One of the technologies that we currently support at the University is that of desktop video and audio conferencing. Anecdotal evidence would indicate that nationally usage beyond supporting distance learning and language teaching has been restricted to innovative pockets of practice. However in recent months I have participated in an increasing number of events using these technologies and I wonder if this is part of a wider trend. I have outlined a few recent examples below.
As part of the MoRSE project I gave a joint JISC seminar with Dr Richard Hall at De Montfort University on ‘Mobilising Remote Student Engagement: Institutions, Personalisation and Applications’ (see http://blogs.kingston.ac.uk/morse/2010/01/11/institutions-personalisation-and-applications/). Although this was a joint presentation we were over 100 miles apart when we gave it with the audience spread around the UK. Although this was restricted to live audio we did simultaneously broadcast our slides with a live text based discussion taking place. I found this more exhausting than giving a conference presentation but we had a very positive debate and engagement.
- Back in December in preparation for our Learning Technologies review a team of ADC and IS staff participated virtually in a one day event run by the Learning Environment Review Special Interest Group (LERSIG) at the University of Bradford on ‘Reviewing the VLE’. The video stream from Bradford was good quality and was displayed via a data projector at the KU end. This was a very positive experience with the local KU debate extending an hour beyond the end of the presentations.
In January I attended a one seminar on digital Identities at the British Library organised by Eduserv. One of the speakers, Professor Shirley Williams, University of Reading, was unable to attend due to the snow. However in conjunction with a colleague she was able to deliver her presentation from home and engage in a very interesting discussion.
We have also experimented with live streaming of video from field, though using slightly different technology to video conferencing, and I have also noticed recent conference calls were an option has been provided to give a presentation remotely. I would argue that there are many applications of this type of technology in learning and teaching beyond the obvious. If you wish to find out more about this, the technologies we support, loan technologies available and related staff development please contact Anne Law (firstname.lastname@example.org).