I am working with our academics department to find a technology tool that will allow a teacher in a middle school classroom to be teaching their regular students while simultaneously teaching students in other school buildings.

I believe Blackboard Collaborate will work (which we already use), but I am struggling to find a speakerphone/microphone or other device that will take care of the audio broadcast portion. We have (unsuccessfully) tried a bluetooth headset, but it would break up when I got about 4 feet away from the laptop. I know there will be some distance limitations, but the teacher needs to be able to move around to some degree.

I have spoken to a rep at PolyCom who recommended the SoundStation IP 7000 with a computer calling kit added.

The solution needs to be portable, if possible--not installed/mounted as the teacher(s) and rooms will change. While I am looking for the most reasonably priced solution, it doesn't have to be dirt cheap. Even the PolyCom device (at several hundred dollars) would be cheaper than professional video conferencing equipment.

I am most interested in the audio (not video since they can just use whiteboard.)

Does anyone have any suggested products? Lessons learned? Features I should be looking for? Pitfalls to be aware of?





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  • Polycom-like systems try to catch any contribution around a table. I teacher´s voice only should be broadcasted, I suggest to invest some money into  a musician grade wireless microphone lineup with earmount  This gives a constant acoustical feeling to the remote party. Further hints were discussed in the past. Read more

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