What’s Up with SIP?

So, have you seen the rumblings of using the SIP standard instead of H.323 in schools?

I ran into this during Read Around the Planet.

Some schools with TANDBERG installations on the east coast gave out their address to dial as an email address! This caused some confusion and trouble for Read Around the Planet this year. They didn’t seem to know that most schools with H.323 couldn’t dial it or didn’t know how to.

I don’t really understand all the technology – but I see the effect on educators trying to connect “advanced videoconferencing” with other schools who have “advanced videoconferencing” (i.e. Polycom, Lifesize, Cisco-TANDBERG, etc.).

These are the questions that are raised in my brain. What about for you?

  • How does an old Viewstation connect to SIP?
  • What has to be in place for H.323 to connect to SIP?
  • Why is it that the school with the new TANDBERG HD installation couldn’t dial an IP address with the dial protocol on auto? They had to select H.323. That’s not very educator/user friendly. Most educators don’t know the difference between H.323 and SIP. I barely understand it!
  • Why is it that this school with new TANDBERG HD equipment couldn’t call older Polycom systems during Read Around the Planet? I think it might have been Viewstations they were trying to dial. Shouldn’t H.323 be able to call any H.323?
  • If a content provider buys a new system that uses SIP – who will advise them on how to connect to schools that can only dial out?
  • Is Cisco-TANDBERG really pushing SIP now?

I am trying to understand the ramifications of this for programs such as Read Around the Planet, collaborations between schools through CAPspace, connections between schools and content providers around the world, etc.

What do you think? Any ideas? Please comment!


About Janine Lim

Janine Lim, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
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5 Responses to What’s Up with SIP?

  1. Jason R says:

    We’ve run into similar problems. I hope to find some answers at this year’s ISTE conference. In a related note, there was some recent discussion of Cisco Telepresence Systems on the megacon listserv. According to the thread it seems CTS do not currently support SIP or H.323 and native H.323 support may never happen. They mentioned the need for a TelePresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) system for making these connections and that the Internet2 Commons will soon offer TIP service for a fee (http://commons.internet2.edu/). More discussion of interoperability here: https://blogs.internet2.edu/archives/82

  2. Jason R says:

    BTW, I could not use copy/paste when I tried to comment on this post using my iPad. Doesn’t seem to work with whatever mobile theme you are using.

    • Janine Lim says:

      Jason – I’m sorry the copy/paste didn’t work. This blog is hosted at wordpress.com. I looked all through the settings to even find anything about the mobile theme and couldn’t find anything. So I don’t know what else I could do to help with that. I’m sorry!

  3. Perhaps it isn’t as complicated as it seems….? Even so, having these extra steps/understandings doesn’t make implementing vc in the classroom any easier. If you figure it out, let the rest of us know!

  4. Pingback: SIP & H.323 – How Does it Work? « The Wired Classroom

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