Friday, November 05, 2004
My first experience in synchronous online web conferencing
Yesterday (Nov. 4-2004), I had the opportunity to participate in my first synchronous web conference. It was held in a conference room of Learning Times, which is an online community - http://www.learningtimes.net/ . This presentation was part of the 6th International BelNATE-IATEFL Conference 'Teaching English as a World Language in the Information Age”. There were about 12 people in the computer lab of the Minsk State Linguistics University and several webheads from different parts of the world.
Teresa Almeida d'Eca (PortugaL), Barbara Dieu (Brazil), and Buthaina Al Othman (Kuwait), the three of them Webheads, did a very well prepared training on blogs. They explained what blogs are; their historical background; some blogging jargon; basic characteristics; pedagogical base; advantages of using blogs in ESL/EFL classes; how they can be created and used; and things to consider when creating them. They also provided a useful taxonomy and perhaps most important, each presenter showed real examples of how they’re using blogs.
Although a newbie on web conferencing, I felt at ease during all the presentation; all participants very friendly, and the different tools in the conference room were not difficult to use. Elluminate, a web conference provider, was used. http://www.elluminate.com/ . It has a pubic whiteboard that all participants can use (people even drew pictures of themselves, as part of the introduction-How nice!). There is also a text chat place, which we used to write comments or ask and answer questions. Participants have also the opportunity to use a voice chat. Something that called my attention was the fact Elluminate offers presenters the chance to take all participants to different websites.
The session was recorded and is available now at: http://home.learningtimes.net/learningtimes?go=570543
I'm very glad I had the oportunity to attend; my many thanks to Sussane Syrop in Denmark (sus) for inviting me :)