Acquisition of an institutional Lecture Capture and Live Webcasting solution


PDAD&C#13, 2012-13

To:  PDAD&C   
From:      Avi Hyman, Director, Academic & Collaborative Technologies
Date:  September 21, 2012 
Re:  Acquisition of an institutional Lecture Capture and Live Webcasting solution


We are pleased to announce the recent acquisition of Echo360 software as an institutional Lecture/Video Capture and Live Webcasting solution.

Echo360 is industry leading lecture capture technology that has been deployed in hundreds of schools and companies worldwide. It enables both video-on-demand and live web-based broadcasting in teaching and program delivery. It can also be used in non-teaching scenarios (for example, public service announcements).

Our site license allows for university-wide use of specialized software on teaching stations, a version of the software for use on personal computers, software for converting other formats into the Echo format, and software for specialized appliances - all at no cost to departments or divisions as a result of funding from the Office of the Provost.

The software for the teaching stations can, among other features, be integrated with PowerPoint and other display technologies and includes scheduling capabilities. The personal computer version of the software will be rolled out in stages, first to faculty and staff, and eventually to students as well. The personal capture version will allow individuals to produce high quality video productions from their offices, homes, conferences or meetings. It works particularly well with camera-equipped laptops.

Departments interested in higher end recording capability or live web-based broadcasting can purchase a specialized all-in-one recording appliance at greatly reduced cost. Software to run the appliances is covered by the site license.

Lectures and other events recorded with the new software can be hosted and distributed in a variety of ways. This new initiative includes a partnership with the University of Toronto Libraries for enhancing the use of the University's video distribution service, MyMedia, which is also available to departments at no charge.

As more of our academic programs begin to leverage blended, inverted and online learning, having this suite of lecture capture software should be a significant boon to program delivery; the goal of deploying an institutional standard across the University is to develop a real and shared pedagogical and technical expertise.

An implementation team with representatives from the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, Information + Technology Services, the University of Toronto Libraries, and the Office of Space Management will be working with divisions on getting the new solutions deployed as quickly as possible, including the software distribution strategy. Our current lecture capture software, Camtasia Relay, will continue to be supported as a transition strategy for the foreseeable future as well.

More information on this initiative and other related academic technology initiatives will be posted at http://uoft.me/edtech and IT staff will be updated via regular communication channels. Specific queries can be directed to Peter Eden from I+TS, who will be managing the implementation phase of this project (ati@utoronto.ca).