Video conferencing saves school district time, money

Tuesday, December 21 2010

Business in the Lakeshore School Division in Manitoba, Canada, just got a bit easier.

The district can now conduct meetings using a cutting edge video conferencing system, reports the Interlake Spectator. The system consists of a 42-inch plasma television and a high definition video camera that is linked to a neighboring school system.

"Vide conferencing will allow us to connect with others within and outside of our division in a time and cost effective way," Janet Martell, superintendent of Lakeshore School Division, told the news source.

High school students were the catalyst for such technology. The isolated district needed to bring high school educational programming to both colonies in the division, so they partnered with Portage La Prairie School Division. Students are now instructed remotely from Portage instead of hiring a single high school teacher to teach both high school programs, which would have been a logistical nightmare.

Video conferencing is also being utilized by the division office to conduct meetings within the district and externally, for board meetings and to connect with consultants at Brandon University, writes the Interlake Spectator.

The installation cost for the system is $15,000 per terminal or site, but it saves up to two hours of driving and an estimated $71 per person per trip.

The Lakeshore School Division is located approximately an hour north of Winnipeg, serves 1281 students in 10 schools and employs over 270 staff members. The division serves six communities: Moosehorn, Ashern, Eriksdale, Lundar, Inwood and Fisher Branch.