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Bringing Video Conferencing into the LMS Ecosystem: NET+ Vidyo and Canvas

Sep 21, 2016, by Pat Cassella
Tags: Canvas, Frontpage News, Internet2 NET+, Vidyo

Introducing new technology in the classroom should be exciting. It should energize educators and engage students. Sadly, it's not exciting when a new way of doing things is met with resistance. Over my 25+ year career, I’ve seen innovative solutions with great potential go unused. This happens when faculty and staff struggle to adopt new workflows, even when the technology could open new doors to learning.

In working with higher education institutions to design and develop the NET+ Vidyo offering by IDSolutions, we've remained very sensitive to not add another underutilized element to an educator's already full plate. Instead, it is our mission is to provide the "glue" between disparate technologies so that a new workflow becomes a seamless part of the learning ecosystem. IDSolutions has proudly partnered with institutions for more than 16 years to design and implement audio-video solutions in the classroom. Together, we've helped instructors use video more effectively for a myriad of initiatives, including virtual field trips, distance learning, lecture capture and dozens of other creative applications of video-enhanced learning. We've certainly seen challenges with how technology is adopted in the classroom, primarily because many of todays so-called "solution options" are nothing more than standalone products that have overwhelmed limited IT and training staff.

Educators understand the clear advantages of an integrated one-stop learning portal, and our clients tell us that the Canvas learning management system (LMS) is an ideal platform for both instructors and students to share information and communicate very effectively. The LMS works well because it is truly a universal access platform for the education environment, and it serves as a toolbox for instructional design aids. 

Even more exciting, classrooms are eagerly adopting technology to support live and captured video such as flipped classrooms, lecture capture and team collaboration—enter video conferencing. Although it's a longstanding solution for distance learning and improving personalized communications, video conferencing has not been a standard part of the LMS ecosystem.

To streamline the classroom workflow and build upon the LMS ecosystem, IDSolutions has developed integration between the NET+ Vidyo offering and Canvas LMS. The Vidyo for Canvas (VFC) module integrates both live and recorded video directly into the Canvas interface to help instructors leverage the power of video for every course they teach.

With VFC, instructors can quickly add recordings to courses and assignments. They can be part of a flipped classroom initiative (or simply a previously recorded classroom lecture) to help with after-class studying and homework assignments. Students can quickly access video assets by logging into Canvas and play videos from within the LMS platform. Students can also create their own videos as part of homework assignments and post back to the instructor through Canvas.

The VFC module also supports live meetings. One common use supports instructors hosting open office hours that are automatically added to the common calendar for students enrolled in a particular course. Students simply click on the calendar invitation to join the instructor’s virtual meeting room at a given day and time. Here they can ask questions, collaborate on assignments or review past exams.

This new NET+ Vidyo functionality is available only from IDSolutions' Flame video conferencing platform and is another step forward in the quest to deliver the most integrated LMS available worldwide.

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