When you're a hammer, every problem is a nail. And now that I live-eat-n-breathe Mediasite 24/7, it's hard not to see applications for webcasting at every turn.

But an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education made me feel a bit vindicated. "In Case of Emergency, Break Tradition -- Teach Online" recounts how colleges are training professors to hold classes online so instruction can go on even in the face of natural disasters and other campus emergencies. Enter H1N1 and you have yet another reason to have educational technology at the table in planning for academic continuity.

We often hear directly from students who tell us they wouldn't have been able to complete their degree if it hadn't been for Mediasite (here's a video clip of a nursing student at Cal State Fullerton).

And back during the California firestorm, both CSU Fullerton and CSU San Marcos had to cancel classes but used Mediasite to continue delivering instruction. One professor released previously-recorded presentations for his students and another recorded the lecture he would have given the week of the fires.

“Although some of the classrooms were closed, we held classes where we could, and recorded them with Mediasite and made the content available to the students who weren’t able to meet. We didn’t want them to have to make a choice between leaving their homes and families—potentially having to evacuate—and coming to class.”

- Marsha Orr, Distance Education Faculty Liaison, CSU Fullerton Department of Nursing.

Delft University of Technology is using Mediasite to educate people about water management and containment. According to scientific predictions, the Netherlands will soon be underwater so the Dutch have learned a thing or two worth sharing. Earlier this summer, the university captured several dignitaries, including US Senator Mary Landrieu, during a meeting in Holland to talk about how to rebuild New Orleans post-Katrina (the intro is in Dutch but the presentation is in English).

These schools, and the overwhelming majority of our users, use Mediasite as their lecture capture workhorse day in and day out. But today, I'm particularly proud to work for a company whose technology has made a difference for them at both the best and worst of times.

How would you make webcasting a part of your pandemic, continuity or disaster recovery plans?