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Nanci A. Scheetz, Ed.D, CSC Using Video Conferencing Technology to Provide Tutoring, Supervision, Interpreting and Instruction in Rural Areas in Georgia.

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Presentation on theme: "Nanci A. Scheetz, Ed.D, CSC Using Video Conferencing Technology to Provide Tutoring, Supervision, Interpreting and Instruction in Rural Areas in Georgia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nanci A. Scheetz, Ed.D, CSC Using Video Conferencing Technology to Provide Tutoring, Supervision, Interpreting and Instruction in Rural Areas in Georgia

2 Using Video Conferencing Technology Fall, 2002 VSU began experimenting with video conferencing equipment to test the effectiveness of providing remote access interpreting to a Deaf college student enrolled in college preparation courses We wanted to determine if the equipment could be used in place of a traditional classroom interpreter

3 Where We Started Our initial attempt to provide remote interpreting occurred on the campus at VSU –Reading Course –Housed in a building with no carpet –No acoustic tile in the ceiling –Large classroom with a great deal of classroom activity including chair movement, etc.

4 Where We Went From There Once we worked out the physical requirements for the classroom, we expanded our interpreting to include the following classes on campus: –Psychology –Modern Math –History –English

5 Where Went From There Once we worked out the physical requirements for the classroom, we expanded our interpreting to include the following classes on campus: –Psychology –Modern Math –History –English

6 Providing Interpreting Services to Remote Locations When we had successfully used the equipment on campus for a year we began offering remote interpreting services to: –Pelham Middle School –Moultrie Middle School –Live Oak, FL (Suwannee County) –Valdosta Technical College

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8 Remote Interpreting In Action (click video to play)

9 Providing Tutoring Using Video Conferencing Equipment Once we had established that sign communication could be effectively transmitted via video within and outside of VSU we added the tutoring component.

10 Educational Sites for Remote Tutoring The initial goal for the remote tutoring was to connect VSU pre-service teachers with deaf students whereby they could utilize their ASL skills while providing tutoring for deaf/hard of hearing students. Schools for the Deaf were contacted who were known to have video conferencing technology

11 Remote Tutoring Sites During the initial year remote tutoring was provided at the: –Oklahoma School for the Deaf –Delaware School for the Deaf –Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf

12 Providing Interpreting Services to Remote Locations

13 Remote Tutoring In Action (click video to play)

14 Supervising Pre-Service Teachers and Interpreting Interns VSU is also using this technology to: –Supervise practicum students and pre-service teachers –Supervise interpreting interns

15 Providing Interpreting Services to Remote Locations

16 Remote Observation In Action (click video to play)

17 Providing Distance Learning Opportunities We are currently experimenting with video conferencing technology to deliver sign language classes and instruction to students enrolled in our interpreting program who are residing in remote locations.

18 How We Do It Distally delivered ASL classes are an entirely different animal than traditional distally delivered classes. –Requires smooth video AND audio at ALL times. –Instantaneous interaction between instructor and student(s) is a MUST.

19 How We Do It Remote Interpreting Point-to-point video conferencing using Polycom PVX or iVisit, depending on the remote site. Hearing impaired students carry a laptop and webcam to class and are trained in the setup and operation of the equipment. The students calls the interpreter, then the interpreter listens to the classroom lecture and interprets for the student via the video conference. If the student has a question, they sign it to the interpreter, who then voices it to the classroom and signs the answer back to the student.

20 How We Do It Remote Tutoring Works the same as remote interpreting, except the remote site is a controlled lab environment rather than a mobile labtop in a classroom. Use H.239 and T.120 data-sharing the help tutor students in content that is difficult to interpret and sign (math for instance).

21 How We Do It Remote Supervision Remote locations utilize a PTZ-capable camera (Tandberg 880 or Polycom VSX systems in our case). Student supervisor dials the remote location to observe the pre-service teacher. Only the teacher at the remote site is aware of the observation. The students are unaware, which aids in providing a good educational environment. Working towards providing remote teachers with wireless headsets so that the supervisor can make suggestions or provide assistance if needed.

22 How We Do It Distance Learning Classes Distance Learning Classes –Two types of distance learning classes. Non-interactive, lecture based classes –Primarily a lecture class where the students listen to a lecture, take notes, and ask the occasional question to clarify the content. Interactive, feedback based classes –Students and teacher interact regularly in order for the teacher to provide instant feedback to the student. –Each type presents it's own set of challenges.

23 How We Do It Distance Learning – Non-interactive Current practices –Live webstream simultaneously archived for reference by distance students and the instructor. –In-class facilitator opens an IM chat session with distance students and acts as their voice in the classroom. –Distance students are provided materials used in class (powerpoints, handouts, etc) in advance by the instructor

24 How We Do It Distance Learning – Non-interactive Future goals –Utilize Vista/WebCT software to provide all the current services under one platform. –Still plan to archive lectures to provide access to course material for students and instructors. Looking into better formats to reduce file size while keeping quality.

25 How We Do It Distance Learning – Interactive Students access classes from home via Polycom PVX software and a webcam. Student calls a Tandberg 880 in classroom. Students are provided printed materials in advance (PowerPoints, handouts, etc). Tandberg unit allows for showing of video and PC desktop over the remote link. Currently, we have 3 classes with interactive learning, all of which have one distance student in attendance. No real issues with one distance student in classroom. Issues arise when more than one student calls into class.

26 How We Do It Distance Learning – Interactive Future Goals –Successfully connect 3 or more students to a distance classroom with little to no connectivity issues for the duration of the class. –Utilize H.323 dialing plan and MCU to create multiple virtual classrooms that provide a consistent classroom experience (This is the dream setup).

27 Technology Considerations What kind of technology environment is available to the remote user? Key ingredients to technology environments: –Availability of technical resources. Bandwidth, equipment, classrooms. –Availability and competency of support. –Ease of resolving issues as they arise. Types of Technology Environments –Home Technology Environment –Enterprise Technology Environment

28 Technology Considerations Home Technology Environment Definition: A conferencing environment where the user(s) are located in a residential environment that is not designed and/or optimized for video conferencing, has limited technical support available, and has limited technology resources.

29 Technology Considerations Home Technology Environment Advantages –Ease of access to student –Simple network setup –Relative ease of solving hardware problems Disadvantages/Potential Pitfalls –Limited availability of on-site support –Less control over technology environment –Technology Limitations

30 Technology Considerations Enterprise Technology Environment Definition: A conferencing environment where the user(s) are located in some sort of enterprise environment (educational, small business, corporate, etc) that is designed and/or optimized for video conferencing, has tech support readily available, and ample technology resources.

31 Advantages –Controlled environment –Typically higher-end equipment –Trained IT support staff on hand for troubleshooting –Better WAN connection speeds Disadvantages/Potential Pitfalls –More complex networks –Availability/over-extension of IT support staff –Training level of support staff –Ease of resolution of some issues Technology Considerations Enterprise Technology Environment

32 Questions/Comments? Nanci A. Scheetz, Ed.D., CSC Professor Valdosta State University Valdosta, Georgia


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