17 Jul Sonic Foundry Facilitates Nursing Education
Media Site Live allows WVU to stream video from their Charleston and Morgantown campuses so students can watch their classes from a computer at their convenience. All of WVU’s core graduate nursing school courses will be available on the web beginning this fall semester.
“We need more nurses and we need more nurse educators to teach the next generation,” said Rose Ann DiMaria, assistant professor of nursing at WVU School of Nursing. “By using Mediasite Live to provide Web-based education, we’ve opened the possibility to getting that advanced degree to more people both here in West Virginia and beyond. Today’s students need this flexibility because typically they are trying to balance career, family and education. And they are very comfortable with this kind of technology.”
James Dias, vice president of marketing and sales for Sonic Foundry said, “For the WVU School of Nursing, this is an affordable way to scale up and expand the breadth of the program without adding complex infrastructure or cost centers.”
The WVU School of Nursing received a grant from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to purchase two complete Mediasite Live systems. The school is currently marketing the program through direct mail. WVU also produced a promotional Webcast to market the online nursing degree program to prospective students.
Rimas Buinevicius, CEO of Sonic Foundry, said other webcasting systems on the market are over-complicated and require many people to get the system running. Sonic Foundry solved that problem by integrating all the webcasting applications into one device. Mediasite Live gets rid of the cost and technological barriers that might keep a university from offering webcasting. The system does not require any customization or high-end system development, and it does not use servers, Oracle databases or new storage networks.
Mediasite Live works by capturing multiple inputs of a presenter through a box. There is a server device inside the box that streams the live content out to the Internet. The device also acts as a “gatekeeper” for instant messages that come back from viewers. The messages allow the presenter to know the types of questions viewers have while they are presenting. DiMaria said the messaging function lets professors be spontaneous in their lectures and review a concept when there are questions.
During the presentation, the device indexes and archives the content so that it can be used later on. “When you are ready to access it because you didn’t participate live, you can retrieve the content and see the full play-by-play of what happened on-demand as your schedule permits,” said Buinevicius.
An entire Mediasite Live system typically costs $25,000. The cost can go up depending on how much content is run through the device. If there is an extensive library, there may be content management or security issues. Buinevicius said that the system is “creating the problem because it is so easy to create the content.”
“We are finding that they [presenters] are creating more content than they ever expected,” he said.
According to Buinevicius, about 50% of Mediasite Live sales come from higher education establishments, especially larger universities like Arizona State and York University. The other 50% of sales comes from corporate communications, lawyers, accountants, government and societies.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has also tested out Mediasite Live in many subject areas. Buinevicius said UW is currently in an evaluation stage. “Our original thought was that there would be a wide deployment within the classroom and I think that’s still a possibility,” he said. “However, they are using it for campus-to-campus or campus-to-student type of communication.”
Recently, the Wisconsin Governor’s office used Mediasite Live to reach various medical care providers throughout the Midwest when the monkey-pox virus hit. The Governor’s office called less than a day before the event and asked Sonic Foundry to help “pull off” the webcast. Buinevicius said Mediasite Live worked out great because they were able to set it up quickly with little notice. The webcast also “opened up a lot of eyes in that particular sector as well,” he said.
Alexis Johnson is a Madison, Wisconsin based writer and regular contributor to the Wisconsin Technology Network. Alexis can be reached at Alexis Johnson.