July 23, 2003 -- Hobbs, NM. Caster 161 started out like the other 25 SMART Classrooms being installed on campus, but was later dubbed the videoconference training room for the JASI Implementation Team. The thing that is different about this room is that it will have a separate T1 Internet connection. It needs it’s own connection because, the JASI training classes are given online through video conferences and our current T1 line (used throughout campus) is too saturated to support the bandwidth needed.
“Besides Caster 161, we have four more units around campus that will be equipped to use this new T1 line,” says Oscar Vigil, Coordinator of Network Systems. There will be a unit in Mansur, Heidel, McLean, and Bob Moran Halls. These four units will be installed on carts that can be used throughout each building. All you have to do is plug them into an existing Internet connection. The units are configured with an H.323 protocol that allows them to dial using IP numbers, (Internet Protocol numbers - a unique number consisting of four parts separated by dots, e.g. 22.214.171.124). The network “sees” the protocol of these computers have, identifies it, and immediately routes it to the second T1 line. Another unique feature of this classroom is that it has its own IP address. “We can sit at a workstation, and with client software, we can see what is being utilized in the room. It will also give us the ability to lock that classroom down to prohibit unauthorized use. Basically, it gives us room control,” states Vigil.
Something else that is unique to Caster 161 is that it has two VCR units inside of the podium instead of one. The first is a regular VCR for playback; the second records any JASI training that is being done. The goal is to create a library of all the JASI training so it can be used for reference. Using a sympodium, an instructor can enter notes with a stylus directly on the computer screen in the podium that will be transferred simultaneously to a screen on the wall for the class to see. The notes can also be saved and reviewed at another time.
The days of sending employees to larger cities for training are becoming less imperative as we continue to harness the power of the Internet, and use it to our advantage. You are invited and encouraged to stop by and take a look at this classroom of the future.
Mexico Junior College, 5317 Lovington Hwy, Hobbs, NM 88240
Phone: 575.392.4510, 1.800.657.6260
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