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Iím already using videoconferencing. How can I keep up to date with what is going on and make the best of the opportu nities available.

Communicate!

One of the best ways to keep up to date with what is going on is to talk to people! If you use a service provided by someone else, make sure that there are mechanisms for communicating easily with your service provider. You could perhaps encourage them to produce a newsletter for all their users if there is not one already.

If you use a small scale system which you run yourself, there are a number of ways you can keep yourself informed. One of the best is to keep in contact with other users even if you would have no other reason to contact them. You can help each other. (Appendices 3 and 4 of this report gives some limited information about other users of videoconferencing in higher education and some contact names and addresses.) Reading relevant sections of the daily press and the trade magazines can also help and if you have the time and the inclination, surfing the I nternet, World Wide Web etc. can be very informative. If no-one seems to be interested in producing a newsletter, consider taking on the role yourself ó at least that way, everyone would send you all the latest information!

User groups

Try joining a user group. If there is not one locally, think about setting one up. There are national and international bodies that include as part of their role information dissemination, e.g. the Telecommunication Usersí Association and the European Teleconferencing Federation (see Appendix 4).

If you are using videoconferencing on a small scale, it is worth contacting the groups that may be providing services for others if you have not already done so, e.g. Audio Visual Services, Computer Centre, Library, Staff Training and Development, Network Development etc. Let them know that you are using videoconferencing. They may ask if you would mind talking to new users about your experiences. The benefit for you is that the new users may be aware of the latest developments. Read the new users may be aware of the latest developments. Reading the Subject Section: Management of Video conferencing Services may help. If you are not familiar with the range of facilities that are on the market currently, see Chapter 2 and Appendix 2 of this report.

dos and don'ts
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