There’s a lot to be said for learning from real life versus a text book. The staff and faculty at Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences (SOLS) took the “seeing is believing” approach to education one step further, and last year initiated a class that allowed ASU students to explore the jungles of Panama without having to leave Tempe, Arizona. Not only that, they were guided by leading research scientists and experts from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s facilities on Barro Colorado Island, in the middle of the Panama Canal!
Though the planning of this ASU-SOLS-Smithsonian virtual classroom project went smoothly, there was one major hitch. Where could they find a video communications and collaboration solution that would allow students and faculty at ASU to connect easily and with exceptional (not just “good enough”) quality, to experts in these remote tropical areas? When Charles Kazilek, SOLS Director of Technology Integration and Outreach, discovered Vidyo, he was thrilled.
According to Kazilek, “We needed to demonstrate to our team at SOLS that our solution could be taken to extreme limits and still work to the standards that we required. We needed to link telepresence to scientists in remote areas… environments that required something very flexible, very portable… something that actually works. We wanted to see how far we could penetrate literally into the jungle and bring back that experience to our students. We wanted to see how far we could push Vidyo. Could we run it on 3G? Can we get it into the jungle? Can we get it into the middle of an island in the middle of the Panama Canal? What we found is – YES we can!”
Pretty incredible – but don’t take our word for it. Check out this great video that documents Vidyo’s important role in the ASU-STRI project and see for yourself!
– Full press release: Arizona State University Selects Vidyo to Enable Virtual Classrooms in Tropical Biodiversity with the Smithsonian.
– Full VidyoReplay press release: “Vidyo Announces Availability of Recording and Webcasting Solution for Video Conferencing”
– Full VidyoRouter Cloud Edition press release: “Vidyo Architecture Offers Unmatched Scalability and Economics for Large Enterprise and Carrier Video Conferencing”