I’ve written before about the problems with dialing that happen with our K12 collaborative projects. Here’s one of my really sticky examples from this week.
- School A, one of my schools, can only dial out due to the district firewall.
- Their partner’s school B has an IP plus extension dialing (I think it’s behind a Polycom V2IU). My school couldn’t call it. After some experimentation, I figured out that if our units are registered to our TANDBERG gatekeeper, they can’t call extensions.
- So we tried to unregister, but the unit had an admin password on it that I didn’t have record of. Thankfully the district tech figured that out.
- Sometimes I can put it up on my TANDBERG MPS MCU, but I have it set up with conference 1 as the one conference that people outside can dial into with just the MCU’s IP address. That conference was already in use during the time their program was scheduled. I couldn’t use one of the other conferences to dial out to school B because I can’t call out to an IP plus extension from our bridge unless the bridge unregisters from the gatekeeper & then my other conferences won’t work.
- So I begged School B’s educational service agency to connect with their Polycom MGC. They can connect their school & have my School A’s unit dial in without any gatekeeper problems. So voila, it worked! Whew.
I realize that I could have my MCU set with the Single Dialin Number, but I haven’t had good luck with other schools being able to navigate the menus. So I’m not quite ready to switch to that model.
Here is a second scenario; not quite as complicated.
- My School C is behind a Polycom V2IU and the connection requires an IP plus extension to dial in.
- The partner class, School D, is new to VC. They appear to be set up for dial out only.
- They have a Tandberg 6000 which can’t dial the IP plus extension.
- In this case, my conference 1 is available on the bridge, so that’s how they are connecting. Whew. Another connection solved.
Remember the days of ISDN? Have I forgotten already? or does it seem to you also that dialing was easier then. The teacher/building coordinator in School A mentioned that this is the reason other teachers don’t want to try videoconferencing.
Are you running into the same issues? Do you have any interesting scenarios of trying to make a connection to work?