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Navigating the Elusive World of Virtual Collaboration in the Real World Classroom Steve Hallman | July 26, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Navigating the Elusive World of Virtual Collaboration in the Real World Classroom Steve Hallman | July 26, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Navigating the Elusive World of Virtual Collaboration in the Real World Classroom
Steve Hallman | July 26, 2011

2 Today's topic We will discuss the tools available for online collaboration. How the technologies relate to each other and the common misconceptions about their interoperability. We will also discuss steps to help IT staff and faculty determine an appropriate tool and enable them to share their content.

3 My Background I have been evaluating and selecting tools for distance collaboration at UNC – Chapel Hill depts. for 20+ years. I’ve spent the last 13 as the IT Educational Media Manager at the Business School which heavily utilizes these tools for international programs and distance learning programs. My contact info is

4 We had an 18 year old miss class because she had a diving competition in California, while we had a 57 year old miss class because his business was going under water. We virtually brought in our keynote speaker for a conference when he was stranded in Germany due to last year's volcano eruption.

5 The Promise in the Ad “Cutting edge innovative solutions to allow real time collaboration" “A turnkey solution to allow anyone anywhere to connect to anyone else in the world.“

6 The Reality These tools are all excellent options in their own way; unfortunately they don’t all play well with others.

7 Instructors see these ads, think it’s great and strike out on their own to bring in their guests remotely.

8 The Promise in the Ad “One button connectivity- no technician required”

9 The Reality “ Hey, this is Prof XXX…..I have a guest speaker I need to beam into class in an hour. Can you call his admin assistant and find out what he’s using? I think he said he wanted to use Telepresence or Skype on his iPhone.”

10 The Solution We realized that we needed to get in front of our users to help them categorize the array of standards, operating systems and protocols available and to guide them in choosing products and technologies that would actually help them share their content and expertise in a classroom setting.

11 The Solution We allow instructors to use any tool that they want on their office computers and laptops, but highly suggest they consult with us before purchasing. It is important to leverage yourself or someone on your team as the go to “guy” that can be trusted.

12 Determine your uses Virtual office hours.
Guest speakers in the classroom. Students missing class for valid reasons Student interviews- admissions or jobs Faculty missing class for health issues like shingles. Distance learning recordings for asynchronous playback or video homework assignments

13 Rationale and ROI of purchase
Saves big money on travel and lost productivity time…blah, blah, blah. At this point it’s a given that distance collaboration is valuable. The big equation is ROI versus quality of experience

14 Rationale and ROI of purchase
The Big Equation: Return On < > quality of experience Investment The big equation is ROI versus quality of experience

15 What are the technology choices?
Standard IP or ISDN videoconferencing Mobile device to mobile device Document sharing software Document sharing with streaming video and voice Telepresence

16 What are the cost levels?
Works OK, but is free. Just good enough to do this ad hoc thing occasionally, I’ll pay a small fee. Need reliability and a lot of document sharing, I can pay for a full license. I Need to feel as though I’m in the same room and need to see every expression- Yes, I do have a donor lined up…

17 A few Online Meeting Tools
Elluminate Skype Adobe Connect Centra Go to Meeting MeetMeNow Yugma Tokbox – breathed its last Glance iLinc Fuze WebEx Dim Dim Facetime Spreed Vyew

18 Determine Required Features part 1
Pricing (basic version) (Full version) Cross platform – Mac compatible? Will it work on mobile devices? Meeting Capacity Desktop Sharing Application-specific sharing Desktop Recording Whiteboard Record other attendees, the whiteboard, the chat windows

19 Determine Required Features part 2
Web Teleconference Control Granting- can hosts let others share Video Conferencing Annotation Tools Scheduling built-in VOIP Phone Teleconference Do participants need accounts and log ins

20 Skype 5.0 allows video chats with up to 10 people. You can share your screen during calls and record videos using an add-on.

21 Telepresence – immersive videoconferencing
Display of life-size images of the face and upper body of remote participants maintaining a perspective that makes the remote participants appear to be sitting on the other side of a conference room table. High quality audio and video subsystems, with specific requirements with respect to bandwidth and quality of service. Deployed in rooms where lighting and sound are carefully controlled.

22 Immersive Experience- Cisco telepresence

23 Immersive experience -Lifesize


25 Wait- China is how many hours ahead?

26 How do they Interface Better than they did six months ago when I submitted this proposal, but not seamlessly. Interoperability is definitely coming, but expensive at the moment. The dial down in quality defeats the purpose generally.

27 Cisco Unified 3515 MCU Video Conference Equipment
The Solution Supports Multiple Protocols To Facilitate Connectivity With A Wide Variety Of Video-Enabled Devices From Desktop Video Telephony To Standard- And High-Definition Room Systems And Cisco Telepresence Systems.

28 Tips for our technicians
Choose a product and buy 2 licenses. Learn that product well enough to work it on the fly in front of people. Insist on using that tool instead of someone else's suggestions. Have a well thought out reason for why Create users guide to to other sites.

29 Tips for our technicians
Use a hard wired connection, not wireless. Do a test call if at all possible. Ask for specifics on the content – planning on jumping over to Youtube? Always have a speaker phone in each location. Know the number associated with that wall jack. Have the slides sent separately ahead of time.

30 Most important points No group of 5 or more will ever be 100% satisfied with the product that you are currently using. There are so many variables that inevitably someone will do something on their end that will be blamed on the technology.


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