- 13 years in K12 Education
- 14 years in the Audio/Video Industry
How did you get started with video communication & collaboration?While working at Education Service Center Region 12, I was the instructional person working with school districts and ESC personnel to effectively utilize video conferencing for formal and informal instruction. We had many dual credit classes running on the network at that time. I worked with elementary and middle schools on collaboration projects with classes throughout the US and Canada. Sometimes, we could make a UK or Australian connection work, if everyone adjusted their schedules a bit.
What was your career path to i2i Technologies?After working at Region 12, I became a content provider, creating and delivering content and collaborations to elementary and middle schools. I was on camera most days. It was so much fun! After that I moved to i2i Technologies and became the Director for Marketing and Learning.
Describe a unique situation where you used video communication & collaboration.One of my favorite connections was a cultural collaboration between a small, rural school in Central Texas and a school in Hong Kong. We connected shortly after Halloween and our students were in their Halloween costumes and the students in Hong Kong were in traditional, historic costumes for the unit of study they were completing. Because the connection was on a Friday night to make the times work out, the students parents were in the room with them and it was so amazing to see the energy. I loved hearing when parents and students commented about what they had in common with the students in Hong Kong.
From your perspective, how has the industry changed over time, where do you see it going, and why does that matter?When I began in the industry, I had to first explain to people WHAT video conferencing was and then had to navigate with them to locate equipment and then work through a myriad of technical support people to even begin to try to make a connection. The contrast to today when you can video conference from any modern smartphone or device to anywhere is amazing. I remember the first time I saw my granddaughter connect to a friend while in the car waiting for me. She was showing her friend how to make a friendship bracelet. Any time she has big news to tell me, she wants to connect on video. One time, I was in a place where I literally could not make a video call, so I offered to call her on the phone. She replied, “That’s okay. I would rather wait until I can see you.” That is the power of video. Video is a quick way to more fully communicate compared to texting or email. Human Interactions Are The Key It seems to me that the convergence of technologies will continue. Technologies will get better and simpler. The need to help people understand and navigate them will continue to increase. As the technology becomes easier to use, focusing on integrating it into your workflow becomes more important. Yes, it is simple, but the standard culture has to be addressed. You can’t assume that everyone understands when to use what technology. I believe the critical element now for organizations is to not assume that everyone understands the power of video communications. I find that people who are new to the technology or have been exposed to awkward or nonsensical applications of it, are not comfortable and even antagonistic toward it. It is not about always using video first. The skill is to know which communication tool meets the needs of that particular situation.
What words or phrases would you use to describe i2i Technologies?Several come to mind. Caring. Practical. Connections. Caring is the main word. I am thankful to work for an organization like i2i Technologies because of the care we take in all that we do. Practical is the second word that comes to mind because we identify the problem that we are trying to solve for a customer and we do it. Connections is the third word because we strive to develop lasting relationships with our customers and other team members.
What do you like to do and how do you spend your time outside of work?
Outside of work, I like to keep busy. I am an artist, a YaYa, and an amateur sand sculptor. My artwork is online at www.superdoodlegirl.com. I recently published my first coloring book! I am a YaYa to grandchildren who keep me young and connected to how much the world has changed. I build sand castles for one week every summer at South Padre Island. I took my first lessons in 2011 and have built about 50 sand castles.