Video conference brings together soldier and students

Thursday, May 12 2011

This week saw an inauspicious but emotional new use for web conference technology. In Ames, Iowa, a soldier in Afghanistan was able to take part in a junior high school band recital.

According to BigThink, the soldier, Captain Sean Taylor of Ames, is currently on medical leave in Afghanistan. A father and uncle to two 7th grade band members at Ames Junior High School, he appeared via video conferencing technology to enjoy the musical performance by his young family members.

Capt. Taylor was treated with renditions of classic songs, from "Home on the Range" to "The Music Man." The title of the evening's recital was "A Salute to Veterans." Between songs, Capt. Taylor spoke with the assembled parents, grandparents, friends and students to discuss his time in the Iowa National Guard. He also punctuated patriotic melodies with brief histories of the Guard, from World War II through Iraq and Afghanistan.

Web conference technology is a boon for businesses and private citizens alike. If a father and soldier can appreciate a concert of children from halfway around the world, imagine what a well-purposed business can accomplish with this same technology.