Issue 38, Spring 2007
by Garry Daniel, Manager, Facilities and Operations, EESP
and Lois Longwood, Director, Degree Programs, EESP
Western's Extended Education and Summer Programs (EESP) department is already seeing the benefit of newly-purchased PolyCom videoconferencing equipment at each of the six Puget Sound area program sites in Everett, Seattle, Mount Lake Terrace, Bremerton, Oak Harbor, Port Angeles, in addition to EESP's Bellingham offices, and various WWU main campus locations.
The PolyCom equipment consists of a camera/microphone/speaker unit and a large monitor, all mounted on a roll-around cart which allows for easy movement for use in various rooms. Using only an IP-based standard broadband internet connection, PolyCom users can connect with each other anywhere in the world for real-time, high-quality video conferencing including the use of audio and video, file sharing, document cameras, and computer-based presentations.
EESP has been utilizing PolyCom units since spring 2006 in support of the Huxley College of the Environment programs located in Port Angeles and Bremerton. This has allowed students in their respective Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula classrooms to simultaneously connect with each other and an instructor for a fully-integrated classroom learning experience. Both students and faculty have expressed high levels of satisfaction with the PolyCom technology, and we anticipate its expanded classroom use in the future.
In addition to benefiting students and instructors, PolyCom videoconferencing capability at each site now allows staff and faculty to attend some main campus meetings without leaving "home," and also expands communication capability between sites. The result for all PolyCom use has been very positive, netting benefits in time and travel-expense savings, distance classroom instruction, and convenience.
To learn more about the possibilities in utilizing PolyCom for distance education delivery, contact Lois Longwood at 360-650-6854, email Lois.Longwood@wwu.edu.