Hunter Park Kindergarten

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Skyping into PD

We tried to skype into a professional development workshop in Dannevirke today. (One we were already up on so it didn't matter if it didn't work.) The idea was to see if skype could be used to save travel when attending meetings and workshops.

A big thankyou to the Dannevirke kindergartens and the ICT cluster for letting us look in.

We managed to get the link up, with one phone call to add a new contact as our established ones were busy with the workshop and an email with the info hadn't made it through yet (it came in about 45 minutes later.)

The contact unfortunately didn't show as active but we were able to be called by them and later call them. Instant messaging also worked. We tried to get video running from the Dannevirke end but it told us bluetooth video(wireless) wasn't working. Then it just kept dropping out.

So it didn't work, despite several tries. Too many people at the Dannevirke end on line for the workshop?

There was also the question about how much of Dannevirke's bandwidth the call would use.

Conclusion in the short term it's probably not worth it, you spend as much time setting up and organising it as you would have travelling, and there's no guarantee it will work.
We might try and do some PD with the facilitator skyping in (possibly from the next room :lol:)and see how that works next.

We'd be interested in comments on how others who have tried this have gone, and of course feedback from the team at the other end.

1 comment:

Naketa Ferguson said...

Hi David
I am a Regional ICT Facilitator for CORE Education and have run a number of virtual workshops for teachers around the country on differing topics. I have a few thoughts on what you have shared here. Firstly, Skype can definitely be tempremental and video streaming can certainly draw alot of bandwidth. I guess one of the things I have learned is the purpose and goal of the PD via Skype. Is it just to listen in to a workshop that was designed face to face or are you Skyping in to hear and see what the speaker is presenting?

I have used DimDim and Breezeserver for facilitating online workshops. These are tools that the facilitator can upload their presentation to and have an asynchronous chat function running at the same time. Also has the option for sound and video. Although as mentioned before video is alot harder to manage. Its a bit harder when the facilitator has prepared for a F2F session. I think that using Skype has potential for professional development through discussions with other colleagues via video or conference calling via audio. If the facilitator uploads content to websites like DimDim, they then can design the workshop to suit the online context.

Hope that makes sense
But please free to email me if you have any other questions. More than happy to help if I can.