See how the perfect mix of smart video conferencing systems and easy-to-use video conferencing apps sets Lifesize apart
Learn everything you want to know about video conferencing from the history of the conference call to selecting an enterprise-grade video conferencing solution
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An inside glimpse
into how video
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quality of the video
Lower-cost, easier-to-use and easier-to-access video conferencing
will impact education profoundly. The technology can place
students directly in the classroom, even if they’re thousands of
miles away, and all they need is a device with a webcam and an Internet connection,
whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop. Now students who cannot
reasonably access physical campuses can nonetheless partake in classroom
communication and acquire the tools they need to succeed later in life.
In the case of Forest Lake Academy near Orlando, Florida, video conferencing gives
interested families from other cities access to a parochial education anchored in the
teachings of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. We sat down with David Denton, Forest
Lake’s principal, to hear more about how Lifesize has helped the school achieve its
mission through video collaboration.
Forest Lake has 362 students. While most live in our immediate community, we have
40 boarders and 15 distance-learning “Connect” students who live anywhere from
Bermuda to Chicago. Connect students attend classes via Lifesize Cloud from their
We use Lifesize to serve members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church who want to
send their kids to a church school but don’t have easy access to one. Lifesize is less
expensive and more cost-effective than the old bridge approach that we were using.
I’d say that the biggest change is the need for students to get things done faster. For
example, there’s a move toward taking university-credit classes at the high school level
to get students ramped up for college sooner.
Our partner university sends teachers to our campus to provide college credit classes
to our on-campus students. In the next year we will be offering our Connect students
access to these classes as well. The professors are already leading distance programs
on their home campus, so they’re familiar with broadcasting their classes.
We used Lifesize’s on-premises system for a number of years and transitioned to
Lifesize Cloud about a year ago. The cloud-based service has been excellent—very
reliable—and the quality of the video is exceptional. In addition, because the video is
so easily accessed by students, all they need is an Internet-connected device with a
webcam. The user interface is so simple that it makes our offering very appealing to
potential families. It definitely helps us better market our distance-learning program.
Yes. The classrooms have a display at the front and back to give the off-campus
students a full view of the room, and we use an eBeam smart board for content. It’s as if
they’re really there.
Once they’re in the classroom with Lifesize, the experience is real time and pretty much
the same as if they were physically in the room. Communication hasn’t changed. Rather,
access has changed.
The ability to access Lifesize from my iPhone. No matter where I am, if someone has a
question or needs me, I can immediately check into that classroom via the video and be
a part of the conversation.
Be sure you give the teachers enough training—and time to familiarize themselves
with teaching via video—to build their confidence. Also, don’t be afraid to engage with
Lifesize or your partner for support or questions. That’s what they’re there for. They
want you to have a great experience, and you’ll be surprised how helpful they can be.