ECSU videoconference center improves the way educators communicate

Kesha Williams
March 15, 2010

ecsu-videoconference-cent

ECSU's videoconference center will celebrate 15 years of service this year. Deborah Flippens, video director of Interactive Video Services, says the videoconference center significantly improved the way educators communicate.   The center provides two-way interactive video services for the ECSU community and to individuals and organizations in the Albemarle region. It provides access to the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) and the State of North Carolina Video Network Service. Through these networks, ECSU receives and originates courses and participates and hosts seminars, workshops and conferences throughout the state. The ECSU site can also connect with sites outside the state and internationally.  Satellite events are also supported through the facility.

 Flippens estimates that 2,200 conferences have been held at the two-room center since its inception.  The videoconference center is located in ECSU's Information Technology Center. Technical features include:

  • Polycom HDX (high-definition) videoconferencing system
  • Sony G50 videoconferencing system
  • Wide angle cameras
  • High quality audio speakers
  • Large screen monitors for incoming and outgoing video
  • Tabletop and voice-activated microphones for participants
  • Laptop computer with Internet connectivity
  • Scan sonverters for computer presentations
  • H.239 for document sharing
  • VHS and DVD recording and playback

In light of the current economic situation, videoconferencing has helped reduce the need for participants to travel to attend various meetings.   UNC-General Administration has set the example by utilizing videoconference facilities at the UNC Constituent Institutions.  Also, several state and community agencies have used ECSU's facilities to train their employees.

Flippens has been with the university for 14 years and with the videoconferencing center since its inception. For her work, Flippens received the Community Choice Award at the 25th NCREN Community Day Celebration last December 2009. MCNC, North Carolina's leader in advanced networking technologies and systems to improve learning and collaboration throughout the state's K-20 education community, presented Flippens with the prestigious award at SAS Worldwide Headquarters in Cary.

"I try to advocate the benefits of blended approaches for positive educational outcomes and I will continue working hard to positively impact northeastern North Carolina," Flippens said. "This videoconferencing center is an asset for the university. It has saved participants thousands of dollars that would have been spent on travel expenses had the participants attended their conferences in person."

Flippens has been a member of the NCREN community since 1995 and has served on multiple committees including the NCREN Video Quality Assurance Group and chair of the Program Coordinators, Video Managers, and Video Directors groups.  Flippens says the center hosts up to 155 videoconferences each year.