Universities all over the world are leveraging visual conferencing technology and audio visual design and analysis tools to create learning opportunities for students without regard for geographical barriers. Known as distance learning programs, these initiatives connect students in remote locations with lectures, resources, communications and opportunities with the university. The technology also allows for students on campus to access conferences, speeches and other resources off-site without having to leave school.

The United States Distance Learning Association Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, excellence and innovation in the distance learning industry. These accomplished professionals have discovered ways to leverage conferencing technologies such as video and web conferencing solutions to connect students, teachers, staff and resources across geographic barriers.

Students at Baird High School in Texas, as well as other students from New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Ohio, will be participating in a web conference this month to connect with students abroad.

Through the use of multi-point videoconferencing technology, the students will be able to interact with their peers from other countries in a face-to-face discussion. Students will leverage the technology to communicate with students across vast distances, ask questions and gain insight into cultures from all over the world, the Abilene Reporter-News said.

Not all webcasts are created equal. After more than five years of helping clients produce high-impact webcasts, we believe that, if you're ready to go beyond the webcam or the PowerPoint, there are five keys to your success:

Event management. You need a project manager or producer who takes responsibility for the webcasting event and has the support of others inside or outside your organization with certain key skills.

Content and production. You need outstanding content and the highest production values to bring that content to life.

The power of webcasting was recently demonstrated when organizations around the world streamed footage of the solar eclipse that took place on May 21.

In the United States, a National Park Service webcast showed what the eclipse looked like from Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico, according to The Associated Press.

The NPS webcast was viewed by more than 17,000 people, and the agency has received many emails from those who logged on, the AP reported. Some of these people could not see the eclipse in person due to cloud cover or physical disability.