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Academic Technologist Reflects on 15 Years with Mediasite at Northeast Ohio Medical University

October 01, 2019

Rey Notareschi has worked in education for 40 years – first as an instructor, then managing AV at a teaching hospital. For the past 22 he’s been director of classroom technology at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) where he created and implemented instructional technologies. That included a lot of training to support teaching and learning.

This summer Rey, who is also one of the longest users of Mediasite (15 years!), retired from his tenured, successful career.  We caught up with him between his many trips with family (ah, how lovely) to dish on classroom technology, video in medical education and NEOMED’s innovative new use of Mediasite in gross anatomy labs.

Q: How is Mediasite used in the gross anatomy lab?

 

A: In our new state-of-the-art gross anatomy lab, students are dissecting cadavers for the first time. There are 35 tables in the lab, each with a camera running back to a switcher that feeds to Mediasite. This allows our professors to record activity happening at the tables. One of the cool new features is the ability for an instructor in one exam bay to share an image with everyone else in the lab on 50-inch monitors at each bay. Everything that happens in the lab can be captured via Mediasite and streamed live and available on-demand, a great way for students to review and self-critique.

Q: How has Mediasite changed the way students see human anatomy?

A: Before we integrated Mediasite into our gross anatomy lab, all students had to work with were surgical lights and chalkboards. Now that each cadaver has its own camera and every bay has a monitor and PC, it’s easy for students to see what is in each cavity from all angles.

Video changes the game. Mediasite allows us to stream up to four HD video feeds simultaneously, so we can show students, for example, every aspect of a procedure that an instructor is demonstrating regardless of where they are in the lab.

Q: Are there other ways Mediasite benefits students at NEOMED?

A: We also use Mediasite for scheduled lecture capture and live events like commencements. Several classrooms are also equipped with Mediasite, and 200 faculty members use the personal capture software, My Mediasite, to record short supplemental lectures and tutorials. Students find the Mediasite engagement features like question and answer to be very helpful with learning in the medical and pharmacy schools.

We even have faculty come in from other colleges such as Cleveland Clinic to use our recording technology. We have a TV production studio that’s always ready to go. We also have a rolling card with wireless mics, an audio mixer, etc. that we can take anywhere throughout campus for special live events.

Q: What first drew you to Mediasite?

A: Mediasite offers a sophistication and functionality that no other video streaming or recording device has. In 2003 when we were searching for a solution, clickers and PowerPoint upload were just entering the market. Mediasite lecture capture was way ahead of any streaming service at the time. Mediasite is my favorite product because it is consistent, reliable, and has constant improvements that keep up to date with today’s technology needs. No other product has a video management system like Mediasite.

It is such a comprehensive lecture capture solution that continues to innovate over time. I never regretted my decision to select Mediasite or staying with it because it keeps pushing the envelope.

Q: What do you love most about video in the classroom?

 

A: I love using video in the classroom because it captures every moment that happens. Video provides a powerful supplemental tool especially in healthcare professions due to the amount of information you need to learn and remember daily. Any PowerPoint, dual video, animation, etc. is recorded with Mediasite for students to access after class.

Q: What do students like about using Mediasite?

A: Students like the ability to fast forward and the 24/7 availability to watch on-demand. Students can personalize their own learning experience with Mediasite. I had an office right by the library, and every day I would walk past the quiet study area and students were interacting with Mediasite. It’s truly wonderful to see.

It also allows them to relive and recreate labs that aren’t always recreate-able. Our instructors tell students: “This is the first patient you will ever have, so it’s important to get it right and know exactly how you got it right.”

Q: Why is it important for schools to embrace video?

A: Education is so fast paced. NEOMED uses a blended approach to deliver the curriculum; part video/part classroom instruction. Higher education is constantly evolving.   The online component grows every year. Video allows for learning flexibility. Whether someone is an audio or visual learner, streaming lectures allows students to make their own plan for learning.

Q: What are the most important considerations when planning an academic video strategy?

A: Make sure you have a solid, reliable product that can scale as you grow. It is also important to train your faculty how to use it and to support them with the new system. If you don’t, your faculty won’t use it. Training is essential if faculty are going to feel comfortable with the technology and utilize it.  If you offer ongoing training and education, the rest will fall into place.

We trained our faculty to upload and edit like pros. We do hour-long tech talks and offer faculty workshops to make sure our team is getting the best training they need to succeed. [Read: 5 Ways to Drive Video Adoption with Faculty Training]

Q: Congratulations on your retirement! What are you looking forward to most?

A: I am most looking forward to the months of traveling I get to do! I just got back from Virginia with my wife. We planned a trip to Chicago to see my daughter, and I also plan on going to Boston, out west, Europe and maybe do some skiing. I’m a big foodie, so I can’t wait to explore the world of food!

I’m coming completely full circle in retirement, because I’m going back to middle school this fall as a substitute teacher where my wife teaches. She said she’ll probably put me in the computer lab, and I said ‘bring it on’!  It’ll keep me on my toes.


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