ANDREA WECKERLE, author of Civility in the Digital Age, beamed into our lecture hall today and shared several key points arising from a reading of her book. The shared conversation (link below) resonated well beyond our sparsely populated lecture hall.
Those who have followed me since 2006 on Twitter know that I have a low tolerance for the cut-and-thrust of the online world. That's actually a bit enigmatic, because at my core, I know it takes very little to nudge me into the mode of rude American. However, I have learned it's nearly impossible to restore online connections or to rebuild broken lines of communications once I've said or written items that insult or alarm people. I wanted to share part of my personal and professional learning through a Skype video presentation by Andrea Weckerle and she obliged. You can click the link below to hear the result of our conversation.
Below the break, I will explain some of the technical parts of today's lecture that made it a truly worthwhile creative multimedia experience.
This summary is part "eureka" and part snag list.
1. I should have made this a Google Event the moment I booked the call with Andrea because my calendar would have alerted me that a pending time change in Ireland would affect the start time of the event.
2. Dozens of photos related to the venue, the students and the event percolated up onto the Google Event page before, during and after the video conversation. This enhanced the value of the talk, primarily for students who did not attend.
3. We connected on a full screen Skype video call through my laptop, using HEANET broadband. Two minutes of the 30-minute call were lost due to network buffering somewhere between Minnesota and Ireland. Callburner faithfully recorded the call. Auphonic leveled the audio content. Andre Louis provided the music at the beginning and end of the recording. As a backup, we had HSPA+ broadband available via Three Ireland. I failed to get a landline number from Andrea as our fail-safe option. I've used a landline voice call through Skype in lecture halls.
4. My Logitech 910HD webcam on a tripod provided the video from the Irish side. The camera operator, Jim O'Neill, occasionally zoomed in on members of the listening audience. He unnerved Andrea when he zoomed into her image as she was presenting from the States. It's a little disconcerting looking at yourself talk when the lip sync is one second delayed.
5. Thomas Lonergan provided digital still photography coverage. The presence of a still camera in the venue heightened the attentiveness of the audience. Four other people in the audience snapped shots that automatically uploaded to the Google Events stream during the presentation.
6. In many ways, this was a student-run event. One group positioned assets in the venue (front of venue seating, cables and tripod). Two others checked video and audio levels. Everyone in the audience knew they could tweet, snap and share during the event.
7. Audio feedback happened twice because we could not get remote speakers to work during the event. The laptop's speakers provided tinny audio that could be heard in the venue.
One last thing--this kind of live Skype video event could be facilitated anywhere a high-speed data connection existed. We are blessed with upstreaming wired speeds in excess of 20 megabits per second and a data projector that puts presenters onto a wall four square meters wide. I've done smaller events with connections to people using Skype in their hands, on tablets and laptops. We try to create this kind of dynamic environment once a month with our creative multimedia cohort on the Clonmel campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology.
Bernie Goldbach teaches essential elements of social media to third level students at the Limerick School of Art and Design in Clonmel, Ireland.