News Release

New Cisco IP Videoconferencing Solution Helps Extend the Classroom and the Conference Room

Offering combines Cisco and TANDBERG technologies to enhance distance learning
Jan 27, 2005

FETC Orlando, FL - January 27, 2005 - Extending the reach of teachers and also providing enhanced professional development through meetings and training are important goals for all K-12 schools. Cisco Systems, Inc. is helping educators achieve these goals with the announcement of a new Cisco Internet Protocol (IP) Videoconferencing Solution for K-12.

Cisco IP Videoconferencing significantly expands the capabilities of converged IP communications by delivering high-quality, lower-cost IP videoconferencing for teaching, professional development and meetings. Today's announcement was made at the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando, where Cisco is demonstrating its suite of IP communications solutions for educators at Booth #1248/1250.

"Our new IP Videoconferencing solution will extend the reach of teachers to students outside the classroom, bring the world to students via virtual field trips, and eliminate the time and hassles associated with physically traveling from one meeting to another," said Phylis Hawkins, education solutions manager for Cisco. "With schools moving to IP-based networks, they are realizing not only the application benefits, but the cost benefits as well."

New Cisco IP Videoconferencing Solution for K-12

The new Cisco IP Videoconferencing Solution combines Cisco IP Videoconferencing hardware and software with TANDBERG'S market-leading Educator MXP Series product line. Based on the powerful TANDBERG 6000 MXP codec technology, the Cisco IP Videoconferencing Solution for K-12 allows educators to easily and cost-effectively integrate TANDBERG's product line and advanced technologies to create a fully interactive distance education classroom.

"Video communication allows students to interact with people and places previously unimaginable, including many of the world's finest art and science museums and institutes," said Deborah Harrison, Ph. D., president of the U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA) and global marketing manager, education and corporate training for TANDBERG. "Cisco and TANDBERG share an in-depth understanding of the K-12 learning environment, and we design our solutions to inspire educators and students to achieve superior academic results."

Schools continue to migrate from Integrated Subscriber Digital Networks (ISDN) to IP-based videoconferencing and communications. According to Wainhouse Research, more than 80 percent of all videoconferencing will be over IP and the market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 15 percent. Helping to fuel this growth is the ability for K-12 school districts to tap into additional videoconferencing resources provided by the Internet 2.

During the past year, districts have discovered that by converging their independent networks - data, voice and video - into one IP network, they save both money and time by managing and supporting one robust network instead of many. In addition to the cost-saving benefits, IP is driving new software applications that take advantage of the consolidation of voice, video, and data. For example, an IP network enables educators to use online collaboration tools - such as MeetingPlace by Cisco. It also enables video telephony, which makes it easy to integrate videoconferencing with telephony, laying the foundation for enhanced productivity and future educational applications.

New Cisco IP Videoconferencing Solution for K-12

Bergen County and Charles County Schools

For Bergen County Technical Schools (BCTS) in Hackensack, New Jersey, the move from traditional to IP videoconferencing was a natural progression to leverage their IP network. According to BCTS Director of Technology, George Gonzales, Bergen recently made the decision to take the "next step" in videoconferencing by moving to IP-based systems as a way to overcome the incompatibility issues with ISDN and ATM-based units and other units outside of the school.

Not only has the Cisco IP Videoconferencing Solution helped solve Bergen's compatibility issues, but the IP network has also enabled BCTS to introduce a number of exciting new programs. These programs include a global learning exchange, which relies on international videoconferencing to enable BCTS students to connect with schools in other parts of the world; moral decision-making, which involves both teachers and parents in a videoconferencing-based discussion; and a new daily communications systems that enables administrators, teachers, guidance counselors and parents to use IP phones to communicate on a variety of important daily school topics. The video phone capability enables even more convenient and personal conferencing.

Charles County Public Schools, located in Maryland, has implemented a combination of set-top units, integrated IP videoconferencing rooms as well as three mobile units for ad hoc deployment. John Cox, the assistant superintendent of curriculum for Charles County, points to curriculum programs and faculty meetings as the primary applications.

"We want to have interactive video because we have courses that we wish to offer, however there is not sufficient student enrollment to offer them. This allows us to have a course at one site going to another site on an interactive basis," said Dr. Cox.

Charles County is also deploying Cisco IP telephony, which allows for a phone in every classroom. This enables teachers to tap into phone applications such as attendance, student data retrieval and advanced voice services for parent communication. In addition, these phones provide enhanced 911 security for increased student safety.

New Cisco IP Videoconferencing Solution for K-12

The Cisco IP Videoconferencing Solution is available worldwide, with immediate shipping in the United States. Pricing is based on configuration. For more information, please visit