New technology puts training into multiple sites in Florida
By Kristi Hodge
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP)–Ever wanted to be in three places at one
Through the Florida Baptist Convention’s first use of Interactive
Compressed Television (ICTV), Bill Carmichael and Gary Nichols
were able to do just that.
>From the Baptist Building in Jacksonville, the two Florida
Baptist Convention discipleship training department staff members
led a Bible drill judging workshop for small groups gathered at
First Baptist Church, Orlando; Florida Baptist Theological
College, Graceville; and the Jacksonville convention
headquarters. Video cameras and voice-sensitive microphones were
set up at each location with television screens that projected
live feeds of each group.
The seminar was part of an ICTV study by selected Florida Baptist
Convention staff who will test the ICTV system through similar
small-group seminars, then train others to use the equipment.
While the convention’s first use of ICTV pointed out the need for
improvements in audio and video reception, participants
considered the March 13 seminar a success.
“I liked being able to have three separate audiences,” said
Carmichael, director of the discipleship training department. “I
think that’s the genius of ICTV — from Jacksonville, leading a
conference where people from other locations can participate and
The Florida Baptist Convention is establishing an ICTV network
with eight receiving sites in the state for theological education
and ministry training. Current sites are in Jacksonville,
Graceville, Orlando and Miami. Florida Baptist Centers of
Theological Education and Ministry Training also are planned for
Tampa Bay, the Space Coast, the southwest coast and Fort
Ty Wood, director of the convention’s media services department,
explained ICTV technology is made possible by a multi-point
connection unit, which converts video images into digital data.
The data is then transmitted through high-capacity telephone
lines to multiple locations and converted back into video.
“This seminar demonstrated the real strength of this technology,”
Wood said. “Staff were able to conduct very specific training to
a target audience in a more cost-effective and time-saving way.”
Steve Griffith, minister of education at First Baptist Church in
Orange Park, said the convenience of attending the seminar in
nearby Jacksonville was a major benefit. “With people being so
busy, traveling so much and still trying to keep up with trends
in ministry, I think these types of seminars will provide greater
opportunities to train more people,” he said.
Roger Phillips, a student at FBTC, said the seminar gave him an
opportunity to interact with people from other parts of the state
– people he otherwise might not have had a chance to meet.
Mary Helen Myers, a member of Haines Creek Baptist Church,
Leesburg, participated at the Orlando site. She said she is
excited about the possibilities for ICTV as its technology
“I see a lot of potential for its future use in more and more
events,” she said.
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13 April 1999
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