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MINDS in Motion

Streaming video and education go together like hand and glove, and as more and more schools have recognized this fact, more companies have cropped up to serve the education market. Among this new wave is the aptly named MINDS, a company that was founded with the power of streaming media for K-12 education in mind. Multimedia Instructional Network Delivery Systems, LLC (MINDS) was formed in 2000 with the lofty and ambitious mission of "deeply embedding the daily use of streaming video for enhancing instruction and learning."

The company evolved out of DataServ, Inc., a K-12 technology integration company. DataServ co-founder Seiler assembled a panel of educators and asked them what they thought was missing from K-12 education. In those discussions, "the interactivity piece of the puzzle kept coming up," says Seiler. Now president of MINDS, he resolved to find a way to give educators the interactivity they crave in an effective and efficient way, and the method he settled on was streaming video over the Internet.

Today's MINDS is broad-ranging company that offers educational products, packages, and customized services for teachers and administrators as well as K-12 students. The heart of the MINDS product line is the MINDSconnects eLearning Knowledge Center (MC-eKC), which provides more than 325 hours of video streaming professional development, eLearning tutorials, conference session, best practices, and more. In addition, MC-eKC also offers DigitalCurriculum, an Internet-based video-on-demand curriculum library that contains more than 90,000 instructional multimedia assets. This library is offered in partnership with Discovery Education, a division of Discovery Communications, Inc., which acquired the assets when it purchased AIMS Multimedia in 2004.

One current MC-eKC user is the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA), a statewide organization comprised of more that 8,000 K-12 educators. "Due to travel, time, staffing, and financial challenges, as well as increased state and federal demands for student achievement, TCEA felt it was vital to expand online curriculum offerings and professional development outreach to its members," says TCEA executive director Ron Cravey, explaining why the organization sought out the kinds of service MINDS offers. "Due to its online format and structure, the MC-eKC is a convenient and comprehensive approach that meets our members' needs."

Another MINDS offering is a 23-session online course called Data-Driven Decision Making, which is designed to help teachers and administrators better understand and use data. In today's K-12 environment, with its increased emphasis on standardized testing and accountability, knowing how to understand and analyze data is crucial, says Seiler.

MINDS will also help schools set up and conduct Webcasts through its Presentation Recorder and Webcasting System, which uses Sonic Foundry's Mediasite.

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