• by Nicole Wise
    on July 02, 2013

    Photos: (Top) Gretchen Kellerstrass, 18, poses with her high school engineering teacher Mr. Shields after she won the Sonic Foundry Video in Education Scholarship. (Middle) Gretchen poses with her diploma from Kings High School in Kings Mills, Ohio in June. (Bottom) Gretchen will attend the University of Cincinnati in the fall. 

    Ever since 18-year-old Gretchen Kellerstrass was in fifth grade she knew she wanted to attend the University of Cincinnati (UC) to become an architect. But that life plan changed her junior year at Kings High School in Kings Mills, Ohio when she took her first college-level engineering course through a dual enrollment program with UC. 

    “I thought everything in our engineering class was so intriguing I just wanted to learn more,” she said. 

    Gretchen was one of 140 students — only a handful of them female — from 10 area high schools to participate in the program. 

    Using Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite webcast platform to create a flipped classroom, students view lectures by UC faculty online at their convenience, and classroom time is led by high school teachers who walk them through activities and explain how the lessons will apply to their lives and careers.

    According to an article in EDUCAUSE Review, Closing the Gap: Addressing STEM Workforce Challenges, written by representatives of Microsoft and inSPIRE STEM USA Coalition, programs like these are in high demand. By the end of the decade, the article states that the U.S. economy will create 120,000 new jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree in computer science, yet the country’s higher education system is currently producing only 51,000 such degrees each year. The new program gave Gretchen and other incoming freshmen engineering majors at UC a big head start – they’ll have their first year of courses completed before ever setting foot on campus. It’s also successful in attracting female students and minorities to the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math), which are currently dominated by men. 

    Recognizing the important work UC is doing to remedy this problem, Sonic Foundry awarded UC a Rich Media Impact Award and a $2,500 Video in Education Scholarship to give to a high school senior. (Learn more about UC’s Mediasite story here.) Gretchen earned that scholarship and will start her first year of college this fall. I had the pleasure of chatting with her about her experiences and exciting career goals.  

    What courses did you take through the dual enrollment program at UC? 

    I took two courses through UC. The first one dealt with 3D software and understanding all the different fields in engineering, whether it’s mechanical or civil. In class we did a variety of hands-on projects, such as making a spaghetti bridge. That’s exactly what it sounds like. We built a bridge out of spaghetti, hung a hook in the middle to hold a bucket of sand, and whoever had the most weight in the bucket had the most tension. Therefore it was the sturdiest bridge. 

    During my senior year I took a second dual enrollment course where I learned how to computer program. That was really interesting. It was cool that we were seniors in high school and the freshmen in college were doing the exact same thing. I received UC college credit for these classes, and they also counted as a math credit in my high school. 

    What did you think of using Mediasite to watch lectures online?

    This was my first experience doing an online course, and I really enjoyed it. I learn better from viewing something and doing things hands-on. So I watched the lecture first, and I could observe it and understand it. Then I could go into the classroom and do the projects. It worked well for me. 

    Engineering is a male-dominated field. What inspired you to go this route?

    It makes me sound like a nerd, but I really enjoy math. I loved doing all the blueprints for the engineering projects we were working on. It was kind of like architecture but involved more math. I also thought everything in our engineering class was so intriguing, I wanted to learn more and solve problems. I realized I could have so much more fun in life if I could learn more about physics and computers and all the engineering fields. Engineering is basically a giant brain teaser and you have to keep figuring things out. 

    Currently I’m enrolled in UC’s mechanical engineering technology program. I’m also really considering electrical engineering and computer programming. 

    In my first class there were 18 guys and one other girl besides myself. In my second class there were 10 guys and four girls. I knew there would be more guys. I expected it. It makes me sad that more girls aren’t interested in it, but I understand that it’s not for everyone. 

    Why is it important for this and other similar programs to be offered to attract more women to the field?

    In high school you really don’t know what you want to do. If you kind of like math and science, then girls or guys can take the classes in high school to test the waters. If they like them they can continue in college. It’s one check mark off their list. That’s exactly what it did for me. I never really thought engineering was a route for me, and now it’s going to be my life. 

    What are your career aspirations?

    I would really like to work for GE or BMW. I think that’d be really fun. I’d personally really like data analysis and designing car engines. There’s a BMW base in Munich, Germany, and there’s a co-op program you can do with UC. I hope to do that. 

  • by Nicole Wise
    on June 27, 2013
    Mediasite Streams Germany’s Largest Scientific Festival Live to the World

    Last week, a German university used video to turn its annual scientific festival into a worldwide event.

    Goethe University in Frankfurt hosted its 7th annual Night of Science, a student event which is now the country’s largest festival of its kind to use live streaming technology to share presentations from faculty with the world. 

    During this 12-hour solstice event, Goethe University faculty and students presented 80 scientific lectures to the 5,000 attendees on campus and online. Using Mediasite-equipped lecture halls plus a Mediasite ML Recorder, the Lecture Capture Group of the university’s computer center (MultiMedia Goethe University) streamed five lectures simultaneously at any given time, capturing nearly 40 presentations and 32 hours of content total, according to Ullrich Grimm-Allio, multi-media specialist at Goethe University. 

    Check out the videos on-demand. Heads up to our English speaking readers, they’re in German. 

    This is only just one small aspect of the amazing things Goethe University is doing with webcasts. Check out www.sonicfoundry.com/customer/ullrich-grimm-allio to learn its full Mediasite story. 

  • by Tammy Jackson
    on June 17, 2013
    Teaching A Class from 1,700 Miles Away

    Students attending class online? That’s been going on for a while now. But I would argue that we’re still in the frontier of faculty using video to teach from wherever they are. Including live from their home offices. Check out this example:

    Students in Dr. Farris’s Wind Energy class show up three times a week for his lecture at Texas Tech University. They see him and his digital white board, he sees them and can tell whether they’re engaged or yawning. Questions are asked and answered. Discussion is sparked.  Nothing unusual about any of it, until you discover that while the students are on campus in Lubbock, the professor is 1,700 miles away in his home office in Oregon. 

    The IT department at the university was challenged to leverage existing classroom-capture technology to create an interactive, synchronous experience for this class – one that has become so successful that it’s soon to be duplicated and used in other applications. The secret?  A Mediasite integration with Microsoft Lync, allowing the virtual classroom experience to seamlessly come to life.

    Join this live webinar tomorrow with Ian Wilkinson from Texas Tech as he gives you a step-by-step, reproducible guide for how it works in this live webinar. He’ll lay it out against the backdrop of the University’s complete video strategy, including how:

    • Using Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform increases student engagement, reduces the pressure on other systems and keeps all video assets securely managed, regardless of where they were created
    • Integration doesn’t stop with Lync. His department works closely with the administrators of BlackBoard on campus, as well as Ad Astra for room scheduling 
    • The university is using Mediasite for distance education, flipped instruction, dual enrollment, community outreach and staff training

    About the presenter:

    Ian Wilkinson is an Education Projects Specialist at Texas Tech University. He conducts training sessions and short courses on both operating systems and software that are used at Texas Tech by students and faculty. He helps manage use of and training for the Mediasite lecture capture/webcasting system. Ian is part of a team that assists faculty and technical staff with catalog management, audio/visual equipment, and other aspects of recording and distributing mixed media presentations for flipped and distance learning. Ian enjoys all aspects of technology. After a childhood spent taking apart watches, clocks, the Atari, and helping his musician father set up sound systems, moving into technology was a natural progression.

    Here’s that link again in case you plan to join us

  • by Nicole Wise
    on June 11, 2013
    Learn about MOOCs from World-Renowned Online Learning Expert

    An expert in online and distance education is putting MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) into context during a presentation at Penn State, and you’re invited to watch. 

    Sir John Daniel will present “Where are MOOCs Taking Higher Education” from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT June 13, and his presentation will be streamed live online via Mediasite by Sonic Foundry. 

    You can watch for free here and learn more about his presentation

    (Image from Sir John Daniel's biography)

  • by Nicole Wise
    on June 10, 2013
    See you in Orlando for InfoComm and UBTech

    Photo: Sonic Foundry's InfoComm booth in 2012 during the Mediasite User Group meet-up

    It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade since we first partnered with two of the biggest AV shows in the world, but here we are, once again, capturing the InfoComm 2013 and UBTech 2013 conferences in Orlando, Fla. this week.  

    We’ve been the streaming sponsor for both shows for the past 10 years, allowing people all over the world to attend these shows remotely via Mediasite webcasts.  

    InfoComm takes place June 8-14 and is the largest and most comprehensive pro-AV event in the world with more than 35,000 AV professionals from over 90 countries and more than 925 exhibitors attending. We’ll be recording  select sessions for on-demand viewing after the show.  

    We’ll also be unveiling and demoing our newest products at our booth. We can’t tell you what they are just yet, but stay tuned. It’s big.  

    UBTech is higher education’s most focused high-level conversation about technology’s impact on every aspect of campus leadership and practice. Over 1,000 campus leaders attend nationwide. We’ve partnered with this conference for the past decade to provide webcast services on-demand, and this is the third year keynotes and featured sessions will be streamed live via Mediasite. We’ll also be recording over 60 sessions this year for on-demand viewing for registered attendees.  

    Even if you’re not registered, you can watch these keynote sessions after UBtech:

    And if you are at these shows, be sure to stop by and say hi! UBTech booth #400 and InfoComm booth #3059

  • by Nicole Wise
    on June 03, 2013
    Bob Hoar from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Discusses his Math MOOC

    In case you missed it, Bob Hoar and Jim Jorstad from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse visited us recently in Madison, Wis. to present a webinar called “Mediasiting Your MOOC: How UW-La Crosse Transformed Online Learning Modules into a Massive Open Online Course.” 

    Their webinar was one of the most popular presentations we’ve ever hosted, and you can watch it for free on-demand here.  

    We sat down with Bob to talk about the MOOC he created to help incoming freshmen avoid taking remedial math courses and Mediasite’s role in it. 

    Check out the video below. You can also learn more about Bob at www.sonicfoundry.com/customer/bob-hoar and Jim at www.sonicfoundry.com/customer/jim-jorstad

    Robert Hoar, UW-La Crosse

  • by Tammy Jackson
    on May 28, 2013
  • by Tammy Jackson
    on May 21, 2013
  • by Nicole Wise
    on May 15, 2013
    Brothers from Opposite Coasts Unite at Unleash, the Mediasite User Conference

    Photo: Brothers Jeff Schwarz (left) and Steven Schwarz (right) live on opposite coasts but were able to meet up at Unleash April 28 to May 1 in Madison, Wis. They pose for a picture at Unleash’s Adult Swim at the Madison Children’s Museum. 

    Our annual Unleash Mediasite User Conference is many things — A place where for the past seven years the Mediasite community has come together to learn, play and explore new ways to push the boundaries of rich video. A place where users freely connect with one another to discover how to stand out and work smarter, better and faster. A place where Mediasite gurus meet, ideas are shared and creativity is unlimited. Now we can add “A place for a great family reunion” to the list. 

    Brothers Jeff and Steven Schwarz live on opposite coasts. Jeff, Director of E-Learning at Villanova University, College of Engineering in Pennsylvania, and Steven, Director of Information Technology and CIO at University of California Davis School of Law, used Unleash not only as a way learn how to take their video initiatives to the next level but also as an excuse to get together. 

    “I moved out to California in November,” Steven said. “It was great seeing my brother in Madison. Jeff has been telling me Unleash is a great conference and has come out for years. This was my first time at Unleash, and I really enjoyed the conference and learned a lot. It was great networking with peers and seeing my brother. Madison is an awesome town, lots of character, great food and beer and nice people.” 

    Now that they’ve returned home they say the things they learned at Unleash are helping them take their video strategies to the next level. UC Davis School of Law is a medium-sized school located in Northern California between San Francisco and Sacramento. Steven said currently it has eight Mediasite Recorders in the law school used to cover 10 classrooms. 

    “We record classes for students to be able to re-watch later to reinforce the classroom experience,” Steven said. “We have been using Mediasite for three years and plan on adding two additional Recorders this summer. Unleash helped us identify areas of weakness based on the best practices shared by Mediasite experts and our peers.” 

    Villanova University is a private Catholic school near Philadelphia, PA, and Jeff supports graduate level programs. (Learn more about how Villanova University College of Engineering uses Mediasite.)

    “Our classes are offered in fully synchronous formats online each night in conjunction with an in-class session. This gives our off-site students the chance to participate in the class in real time. We’ve operated eight live class sessions each night of the semester since 2004,” Jeff said. “Unleash was great because all of the sessions were related to my field and program. I also enjoyed meeting with the gurus for insight into the operations and upgrading of our system.” 

    Lucky for them another event is right around the corner so they won’t be apart for long. 

    “I plan on seeing Jeff again at InfoComm with the rest of the Mediasite gang in June,” Steven said. “It is great to be able to network with your peers and to build personal relationships with the people who support you. I look forward to seeing everyone in Orlando!” 

  • by Tammy Jackson
    on May 15, 2013
    Free Webinar – Just Flip It: From the Front Lines of the Flipped Classroom

    When we plan out the editorial calendar for our webinar series, we make a sincere effort to showcase the topics you care about. Judging by the response we’re already getting for this next one, Just Flip It: From the Front Lines of the Flipped Classroom, we’re on the right track.

    Sure, there are still traditional classrooms with lecturing professors rows of students watching, listening and taking notes. But that age-old model is turning a cartwheel in some of the best classrooms in academia. And chances are someone in your department is already flipping their classroom.

    Professor Ralph Welsh of Clemson University started experimenting with this technology-driven pedagogy three years ago, redesigning and refining his courses over time and putting the onus on the student to come to class already having watched the lectures and ready to engage in conversation. 

    During that time he’s met and overcome challenges and reset his teaching style to rave reviews from students. Join Ralph as he presents a how-to guide for introducing flipped instruction, and shares lessons learned along the way including:

    • How to overcome the biggest challenges of the flipped classroom, including managing student expectations
    • How to evolve a curriculum by taking in feedback, evaluating it and re-introducing new methods into the classroom
    • Tips on how to educate your colleagues on your new workload and get your department on board with what you’re doing

    If you’d like to join the webinar there’s still time to register. It’s Tuesday, May 21 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CDT.

    For more on ed-tech best practices, watch Mediasiting Your MOOC: How UW La Crosse Transformed Online Learning Modules into a Massive Open Online Course and From Flipped Classroom to Dual Enrollment: How ENMU Achieved Campus-Wide Capture in 12 Months.