It’s almost like being there…
Posted by lpearle on 31 January 2010
but not quite. Over the past two days I’ve been “attending” Educon with varying degrees of success. The Elluminate rooms were interesting because the limitations of the technology really showed – if the mic wasn’t positioned well, sound got muddied; if there weren’t enough people in the backchannel, the experience was lessened; and if the presenter didn’t remember that those of us in the backchannel were also there, the group work wasn’t useful (not to mention that the whiteboard area didn’t lend itself to many people adding/sharing at once).
Even the strictly presentation format was awkward: camera @ rear of room doesn’t capture more than back of heads.
I’m thinking it would be easier to just see the aggregated tweets, videos, etc. after the fact than try to follow along in RT
While CathyJo tweeted:
Dear moderator, the cams in the rooms do not need to focus on visuals bc this kind of conf is more about the conversations NOT the…
Amen to both (assuming the videos have decent audio). Many presenters did provide links to their presentations, which was great. Some really took into account the backchannel and encouraged our participation along with the F2F group.
Skype wouldn’t work well in this situation (and watching Cory Doctorow’s Skype session at the YALSA preconference was painful); Dimdim might. Etherpad has potential, but with only 16 people allowed in at a time? Not great for conferences. Google Wave? Google Docs? Also have limitations in terms of format, sharing, etc..
My big takeaway is that we’re heading in the right direction with conferences; ALA needs to do more virtual stuff because travel expense (and time away from job) often prevents people from being more active in the association. However, the technology isn’t there yet.
As much as we talk about moving to more constructivist, “guide on the side” situations in our schools, we still present in the old format. How can we change that to include virtual participants, thus expanding our conversations/learning?