While video is one of higher education’s hottest teaching tools, tactics affecting its usage are changing. University stakeholders and AV integrators who serve their needs must figure out how to adapt to the evolving video implementation opportunities. Some of those changes involve shifting to Internet protocol (IP) video, and altering networks and video solutions to support it.
“I think we’re seeing a number of things impacting it,” says Colin Farquhar, founder and CEO of digital video streaming provider Exterity. “First of all, education content is available in video form and providing a managed access and delivery of that [is critical] to support the whole teaching process. Video has a component of the curriculum data made available to support the students. Video is an increasingly important piece of the resources in higher education.”
Farquhar says that new solution integrations, such as the integration of mobile devices, are popping up to make content more readily available to students no matter where they are.
“I think the other big change we’re seeing is the integration of the mobile device for students, so they have more of that content readily available on campus and off campus,” he says. “The benefit of that is allowing the educational process to extend very rapidly beyond the constraints of the campus. It’s more about the video that’s available to provide a more flexible way to have that experience.”
Farquhar says there are usually 20 to 30 aspects to consider before implementing an IP video solution.
However, some of the biggest things to think about center around content; updating the technology may be a boon to both teachers and students for greater and more efficient access.
Farquhar says colleges should ask themselves, “Is there a lot of video material already being used that I want to make available over IP infrastructure?
“Many colleges have got libraries of video material they’ve still been using. Perhaps now they can take that content and deploy it more effectively over the IP infrastructure.” —Colin Farquhar, Exterity
“Many, many colleges have got libraries of video material they’ve still been using,” he says. “Perhaps now they can take that content and deploy it more effectively over the IP infrastructure, and … make it searchable, etc.”
Aside from deciphering content availability, colleges should also understand the capabilities of their networks, Farquhar says.
IP video requires more support than traditional video, and may need more attention and resources to run successfully.
“You could see a pretty significant increase in the amount of traffic across the network,” Farquhar says. “That has to be facilitated and have support and distribution of the videos in many fixed endpoints, displays or to mobile devices on a wireless infrastructure. There’s quite a lot of work that has to be done to understand the capacity of the network.”
Colleges should also be familiar with their endpoints on campus. That way, if an infrastructure extension is needed, decision makers will know what endpoints to extend to.
“Having a managed interface that the student body is using to access the material allows you to do that course monitoring, and see how it’s being used,” Farquhar says. “You can begin to deploy IP video solutions just by taking a classroom feed and delivering that out across campus to 10 endpoints, and begin to understand the implications of IP video and benefits it can bring to the college.”