Hans Schaefer has been working with video conferencing for more than 15 years. In that time heâ€™s seen some remarkable changes. â€˜Video conferencing is constantly changing. We have good networks worldwide now so the cost has come down enormously. Itâ€™s becoming increasingly flexible with video conferencing facilities installed in three lecture theatres and around 20 desktop videoconferencing units around UNEâ€™ says Hans.
As a result of UNEâ€™s rural location, the university has been quick to see the benefits of video conferencing. As a result UNE continues to be at the forefront of video conferencing technology. The universityâ€™s decision to have a dedicated sub-network for video conferencing has eliminated the need for a firewall and made connecting to UNEâ€™s video conferencing system simple and reliable.
Video conferencing is already revolutionising teaching and learning at UNE. Today will see the first link up of students in the Joint Medical Program with lecturers at The University of Newcastle. Students using net meeting are also able to access UNE staff using video conferencing.
UNEâ€™s principal IT Officer, Gordon Smith sees ITDâ€™sÂ involvement in video conferencing as a natural extension of its role in providing communications infrastructure. â€˜ITD provides and maintains data infrastructure and telephone infrastructure. Now weâ€™re extending that role to include the provision of video communications infrastructureâ€™ Gordon Smith.
Hans sees lots of new video conferencing developments just around the corner. â€œWe have to keep our eyes open and talk to people about what they really wantâ€. Hans made the move from TLC to ITD on the 1st March this year.