U Mary Washington Partners with KZO Networks for E-Learning

The University of Mary Washington (UMW) in Virginia has launched into an e-learning partnership with KZO Networks, a developer of interactive learning tools. UMW will deploy KZO's tools to enhance its e-learning capabilities with Flash-based presentations, both live and archived.

KZO's technologies are used in government and education and provide the ability to broadcast live presentations while also automatically archiving the presentation, with chapters, for video on demand applications. The Java-based software is built around open-source-derived Flash streaming server and includes a wizard-like interface for "pre-segmenting" live footage for instant, chapter-based, searchable archiving into an e-learning platform hosted by KZO.

Video segments, or "objects," can be tagged on the fly by lecturers via touchscreen.

"On our campuses, technology continues to move beyond a mere supportive role in pedagogy and be transformative in classroom teaching, thus expanding the very notions of 'classroom' and teaching,'" said William J. Frawley, president of UMW. "Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and Webcasts are commonplace, and, with the KZO technology, we can increase and enhance the range of resources available to faculty and students. With this new KZO technology, it is not hard to imagine UMW reaching far beyond the walls of the Stafford and Fredericksburg classrooms to national and global audiences."

Some of the highlights of the KZO platform include:
  • Webcasting, recording, and archiving of lectures;
  • The ability to integrate blogs, wikis, and other interactive Web 2.0 features;
  • Interoperability with CMS/LMS platforms;
  • Support for downloadable, DRM-enabled Windows Media files; and
  • A content creation hardware package that includes a three-CCD camera, encoder, and cabling in a portable unit.
In addition to enhancing e-learning capabilities, UMW will use recorded segments to showcase the quality of education on the university's website.

The KZO Flash platform runs on top of hardware from Sun Microsystems. The company contributed a SunFIRE server to power UMW's implementation of the e-learning platform. Sun has also entered into a strategic partnership with KZO to "provide the platform and infrastructure for the rollout of its technology and services in academic and government markets," according to Kevin Roebuck, market development manager for e-learning at Sun.

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).


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