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U Maine Applies Wowza To Stream Video to Students

A new media center at the University of Maine has integrated a video streaming server into an internally developed learning management system.

The university's BioMediaLab, part of the School of Biology and Ecology, created Synapse to provide students with online resources, including course handouts, quizzes, grades, discussion forums and high-definition streaming media. Synapse runs on standards PCs and laptops and is available as an iOS app for the iPhone or iPad. Faculty are now using the Wowza Streaming Engine to integrate media that includes video, audio and slideshows.

The company estimated that the university expected to deliver three terabytes of video content from 24 courses to 2,000 students each semester.

"With Wowza we can do more with video streaming. The ability to deliver video efficiently and reliably to any device vastly benefits both faculty and students," said Ron Kozlowski, director of the BioMediaLab. "Our video streaming capabilities give students with different learning styles the ability to see things they wouldn't see in a traditional classroom setting, and gives professors the ability to cater to students' needs and teach more effectively."

Instructors can upload their own video course material, and Wowza will convert the files to the right format for delivery to multiple kinds of devices. The program is available as an on-premises option or as a cloud service running on Amazon EC2, Google Cloud Platform or Rackspace.

The published price of the software is $55 per month per instance. An instance is defined as a single copy of Wowza Streaming Engine running on one physical or virtual computer. Educational organizations are eligible to receive license discounts between 20 and 35 percent.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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