Thursday, March 09, 2006
Our Videoconferencing Community
I just had a most interesting videoconferencing adventure. In December I participated in Megaconference 7 which besides being a great videoconference experience for myself and some of our students also got my name on the Megaconference distribution list. So for the past few months I get lots of e-mails from some of my few hundred plus friends who are also on the list. All the discussion in these e-mails center around videoconferencing and I can honestly say I've learned a lot. I even sent an e-mail once myself. I sent an e-mail with a query about the Click to Meet software and the H.323 protocol. I received about a dozen responses. I actually because of my e-mail wound up in touch with Stewart Duncan from the London Grid. This week we tested our equipment and now it looks like our NYC schools will be videoconferencing with their London schools. I liked this sense of caring and interest that the members of the megaconference mailing list have for each other. The time and thought they take to answering a question or help in solving a problem. So when Megan Troyer from Ohio State University sent out an e-mail looking for a videoconferencing site in NYC for one of their professors on sabbatical, I decided to be a good videoconferencing Samaritan and offer one of our middle schools to host the professor.
Today was the day of the videoconference. The professor was going to videoconference with her graduate design students to see their final projects via videoconference. The students had been working for the past 8-10 weeks on designing multi-media interactive computer programs about "Carnival" in Notting Hill, London. I was actually staying in Bayswater London at "Carnival" and didn't even see it but that's another story. So, I got to learn about it today through the graduate students at Ohio State University and their amazing projects. Each was so different and each was so interesting. Their professor was able to see and hear the student's projects and ask questions. (I told her to give them all A's and she agreed).
When I left the school today I jokingly told two teachers who came in the room as we were leaving if you're ever at Ohio State and need to do a videoconference... But seriously I do feel a tremendous sense of camaraderie from my experience with our videoconferencing community. I hope as it continues to grow, as I know it will, we will keep on helping each other by sharing our experiences, expertise and even our equipment.