ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT things I've accomplished this summer is meeting up with Debbie Keys, a second grade teacher in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to chat about ways to bring Irish and American primary school students into the same online discussion space, using crisps, photos, and audio chat sessions. We haven't sorted out all the details but know that we want American and Irish students to compare common things by describing those things in their own lingo. Behind part of this cultural exchange sits Online Meeting Rooms and its capability to push images through Powerpoint and to play those images in the new .FLV player. This effectively means we will be able to make simple little photos appear as though they are video presentations in our online meetings. The work process involves taking a quality image (at least two megapixels in size), saving the image onto Flickr, importing the Flickr image into Powerpoint, and saving the work in Slideshare.
Camtasia Studio lets me render the Powerpoint slides in the .flv format and then we can move those FLV files onto dropbox. By selecting the public URL from the Dropbox, we can play the Powerpoint in video form. This means that people can move ahead swiftly by scrubbing the play head or they can pause the play. This gives the viewer control over the pace of the presentation.
I can drop different FLV presentations directly into an Online Meeting Rooms session. This means Debbie can put her content into a shared Dropbox and she can drop the files into the FLV players and continue the presentation from her end.
We have several train-the-trainer sessions planned with Online Meeting Rooms. Although we can host up to 16 individual video streams into one online meeting, we don't plan to have more than four running at once. Video stream windows can be scaled to full screen. We're also using the chat function to permit attendees to chat amongst themselves and to ask questions of a presenter.
I like Online Meeting Rooms because you don't need IT support. You don't need to install anything onto your Mac or PC or Linux machine. I'm looking forward to some exciting trans-Atlantic meetings this autumn.