Katherine Eberle

Video Conferencing at
The University of Iowa School of Music

Video conferencing uses telecommunications of audio and video to bring people at different sites together for a meeting, class, lesson, master class, or concert. This can be as simple as a conversation between two people in private offices or in a classroom, or in a Recital Hall for a large audience.

Because Internet connection costs are a given and thus Internet usage is essentially free, this technology's strongest point is that once equipment is purchased initially, guest master teachers from all over the world may be able to work with one another's students for no further cost. Other advantages include:

· A faculty committee can audition potential scholarship candidates
· Students can interview with employers in other cities
· Faculty can collaborate with colleagues at other institutions on a regular   basis without travel
· Faculty can stay in touch with their students while traveling
· Faculty members can participate in a thesis defense at another institution

The University of Iowa Innovations in Instructional Computing award was granted to Professor Katherine Eberle to implement video conferencing for the School of Music at the University of Iowa in 2002. The equipment is now in place and working so that you can participate with her or any other music faculty in an exchange of educational information. We have a Polycom View Station room-based unit enhanced with TV monitors, and an Audio Technica AT-873 R Cardioid microphone, TOA F-505G Speakers, Crown XLS 202 Amplifier, DBX 1066Compressor/Limiter, Behringer DSP 1124 Feedback Destroyer, and a Pro Mackie 1402 VLZ Mixer along with other equipment. Click here to view a Real Audio clip of our equipment.

The concept works in the following way. A television, computer monitor or projection on a large screen shows both the performer (at the local site) and the teacher/artist (at the remote site). Video cameras capture the subjects talking or performing and simultaneously send that information through computers over ISDN telephone circuits (using the H.320 protocol) or over the Internet (using the H.323 protocol) or using MPEG-2. These "H." numbers were developed by the International Telecommunications Union, a part of the United Nations system, where governments and private individuals co-ordinate global telecom networking. The standard number H.323 is the "mobility" for audio and video data to travel most effectively over the network, according to University of Iowa technician Les Finken. It allows users to communicate over local area networks called LANs which most educational institutions use. Interoperability with other companies’ equipment is possible. Polycom states in it's user guide that the View Station can connect to Intel, Picture Tel, Sony, Tandberg, VCON, VTEL, or Microsoft NetMeeting equipment.

If you wish to do an exchange with Professor Eberle, check with your college or university's academic offices which offer instructional technology assistance or faculty development and inquire what video resources they may have. Some private companies will offer video conferencing equipment free to universities on a trial basis to develop interest.

For more information see the following web sites:

Polycom

If you find that you have access to video conferencing equipment and it is in a location that is advantageous for musical transmission we can start the process of exchange. My master class exchanges with the Cleveland Institute of Music were very successful and lots of fun, as well as educational! We do need advance notice via email in order to schedule a room and date for the exchange. Please Contact me.

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