Where the Magic Happens
As online students and alumni of Nazarene Bible College, we all have one thing in common. At one point or another, we had to take on the task of preparing and sending in a student video project. To those who don't know what I'm talking about, I am referring to classes such as Introduction to Public Speaking and Christian Preaching I and II in our Christian based online education program. We were required to: video ourselves speaking or preaching to a crowd, manage to get our project on a DVD, thumb drive, DV tape, etc. Then we had to send it in to the NBC IT Department with just enough time for it magically show up right where it belonged, in our class video section where it would be viewed, critiqued, and graded.
When I was a student at NBC, I thought it must be magic that makes everything run so smoothly! Only until I took over the position at the IT Help Desk and began handling the task of encoding videos and indexing them into the appropriate online classes did I begin to understand. Since I began working here earlier this summer our unique encoding machines have gone through many transformations. With technology always advancing, we have to make sure our machines are always up to date so students can continue sending in student projects of all types.
Working on these machines can also result in replacements like this picture that shows me replacing a fried motherboard that took its last breath earlier this week. Having the encoding machines down can definitely become a hindrance since they are responsible for uploading lectures for professors, encoding student videos, and getting our streaming media chapel videos online so everyone can watch in the comfort of their own homes.
Encoding videos may be a task, but isn't all that bad. Student video projects about learning how to keep a budget, or how eating a little bit of dark chocolate every day is actually good for your health, keeps us constantly learning in the office and being able to hear an inspiring sermon while working at my desk is nothing less than a blessing. Having several encoding machines allows us to guarantee that one way or another we will not let this online Christian college, students, or instructors down. In our constant pursuit to serve our students better and provide support and good practices, we are continuously upgrading our systems and looking for ways to simplify the processes. Succeeding at this is one of the most enjoyable parts of our job.
On a sad note, I must inform you that one of our most faithful servants was retired this week. After nine years and nine months of nonstop service, our oldest server was shut down last Wednesday morning. Over the years it served us by handling our email system, kept us safe by monitoring site traffic, and most recently guarded our wireless infrastructure. The server will be missed but was updated with a terrific new machine that will be able to serve us for many more years to come.
Filed Under: Blog Published: 09/24/2010