LIFE ON AN ISLAND always offers adventures and that's what I discovered while on the island of Cong trying to set up an international Google Hangout during #cong13. I share some thoughts below the fold about trying to make a video conference work over limited broadband connectivity.
We wanted to try a Google Hangout during one of the huddles in Cong and opted to set up in the Rare & Recent Book Shop because the locals said its wifi was the best in town. That is true.
I hooked into the wifi with my Dell laptop but discovered that I could not get good audio. That was because I didn't bring the correct extension cable for my shotgun microphone.
I asked James Corbett, a participant in the huddle, to activate the mic on his Samsung phone. We pulled the sound for the Hangout from the mobile phone handset.
This was an experiment that attracted Canadians, an American, a Scot and several Irish viewers. It was not scheduled--it just happened spontaneously. I learned the importance of having multiple viewing camera angles in the same Hangout and in testing the audio early in the Hangout. I appreciate the feedback from Fred Boss, Jane Boyd, and Stephen Downes. If I can help other educators test their Hangout set-ups, please invite me into the session via Google Plus
[Bernie Goldbach uses Google Hangouts with the Limerick School of Art & Design.]