Is it possible to send real-time video from field to classroom?

serross@sci.shizuoka.ac.jp
Tue, 8 Oct 1996 12:43:14 +0900 (JST)


I have been searching the literature for a way to broadcast nature into the
classroom, but the closest I've come is teleconferencing from a laboratory
setting. I am new to CU-SeeMe, but imagine someone familiar with CU-SeeMe
technology might have run across this. I would greatly appreciate any
advice anyone may have on this.

A bit more explanation:
I am looking for a way to send a video signal from a remote location --
i.e., outdoor settings (e.g., forests, beaches, anyplace...) -- to a
classroom. One teacher would go into the field with a camera, and
communicate with (and be directed by) another teacher and students in a
class. The purpose would be to get students in contact with the field on
a very regular basis when field trips are unfeasible -- and enable the
advantages of interaction within a classroom.

The video would only need to go one way of course; the teacher in the field
need only receive audio. My needs sound like those of a news broadcast,
with an anchor and someone reporting from location. But I imagine that the
technology, such as satallite links, would be unavailable for individual
classes.

I wonder if it is possible to send a good video signalfrom a remote
location that could be picked up by modern videoconferencing technology. A
couple of suggestions I have had (but that hadn't actually tested): (1)
taking a wireless modem and laptop computer with internet videoconfercing
software into the field, so long as receivers/transmitters are not too far
away, or (2) using a cellular telephone, cellular modem, and laptop with
phone-based videoconfercing software. I also found a company called KaStar
that intends to use a "Ka band satellite transmission system" for low cost,
on demand, interactive videoconfercing, etc. This would work, but it'll be
several years before it's in operation, and I wonder how low cost it'll
really be.

I would be very grateful if anyone any advice about or experience with this
sort of system.

Thanks.

Sincerely,
Rob Ross

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Robert M. Ross
Institute of Life and Earth Sciences
Shizuoka University
836 Oya, Shizuoka 422
JAPAN

FAX: (Japan code 81) 54 238 0491
e-mail: <serross@sci.shizuoka.ac.jp>