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Intro to KVCS for NEN Trial Extension schools

A key objective of the NEN trial extension is to explore how schools can benefit from better online access to education and administrative services. A number of content and services are now available to help you get the most from your connection to the National Education Network, including the KAREN Video Conferencing Service.

KAREN Video Conferencing Service (KVCS)

NEN trial extension schools can now take advantage of the KVCS. This high definition video conferencing service makes collaborating with schools and other education and research organisations easier.

You don’t need expensive video conferencing (VC) equipment to start using the KVCS. Whether you are using a VC unit or a webcam on your desktop you should notice the difference in quality. Using the free desktop video conferencing application, you can video conference in high definition, share your presentation, record your event and stream your event live over the web.

Cost

The Ministry of Education has covered the KVCS subscription and support costs for NEN trial extension schools until at least 30 June 2012.

Getting Started

You can explore the service yourself at the Advanced Video Collaboration Centre (AVCC) website (http://avcc.karen.net.nz/tutorials/karen-video-bridge). Their tutorials and guides can help you begin video conferencing from your computer right away with Scopia Desktop. To book meetings in KVCS you need to apply for an iVIEW account by emailing your details (name, school/institution, email address and a desired username) to kvcs@cpnz.net.nz.

To encourage trial schools to make the most of this service, the Ministry’s NEN Trial Evaluation team will be facilitating a series of introductory KVCS sessions over the next few months. These sessions will involve teachers from different schools in the NEN Trial Extension and will focus on how to use the service to collaborate with colleagues. The sessions will be recorded and loaded onto the NEN Trial VLN page.

 If you or someone else at your school would like to join one of these sessions please contact Pat Marentette on patrick.marentette@minedu.govt.nz.

Who can help me?

Your first port of call for help with the KVCS is you the KVCS helpdesk available on 0800 666 889. They can help you set up the software with your headset and webcam for desktop video conferencing. We recommend that you thoroughly test the system before your first actual VC.  This can be done by dialling into the KVCS ‘24 hour test space’ (using meeting id 6222) where you can test your sound and picture settings.

Additional Ministry services provided at no charge

As a NEN trial extension school, you can access the following services over the National Education Network for free:

  • Adobe Connect (Zero One)
  • Asnet video conferencing video bridge (Asnet)
  • e-asTTle (Ministry of Education)
  • Virtual Learning Network  (Ministry of Education)

While all schools can access  these services over the internet, schools in the NEN Trial Extension will have better performance over KAREN.

Services offered on a commercial basis

The following commercial services have been made available over KAREN as part of the investment made by the NEN trial extension. While you will still have to pay to use these services, access to them should be faster and won’t impact on any data cap you may have.

Please contact the service provider directly to purchase any of the following services:

  • eTV (Education Television & Video Communications Trust)
  • Knowledge NET (Watchdog)
  • Moodle (Watchdog)
  • Ultranet (Edtech)

We are also in the process of organising access to Mahara and Moodle (Catalyst IT) and TKI (Ministry of Education) via KAREN.

For more information on content and services available through the National Education Network trial, visit the KAREN website (www.karen.net.nz).