Just attended an Innovate-Live 2007 webcast meeting led by Judith Boettcher, live from who knows where in the US. She’s a consultant in Designing for Learning (with an off-putting, because poorly designed, web site here: http://www.designingforlearning.info/)
The environment was Adobe Professional Connect, there were 72 participants. I found it idiot-proof to set up, but the presenters had probles with sound and video – they eventually abandoned video and loaded a picture of Judith with a big smile. The format was PowerPoint with live audio, and synchronous chat along the bottom of the window in which we were invited to submit our questions on three occasions, but they kept trickling in and a conversation started in response – consequently I had slight problems dealing with the chat window and simultaneous presentation. The facilitator (Denise) gathered questions from the chat window and put them into a scrollable note which tucked in on the left of the screen.
Control – participants had control of scrolling the chat and notes windows, but we couldn’t navigate the slides, nor IM each other.
Content was of a practical nature and related to an article Ten Core Principles for Designing Effective Learning Environments: Insights from Brain Research and Pedagogical Theory, at http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=54&action=article. I’ve been concerned with epistemologies recently and thought I could catch up with the cognitive, physiological side. The nearest it came to that was Vygotsky’s ZPD. At the level this was pitched, I was up-to-speed and aware. But not really convinced – I was hoping for a critical review of the evidence – I don’t like having things reduced to ten.
But it was interesting to use that environment. The presentation is one of many at http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php, including one on using the Internet to teach students about plagiarism.
(Don’t ask me why I didn’t take a screenshot instead of a shot of my screen. It’s been a long day.)