The Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) has announced the creation of a distance learning/course sharing initiative. This memo provides additional information about that initiative. The initial response to our e-mail was very enthusiastic. We received replies from dozens of U.S. law schools, as well as from law schools in Canada, Europe and Australia. Based on the responses, we are hoping that the network will offer a rich array of courses including an array of U.S. electives, as well as electives from foreign countries (e.g., Doing Business in the Pacific Rim, Doing Business in the European Union, etc.). At this point, SEALS does not intend to charge for the service, but simply wishes to help law schools link up for distance learning purposes.
In order to assist law schools, SEALS will offer a few panels at its next annual meeting on the subject of distance learning. The meeting will be held July 17-23, 2005, at the Marriott Oceanfront and Golf Resort, Hilton Head Island, S. Carolina. For those interested in synchronous video technology, we plan to offer technical information about the synchronous video format (from technical types who will demonstrate the ease and inexpensiveness of synchronous video technology). The panel will also include faculty who have used the technology and who can provide an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of this method, as well as a discussion of practical problems that faculty can expect to confront and suggested solutions. There will also be a panel on asynchronous technology which will demonstrate how that technology works. Faculty who have used that technology will talk about their experiences and techniques.
For those who are interested in moving more quickly, we would ask you to begin thinking about the types of courses that you might be interested in receiving by distance, as well as the types of courses that you might be interested in providing to other schools. For those interested in establishing links for next semester, or the next academic year, please let me know and we’ll try to assist. However, we need specific information about your course needs or course offerings.
If you want to peruse a list of possible offerings, please let me know. If you are interested in establishing synchronous video links, but aren’t sure whether you have the necessary technology, let’s talk. Most major universities are engaged in distance learning and have extensive video technology at your disposal (and it’s cheap!). If you’re interested in purchasing synchronous video technology, you can do so for about $4,500. Once you do, there is little cost to run the equipment (other than staff time) because the course is web based.