29 / Oct / 2014

Students Benefit When Schools Adopt Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is a powerful tool to improve the classroom experience for millions of students. Earlier this year, the Digital Journal profiled several schools utilizing the technology. Many school systems across the country are adopting video conferencing technology to allow experts to talk and interact with students. This lets students move from beyond the textbook to speaking with important figures, top experts, and famous personalities who can help kids engage with content.

One educator in Pennsylvania said, “Children need to have an emotional connection with what they’re learning in order to commit that to long term memory and when you’re learning out of a textbook that emotional connection isn’t there. Using technology in this transformative way allows kids to be inspired and it allows that deep learning to take place.” Students in classrooms around the globe can also use the technology to engage with each other, providing new perspectives and fresh ideas from the global classroom. Schools in Scotland, Germany, Japan, and South Africa all work to offer video conferencing exchanges. Video conferences between partner schools give students from different cultures a chance to discuss common issues and events, including how they can work together to solve global problems.

Another really great use of video conferencing technology has been in virtual field trips. Scholastic Instructor magazine wrote a profile discussing how “ more schools are using video conferencing to lead virtual field trips to traditional venues, such as museums and zoos, as well as to more exotic realms.” Scholastic provided this vivid example “A volcano on the island of Montserrat is about to explode as a hurricane bears down on the small Caribbean nation. A group of fearless sixth graders is on the case, charged with determining what kind of damage may occur, which health measures to follow, and how to carry out evacuation plans. It’s all in a day’s field trip for students in the Mt. Lebanon School District outside Pittsburgh. The middle schoolers’ adventure takes place without anyone leaving the building, using a videoconferencing system and the services of the Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling Jesuit University. In e-Mission: Operation Montserrat, a “mission commander” at the center interacts live with the students, relaying reports about lava flow and evacuee progress, showing video clips of ash clouds over the island, and sending seismic data and information about hurricane intensity to students.”

More than a third of US schools now regularly use video conferencing in the classroom. The growth in the education sector is set to continue as schools look to expand curriculums while controlling costs. Whatever approach schools take to video conferencing, they seem to agree that achievement goes up when virtual field trips are well-integrated, based on educational standards, and tied tightly to the curriculum. “I’ve learned at each video conference that every child is attentive, engaged, and absorbed in what’s happening,” says one educator. “The most challenged learner, with the most severe special educational needs, is not gazing out the window, but participating. So that is definitely helping their learning.”

About VSGi

VSGi is a nationwide leader in Video ConferencingTelepresenceAV Integration, and Hosted (Cloud) Video Services. VSGi leverages a cross-functional team of sales, engineering, project management and 24/7/365 technical support personnel to deliver the highest quality solutions to customers. VSGi’s unmatched experience in communications solutions provides its customers a fully integrated turnkey solution including design, configuration, project management and implementation, installation, testing, training and ongoing support.

VSGi is partnered with the world’s leading Video Conferencing Providers, including PolycomCiscoVidyo. For more information on VSGi, visit www.vsgi.com

 

12 / Sep / 2014

The Benefits of Laser Projectors

Lasers are changing the AV landscape and ushering in a new era for projector technology. Sony recently unveiled its newest entry in this field with a 7,000 lumen 3 LCD Solid State Laser Projector, the VPL-FHZ700L (video). What makes laser phosphor projectors like the VPL-FHZ700L so amazing is the range of advantages they bring over bulb based projectors.

High Color Light Output & Image Quality

Laser projectors offer superior brightness for applications like cinema, museums, and educational institutions projecting applications for long periods of time. Also, a single laser projector can define images and show 3D at a much higher brightness than bulb equivalents.  A lamp’s brightness decays quickly over periods of use from 100% to 50% to eventually needing to replace it. A laser, by contrast, decays in brightness over the full lifetime of the laser, up to 50,000 hours, to around 80% of original brightness.

Also, in addition to the constant brightness capability, “the laser light source is designed so that if one of the 168+ lasers should fail over the life of the projector it will not even be noticed as the projector has the capability to slightly increase the brightness of the remaining lasers.”

Up to 20,000 Hours Maintenance Free Use

For the Sony model, the manufacturer boasts guaranteed 20,000 hours of continual operation with only filter replacements. While initial costs are higher for a laser projector implementation, the savings over its lifetime are quickly realized by customers who have been through the process of deploying a large number of traditional lamp-based projectors and can see that the benefits and cost savings in not having to maintain them.

Eco-Friendly Design

Lastly, laser projectors provide both energy and cost savings compared to traditional bulb projectors. By using features like auto-dimming when signals are static or lost, instant on/off with no warm up or cool down, and as the technology matures efficiency gains are improving over bulbs, which remain constant.

About VSGi

VSGi is a nationwide leader in Video ConferencingTelepresenceAV Integration, and Hosted (Cloud) Video Services. VSGi leverages a cross-functional team of sales, engineering, project management and 24/7/365 technical support personnel to deliver the highest quality solutions to customers. VSGi’s unmatched experience in communications solutions provides its customers a fully integrated turnkey solution including design, configuration, project management and implementation, installation, testing, training and ongoing support.

VSGi is partnered with the world’s leading Video Conferencing Providers, including PolycomCiscoVidyo. For more information on VSGi, visit www.vsgi.com

 

25 / Aug / 2014

Video Conferencing Rescues Fire Departments

A frequent issue for fire departments has always been balancing training mandates and keeping firefighters close to their home stations in case of an emergency.  Several FEMA studies over the last decade have found that video conferencing is a highly successful tool in helping firefighters efficiently achieve both tasks.

Up to 2,000 hours of firefighter training is required per year, yet scheduled training sessions have always caused enormous logistical and budgetary challenges – jeopardizing response time to calls, and forcing firefighters to put in overtime in order to complete training mandates. While meeting training requirements is essential for certification, the costs of man hours and scheduling became a significant line item each year for municipal budgets everywhere.

To solve this problem, fire departments across the country have turned to the use of video conferencing. A 2009 FEMA study found that the technology “more than paid for itself” during its time in use. Trainers can reach firefighters and conduct sessions all over the region – all while stations remain fully manned.

Fire Departments of all sizes can benefit from the collaboration opportunities provided by a dedicated video conferencing unit. Firefighters have come to rely on the technology to make more effective use of limited resources. The federal government, through FEMA, offers grants for community fire stations to upgrade communications technology and implement video conferencing. To learn more about the program see FEMA’s page.

About VSGi

VSGi is a nationwide leader in Video ConferencingTelepresenceAV Integration, and Hosted (Cloud) Video Services. VSGi leverages a cross-functional team of sales, engineering, project management and 24/7/365 technical support personnel to deliver the highest quality solutions to customers. VSGi’s unmatched experience in communications solutions provides its customers a fully integrated turnkey solution including design, configuration, project management and implementation, installation, testing, training and ongoing support.

VSGi is partnered with the world’s leading Video Conferencing Providers, including PolycomCiscoVidyo. For more information on VSGi, visit www.vsgi.com

 

30 / Jul / 2014

Witness Preparation: How Law Firms Can Benefit from Video Conferencing

Video conferencing has long been used in the legal / judicial community to facilitate face-to-face communications between  judges and suspects — eliminating the the need for a costly and potentially dangerous prisoner transport.  Now, ACT of Communication, a California based company specializing in witness preparation, is adopting the technology to prepare witnesses for trial. ACT of Communication views video conferencing as the perfect tool to effectively and efficiently complete this important pre-trial stage, as it is often a huge logistical challenge without the use of video.

From an attorney’s perspective, one of the most difficult aspects of trial preparation is compelling potential witnesses to show up for preparation. It’s almost always a frustrating process to coordinate schedules, hire a stenographer, and arrange travel and meeting places & times. Now, through the use of video conferencing, law firms of all sizes can streamline the process of deposition or trial preparation by arranging to meet face to face with witnesses at a time convenient to them, without the need to take long periods of time away from work or to travel long distances.

Cross-country expert witness depositions can be done with ease. Every trial attorney knows the hassles of traveling long distances to meet with expert witnesses, the lost billable hours, and inconvenience of travel expenditures. Through adoption of professionally managed cloud based video conferencing, law firms can use a secure, reliable, and efficient network to engage with clients, witnesses, and to arrange depositions, all from the office. There is no such thing as too much preparation when preparing to go to trial. Witnesses and attorneys both benefit from frequent communication and preparation. With video conferencing, the ease of any device, anywhere connectivity provides a platform for communication that is quick and efficient. Because professionally managed cloud based video conferencing solutions offer innovative features, tracking billable hours, recording depositions, and maintaining a communication log are a breeze.

About VSGi

VSGi is a nationwide leader in Video ConferencingTelepresenceAV Integration, and Hosted (Cloud) Video Services. VSGi leverages a cross-functional team of sales, engineering, project management and 24/7/365 technical support personnel to deliver the highest quality solutions to customers. VSGi’s unmatched experience in communications solutions provides its customers a fully integrated turnkey solution including design, configuration, project management and implementation, installation, testing, training and ongoing support.

VSGi is partnered with the world’s leading Video Conferencing Providers, including PolycomCiscoVidyo. For more information on VSGi, visit www.vsgi.com

 

24 / Jun / 2014

Vidyo Shows Off New Ultra HD Soft Room System @ InfoComm 2014

At InfoComm 2014, some exciting new technology has been unveiled in the video conferencing space. Vidyo is shaking up the marketplace with a new Ultra HD Soft Room System. This is an amazing system that takes advantage of 4K display technology, which delivers an incredible, crisp, greater than HD image in native resolution. Now, remote participants can see shared content that needs ultra-detail, like CAD drawings or even medical images.

The the VidyoRoom SE (Software Edition) is an installable soft-client, turning off the shelf computing platforms into fully functioning group systems. “With the addition of VidyoRoom SE and 4K rendering to its product portfolio, Vidyo is leading the market by offering an unprecedented range of choices in price and functionality to meet the needs of individual in-room deployments. Software-enabled solutions for the conference room could significantly change the reach of video conferencing,” said Roopam Jain, Principal Analyst, Frost & Sullivan North America. “No other video communications provider offers such a wide selection of options – everything from dedicated appliances, to group-use licensed soft clients with essential in-room features and open access to sharable content on the same machine, to BYOD huddle spaces using VidyoDesktop on users’ laptops where traditional in-room features aren’t required.” Read more about how this systems works here.

About VSGi

VSGi is a nationwide leader in Video ConferencingTelepresenceAV Integration, and Hosted (Cloud) Video Services. VSGi leverages a cross-functional team of sales, engineering, project management and 24/7/365 technical support personnel to deliver the highest quality solutions to customers. VSGi’s unmatched experience in communications solutions provides its customers a fully integrated turnkey solution including design, configuration, project management and implementation, installation, testing, training and ongoing support.

VSGi is partnered with the world’s leading Video Conferencing Providers, including PolycomCiscoVidyo. For more information on VSGi, visit www.vsgi.com