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The View from Integrated Systems Europe 2014

ISE 2014 - Panopto Lecture Capture PlatformThis year, Panopto attended Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) for the first time, taking a stand in Hall 10, one of the staggering 952 exhibitors at this huge event. The organisers call ISE the largest trade show for the professional AV and electronics systems industry and having been here for the past three days, I can well believe it! As well as the diverse array of exhibitors, the show anticipates that more than 45,000 visitors will pass through the doors of the Amsterdam RAI to learn about the latest developments in audio visual technologies.

Many of those coming to our stand work in higher education and it was interesting to talk to staff at universities from all over Europe (and beyond) about how lecture capture is now just one aspect of what they want to use video for at their institutions. As lecture capture and classroom recording has truly gone global over the past few years, a lot of universities have now moved past their initial lecture capture pilots. They have become increasingly aware that for students and staff to truly get the full benefits of lecture capture, equipping two or three rooms for lecture recording is not enough – the technology is for everyone and should be ubiquitous and fully accessible to all.

Now that lecture capture is being offered by many universities as a ‘core service’ (a trend discussed by my Panopto colleague JJ van Delsen in a recent article in University Business), learning technologists, academics and IT staff are looking at ways to broaden their uses of recorded content. More agile forms of content creation are being explored, with teachers looking at the idea of making short knowledge-sharing clips from the comfort of their own homes to share with their students either pre-lecture (in a flipped classroom model) or afterwards, to help them consolidate their learning. This is what one of our existing users at the University of Northampton has described as ‘sofacasting’ where video empowers teachers and learners to create and access educational materials wherever is most convenient for them. Classroom recording, in this scenario, need not be limited to the classroom at all! Our lecture capture software is perfectly suited to this flexible approach to recording – as we are hardware agnostic, we let users determine the devices they want to use. This fits with the message that we heard loud and clear at the event – big hardware installations are out.

One topic that raised a lot of smiles when we were speaking to visitors to our stand was the searchability of Panopto video content. As institutions look to scale-up their use of lecture capture, classroom recording and beyond, the one question is – when you create so much content, how do you navigate to the parts that are most relevant? The fact that we allow users to search within videos, not just for them is a huge bonus in this case.

As the doors close on ISE 2014, for me, the key takeaway is that in the education sector, the idea of lecture capture is here to stay and will only grow over the coming years. The increase in other forms of recorded content that visitors to our stand spoke of will mean that solutions that are flexible, adaptable and scalable (like Panopto) will become vital support tools as teachers and lecturers aim to improve teaching and learning through video.