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U Wyoming Students Vote To Implement Sonic Foundry's Mediasite for Lecture Capture

An overwhelming student vote for Mediasite will put the Webcasting platform from Sonic Foundry into University of Wyoming lecture halls this fall. Mediasite is a presentation capture tool that records and synchronizes audio, video, and slides and then allows the presenter to provide it online for on-demand viewing or in podcast form. The tool also enables the presenter to make the presentation available online as it happens.

"The decision to purchase Mediasite was student-driven and student-funded. When the committee viewed the technology and discovered its benefits, the majority of students voted to install Mediasite," said Maggie Deming, director of IT services and chair of the Central Student Technology Committee (CSTC). The CSTC is comprised of student and faculty representatives from each of the university's eight colleges and strives to support a wide variety of state-of-the-art technologies.

Marcus Curley, a recent graduate, was one of the 16 students on the CSTC that selected Mediasite. "I was on committees, taking 16 hours of classes and working 20 hours a week. I had a busy student life. To have the ability to go back and watch classes would be the perfect way to ease the stress of school a bit. It's a huge benefit to be able to review on your own time," said Curley. "Mediasite can also help you transition into higher education. Early in college you're trying to figure out how to take these classes and be efficient as a student. Taking notes takes a lot of time and you miss some things. With Mediasite you can just watch, listen, and absorb the information as it comes and not have to worry whether you're going to remember this later."

Initial deployment at the University includes three Mediasite classrooms in the main lecture building, as well as one portable unit. Faculty scheduled to teach in that building will have the chance to demo the lecture capture technology this fall. By spring of 2009, faculty will be able to request the technology, dubbed WyoCast On Demand, as part of their classroom environment.

"We feel that classroom capture will be a game changer for the university. Mediasite is the most innovative technology the [CSTC] voted on for this coming year. It will let students be more engaged in the class instead of having their heads down in their notebooks," said Deming. "Mediasite will be a learning resource for students. If someone has a problem getting through a certain formula--if their notes don't make sense to them--they can review and reinforce the learning that happens instead of being lost in a class."

According to the company, Mediasite is in use in 600 colleges and universities, including California State University San Marcos, Central Michigan University, and Northwestern University School of Communication.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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