting that as the economy has soured, business and individual interest in the deployment of advanced communications solutions has been growing.

A study from Access Markets International has found that small and medium businesses (SMBs), whose workforce is increasingly dispersed, will spend more on conferencing solutions that include audio, web and video in the coming years according to tmcnet.com, an industry website.

It estimated that by 2012 companies will spend $26 billion on the technology, which represents an annual growth rate of 5.9 percent from 2006, when SMBs spent $1.8 billion on conferencing solutions.

In addition to business cost savings and environmental benefits, voice and video conferencing also helps families stay in touch, something the recession is also making increasingly difficult.

Fortunately, a range of business-to-business and consumer-to-consumer communications solutions currently exist. What is more, such an investment is likely to continue to provide benefits long after the recession is over.

In fact, some see the downturn as a blessing in disguise for the telecommunications industry.

Says Dominic Dodd, principle analyst at Frost & Sullivan, quoted by the website, “For companies able and willing to continue their IT investments during the recession, visual communications and collaboration products and services should become a central part of their strategy for survival -- and for creating a dominant position for themselves, come the upturn.”