This project will demonstrate and assesses the value of low-latency, high-quality video and audio in an educational setting. Traditional teleconferencing has not worked well in schools due to the unnatural communication style forced by latency and difficulty in setting up the equipment. The project will develop a system that substitutes SDN technology, network bandwidth, and end-host manipulation of video and audio, as a replacement for a Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) for bridging multiple users into a collaborative system. Combined with minimal encoding of the audio and video data these features allow for very low latency and a much more natural interaction style. The technology will be used and assessed in educational environments. The project plans include the lesson and evaluation plans that will enable the assessment of the utility of low-latency, high-quality, easy-to-use technology.
This project will contribute to our understanding of the value of advanced networking in support of high-quality, low-latency media to connect students to skilled teachers and to other students. It will test the hypothesis that connected collaboration provides an environment in which students can initiate collaboration sessions with their peers, teachers and subject matter experts enabling them to engage in challenging, authentic, real world, and just in time problem solving. The student's "Connected Learning" is achieved through the myriad of interaction configurations that the multi-point technology facilitates, allowing students and teachers in the same classroom, in different classrooms or even different schools to interact with each other and collaborate with outside experts.