Re: Seeking collaborators for online teaching delivery development

Chuck Elliot (C.Elliot@shu.ac.uk)
Mon, 12 Jun 1995 11:12:14 -0400


>This message for interested teachers and those fascinated with the
>possibilites of multi-party conferencing only. Otherwise ignore.
>
>THE NEED:
>
>I need ideas and/or collaborators to work out how to teach online to
>`virtual' classes spread out across the globe (I teach to foreign
>students), using video and audio computer technology.
>
>THE PROBLEM:
>
>Think about it. A teacher needs to be heard and seen, *and* to see and
>hear, *all* the students in his/her class.
>
>True? Of course true!
>
>Now what's available?
>
>
>(Audio)
>
>There's Iphone --
>
>BUT it won't do groups, only one-to-one. What use is that for a class?
>
>There's RealAudio --
>
>BUT it's not live. (good for canned lectures however)
>
>There's Sesame/Virtual Places --
>
>BUT the audio is only one-to-one. (however there's a chat-board, so
>presumably one could jump around from student to student with the audio
>and talk to the others by typing).
>
>There's Digiphone --
>
>BUT nobody knows if it works or when it's coming out...
>
>There CU-SeeMe for PCs with audio --
>
>BUT rumor has it it only *receives* audio (from Macs??). Good for lectures
>but not for Q&A.
>
>(video)
>
>CU-SeeMe actually is good video-wise for small classes. It would allow
>up to 7 students --
>
>BUT the PC version still doesn't have a chat-board or audio. Some say
>POW-WOW can supplement CU-SeeMe as a chat-board, *or* one could run, e.g.,
>schMOOze University and hold the typewritten portion of the class there
>(arthur.rutgers.edu 8888).
>
>But as for the audio, we wait and hope....
>Will it run over a 14.4 modem clearly??? This is the key issue for a
>teacher wishing to use the lowest-common denominator technology available
>across the planet. Meantime, CU-SeeMe is *not* a standalone solution.
>
>VidCall is cool --
>
>BUT one-to-one. (good for office hours, tutoring)
>
>
>(video + audio + whiteboard together)
>
>Nothing does all of this in a *conference* mode, necessary for a class.
>The new CU-SeeMe for pcs (with audio-receive) may be a partial solution.
>
>Also realistically, *one* package is needed. Students can't be expected to
>download four or five different programs, get them running, hop between
>them simultaneously with the other students in the virtual class, etc.
>Forget it!
>
>(the Mac issue and cross-platforming)
>
>Nothing goes across platforms satisfactorily.
>
>CU-SeeMe does nice cross-platform video. Will it do audio and chat-board
>as well, x-platform? Too bad you can't iphone from a pc to a mac..
>
>CU-SeeMe for Macs is *already* ok for a class, *if* everyone has an
>ethernet connection. But most people are on modems. So forget it! Even
>people with Macs on modems can't be sure to pick up the audio if they
>have the pictures running simultaneously, and don't even *talk* about
>people with CU-SeeMe for PCs!
>
>MBONE works with CU-SeeMe, apparently? But almost no one has MBONE or
>knows how to set it up.
>
>NetPhone apparently works well over modems and can use vat and GSM
>encoding, but it's Mac only. Might work for a Mac only class, but does
>it do conferences?
>
>Maven is also Mac (and UNIX?) only and doesn't appear to work so swell
>with 14.4, especially with Cu_SeeMe running, unless one turns off the
>image, etc. That's a lot of juggling for people who just want to take a
>class... However it is multi-cast and that is absolutely key.
>
>Generally speaking any Mac only solution will only reach a very limited
>audience, especially abroad where my students often are, and especially
>when you consider that for good CUSeeMe video and audio together the Mac in
>question must be on ethernet; now how many Macs are there on ethernet
>compared to the number of pcs with modems in the world? 1:100,000?
>
>(my tentative position)
>
>1.The focus should be on PCs with modems
>2.There should be a solution that involves no more than two programs
>which together allow *mult-conferencing* audio, video and whiteboard.
>3.The audio must be clear when both programs are running (28.8 modems do
>this maybe, 14.4s don't consistently)
>4.It must be cheap.
>
>THE SOLUTION:
>

I think there are three answers to your question:

bandwidth, bandwidth and bandwidth

(no facetiousness intended)

Chuck.
Chuck Elliot
Sheffield Hallam University UK
tel. 0114 253315: fax. 0114 2533161
email C.Elliot@shu.ac.uk
www http://kingfisher.cms.shu.ac.uk/chuck.html