In catching up on my favorite edublogger posts tonight, I ran across this post from Doug Johnson: Classroom technology infrastructure: what’s needed?
The description includes many necessary classroom tools, but I was especially happy to see that he’s also thinking about videoconferencing in the classroom. He asks several questions about the design of the classroom, including this one:
7. How sophisticated does the video output from the classroom need to be? Will a built-in camera using Skype meet most needs or will a small, separate CODEC and camera be needed?
Yes!! That is the question! Or can the computer at the teachers’ station do both Skype and H323?
He also addresses the issue of sound, which I believe is a critical component:
6. Can we use a single amplifier and set of speakers for all sound sources – teacher voice, student voice, video, telephone, computer, etc.?
The issue of student sound getting sent out via Skype or codec also needs to be addressed.
I really want to see this work, and have a district now interested in including VC in their model classroom. Maybe we can see this happen in a couple years or so?!