Scope of AV communications technology, Video Conferencing impacts Nation’s infrastructure

720px-US-NationalHighwayInstitute-Logo.svgMore than one in nine bridges in the United States is structurally deficient, meaning that they require significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement. We sometimes forget how important it is to ensure the safety of our bridges, especially when you consider that everyday, Americans take 260 million trips over structurally deficient bridges, according to a report from the Transportation for America Campaign.

The National Highway Institute (NHI) – an organization within   the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) – works to improve the performance of the transportation industry through training. To help ensure that the workforce responsible for the construction and maintenance of our roadways are properly trained, NHI has developed a three-dimensional, virtual bridge inspection computer-based training tool that has become a critical part of its renowned two-week bridge inspection training course.

The training program office at the NHI was recognized by the FGDLA for its innovative work to bring quality training to students nation-wide. Richard Barnaby, director of training at the NHI, was there to accept the Innovation Award, along with the Engility team led by Anthony “Tony” Prause.

The Polycom team sat down with Mr. Barnaby and Mr. Prause for an exclusive interview about the DOT’s distance learning initiative, and how video teleconferencing (VTC) has helped the department get ahead in the space.

Here is what they had to say:

DOTPublic Sector View: Congratulations on being honored with an Innovation Award. Can you give us a brief background as to what the DOT is trying to accomplish with distance learning technology?

Richard Barnaby: We’re trying to use new technologies to deliver [training] to the transportation workforce nationwide. We want to be efficient, effective, and we’re trying to make it immersive so the participants can benefit from it. Their skill sets can be enhanced thanks to the technology, which is what we’re looking to do.

We took a very technologically complex training course, which is safety inspection of in-service bridges, and through Engility – through Tony’s team – turned it into a training program with gaming quality simulations that involve more participation than a traditional video game.

We were able to make the training better, easier, and more fun for the students to ensure that they learn what they need to know.

Public Sector View: What has been the return on investment of the program for the DOT? How has it helped the department accomplish its mission?

Richard Barnaby: The ROI for an undertaking of this nature this can be measured by our total reach. Since going into distance learning, we’ve managed to double the number of people taking our training. We went from 15,000 to 33,000 individuals, and the number is even higher this year. Through the use of mobile learning, we’ve been able to expand our reach and it’s enhanced the quality of the training.

Road building and bridge building are nation wide, and the training that we provide needs to reach our entire audience. Our audience consists of states, various departments of transportation, and the private sector as well as the local sector, so our training has to be national to do its job.

Our mission is to provide highly technical training at a very high level, and distance learning is the way to go.

Public Sector View: What issues and trends are you seeing today in the distance learning space?

Anthony Prause: The biggest trend that I see is that organizations are looking for rapid development of distance learning products at a low cost, but also increasing requirements and higher training standards with respect to quality and capability. The needs of customers are adapting to economic issues and the advancement of technology to provide better training products to augment all types of training.

There used to be a saying “Good, fast, cheap, pick two.”  That’s no longer an option – being “better faster cheaper” is now becoming the minimum requirement.


for more information on Video Conferencing and Distance Learning applications and technologies, contact SpaceCoast AV Communications at 321-257-9700  or via email at 


SpaceCoast AV’s Projects Featured on Houzz

School Systems Embrace Video Conferencing

Jefferson County Schools Take Videoconferencing Mobile

By Dian Schaffhauser,  WRITER, THE JOURNAL

A Colorado school district has gone public with details about its use of video conferencing via mobile devices and PCs to attend meetings, deliver remote classes, practice language skills, and other purposes. Jefferson County Public Schools adopted Polycom video products in 2009. The original goal was to reduce employee travel among the district’s 150-plus sites. Since then, the district has grown to 185 sites, and “Jeffco” staff and faculty have held 10,000 video conferences, according to Steve O’Brien, director of data center operations.

The district, which serves about 86,000 students in Denver and the surrounding communities, runs a robust bring-your-own-device program and has issued almost 3,000 iPads to employees. O’Brien said users have adopted Polycom’s RealPresence Mobile app on their mobile devices and RealPresence Desktop software on their PCs. The district also provides six conference rooms and one technology-rich classroom that have Polycom HDX Series gear installed for group meetings.

According to O’Brien, recent trends say the mobile app is the most popular among his users. Over the course of three days, slightly more than half were using the app on an iPad; slightly less than half were on a desktop. “Virtually everyone who taps into our video conference network was using video right in the classroom or the office. They don’t even have to go down the hall.”

Because the Polycom software integrates with Active Directory and everybody has a login account in Active Directory, setting up a video call is “no big deal,” O’Brien added.

In the classroom teachers have tried out the Polycom software to allow their language students to practice speaking with students in France and Spain. It has also been used by recruiters from distant universities to connect with students at high school career centers. One teacher used the application while overseas to connect with his class. And another used the service to defend his doctoral dissertation with a panel located in Lincoln, NE. “The process was seamless,” said Daniel Price, a chemistry and physics teacher. “There was no lag in communication in terms of audio or video.”

One manager, the district’s director of construction management, conducts her meetings by video, which saves six department employees from having to drive in to district headquarters. When a school librarian job opened up, the district held interviews with out-of-state candidates via the Polycom software.

O’Brien said he expects use of the video collaboration application to continue increasing. “We spent the last couple years focusing on how to deploy video. Now we’re focused on where. And with the advent of mobile devices, that pretty much means everywhere.”



About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. 

Join me for a FREE webinar

Top 5 Reasons Why Business-Grade Video Conferencing Trumps Free and Consumer Solutions – REGISTER HERE

The allure of no-cost, consumer oriented IT solutions is very tempting for small and mid-sized organizations. But “free and easy” is often followed by “you get what you pay for” and professional organizations need to be aware of the risks and limitations of using consumer video conferencing solutions for business.

Today’s business-grade video conferencing and telepresence solutions are more affordable and easier to use than ever before and deliver superior quality, consistency, interoperability and security that professional organizations need to protect themselves and maximize productivity.

Join this live event to hear top experts discuss the pitfalls of free, consumer-grade video conferencing solutions especially in comparison to the capabilities of today’s business-grade video conferencing systems.

If you would like more information after the webinar or would like to schedule a demo, give us a call at 321-257-9700

SpaceCoast AV “Winning Customers for Life”

SpaceCoast AV offers affordable VTC Systems


 Earlier this month, we released a message about our VTC Systems, both single and dual monitor configurtaions. Today we want to continue our discussion. The complete systems come in standard and high definition configurations also.From our 6 Pre-configured Single Monitor Systems we will highlight a different system each day. Our highlight today is the Polycom 6000 solution.  This system comes with the following configurations:

Polycom HDX6000 -1080·   

·         HDX6000 includes codec shelf mount 1080p camera, Mic Array, P+C, PPCIP, Monitor Cables, English remote

·         1 Yr Polycom Service

·         RPS Cart w/Camera Shelf       

·         42” LED-LCD 1080p 120Hz HDTV, 1.99″ Ultra-Slim

·         Delivery  

  Polycom HDX6000 -720

·         HDX6000 includes codec shelf mount 720p camera, Mic Array, P+C, PPCIP, Monitor Cables, English remote

·         1 Yr Polycom Service

·         RPS Cart w/Camera Shelf 

·         42” LED-LCD 1080p 120Hz HDTV, 1.99″ Ultra-Slim

Polycom® HDX® 6000 Series

Polycom® HDX® 6000 Series


The Polycom HDX 6000 is a fully featured, low-cost, small group telepresence system that allows teams of people to easily connect over distance and enjoy high definition voice, video, and content sharing.

For more information visit us on line at or call us at 321-257-9700