Videoconference technology normally involves a minimum of a 1 to 1 fully interactive video/audio setup. Within our School District, we have the capability to conference up to 20 locations at one time. This allows us to have large meetings and include outside groups such as TRU. This also allows us to run daily videoconferences with multiple schools, with one of those schools being a teaching location.
The backbone of a videoconference network is called the Multipoint Control Unit (MCU), or otherwise known as a bridge. This is somewhat the 'heart' of all videoconferencing in School District No. 73. Another crucial part of the videoconferencing network, is a management server. This box allows us to schedule meetings, troubleshoot problems, and update systems, among other things.
Multipoint Control Units:
The systems that we use in each of our locations depends on the requirements of the school, and of the room that the system will be housed. For the most part, our rural high school locations have small rooms; and require a smaller setup than our in town high schools. We use systems that have either 1 or 2 cameras, 1 or 2 microphones, and between 1 and 3 screens (either LCD TV or Projectors).
Vendors that we typically use are:
Other technologies that we use in conjunction with videoconferencing are:
Currently our list of locations within our school district that have a permanent videoconference system are:
The below Photos are of a full Videoconference Studio built at Valleyview Secondary School.
As well, we have several portable units that are used by different elementary schools throughout the school year.
Normal bandwidth requirements for a basic multipoint videoconference are 384Kb/s (this is constant because of the nature of videoconferencing, both upload/download utilize all the bandwidth available). School District No. 73 normally uses 512Kbp/s for standard definition calls, but will be looking into 1.5Mb/s calls for high definition point to point calls.
Link Below to Elementary VC Stauts: