IN JULY 2011, organisers of Europe's largest e-learning event accepted my workshop on the OEB11 agenda. I had to stand to deliver my presentation because I could not sit to travel to Berlin in person.
The photo at left shows my Dell M2400 laptop, stacked on top of file boxes and art books. The stack makes the laptop's Logitech 910 HD webcam appear at the height of my eyes. I talked to a small group of interested OEB11 conference participants 880 miles away in Berlin. My campus infrastructure prevented me from using Online Meeting Rooms and that meant I could not queue up and serve nine video clips that were part of the workshop. Instead, we used Google Hangouts to connect thoughts. I talked for just under an hour, then answered questions from the Online Educa Berlin participants. We also had questions and comments from Mark Lynch (an LIT student in the Hangout), Gabriel T (joining from his laptop a continent away) and an Irishman walking on the streets of Blanchardstown with his Android phone serving up the audio-video hangout via 3G. As much as I like Hangouts, they bring distractions like audio bleed-through and offer more video latency than the robust Flash Communications Services of Online Meeting Rooms.