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Guest blog by Claudia Novak, former Technology Integration Specialist at Nashua NH School District and technology expert for the New Hampshire Geographical Alliance.
For the past 20 years, I have been a Technology Integrator for the 17-school Nashua NH School District. One of the most powerful tools I have used has been video conferencing– both with my students and my teachers. For my teachers, it has been a great way to do training and problem solving when I couldn’t be at their school. For my students, it was a great way for them to connect to students at other schools within the school district or around the globe or participate in my Virtual Fieldtrips from anywhere .
Over the years, I have used several software solutions and even expensive dedicated IP to IP hardware solutions. No matter what software product or hardware solution I used, there was one huge issue – our school district’s lack of bandwidth during peak times of Internet usage. The other issue was ease of use for my teachers.
VSee – It’s Really That Simple for Teachers To Use
About 2 years ago I was introduced to VSee on an education blog. I downloaded the product on my laptop and my iPad. It didn’t require administrative rights for my teachers to download it to their laptops. It didn’t require special setups by my teachers to connect to the laptop/iPad camera and audio. I just sent them an invitation and they were up and working with me in a matter of seconds. It was that easy to use.
My first true test of VSee was when I did a series of video conferences from Gdansk, Poland. I was a tad worried since the hotel I was staying at had horrible Internet connection. I had about 15 classes that were ‘connecting’ to me 1-on-1 over a 3 hour period with teachers that had used VSee only when I was there to help them out. The teachers were using both laptops and iPads.
I was HUGELY impressed. No problems and every class got to spend time with me asking all their questions without any video or audio breakup. Better yet, not one teacher had an issue connecting to me and I didn’t have to spend any side time emailing or chatting with them about technical issues.
Since then, I have used VSee exclusively not only for my Virtual Fieldtrips but also connecting to my teachers within the school district. VSee is the only video conferencing product that I have used with such low bandwidth that I could have excellent video and audio even during peak times in my school district.
Video Conferencing Beyond K-12 Education
I recently retired from education and am now working with the New Hampshire Geographical Alliance (NHGA) to help promote geographical education not only in K-12 environment but with universities, too. It is a very active group and one of the issues we have is travelling to meetings. At our last meeting, attendance was low because of the 2+ hours drive under difficult winter conditions, so I introduced VSee to our group.
In April, I used VSee to host our first sub committee (4 members) meeting and we got SO much done without leaving our homes. Everyone was highly impressed with the quality of video and audio and ESPECIALLY the ease of use with multiple platforms.
I am greatly looking forward to how this video conferencing solution will aid all educators concerned with geography in New Hampshire!
Thank you, VSee. Kudos to VSee and its staff!