Posts Tagged ‘Iceland’

I don’t think I have used my desk phone as often as I have used it in the last couple of days. And it’s all because of the eruption of the volcano in Iceland which has suspended flights coming in and out of the UK.

This week, there are two important events happening which I am involved in: a symposium on the impact of emerging technology on teaching and learning, and curriculum development; and, a curriculum meeting on ICT with teachers.

The two symposium speakers are flying in from the US and Hong Kong. My 6 meeting participants are flying in from Ireland, Switzerland (x2), Thailand, China, and the US. Yesterday, we decided to just cancel the ICT meeting to avoid the risk of meeting participants being stranded here for days. Re-scheduling the meeting will be a pain but I think it is a sound decision given the volatile travel situation.

The lovely Kathy has recommended Doodle to arrange our next meeting. Great idea!

The symposium will still happen albeit with 30 less face-to-face participants and that the speakers are delivering their keynote address remotely. The quest for solutions started on Monday. I have pulled in wonderful techie colleagues from work (shout out to: Paul H, James, the other James, Craig, and Darren) for advice. And they have given me more solutions that I have not heard of – what a network at work!

We wanted to make sure that the transition from one speaker to the next (from one country to another) is seamless and that they are clearly visible by the 80+ participants in the symposium site. That sound is clear and that we can access their presentation slides without a problem is ideal, too. Desirable: to allow those who are not able to attend the symposium due to travel issues to ‘tune in’.

I’m a big fan of Elluminate and it was the first solution that I thought of but reviews of the tool tells me that the video functionality is not great. Great for voice webinar but not so great with video.

One of our speakers suggested VIA – another tool I have not heard or used before. The interface does not looks as ‘slick’ as DimDim but the functionalities are similar to webinar spaces I’ve seen.

VIA screenshot

VIA screenshot

We’re very happy to have a solution that the speakers feel confident about and we are happy to support them at our end. The great thing about this is that we can invite a limited number of people to participate virtually! The webinar will be hosted and supported by the Univeristy of Laval in Canada. We’re doing a trial run tomorrow and fingers crossed it will work and we’re all set for Thursday!

Magimix CitiZ

Magimix CitiZ

On other gadgety news, my Magimix CitiZ arrived today! I made a decaf espresso. It was ok. Not mind-blowing or memorable. But boy, it looks great on my kitchen top!

I am hoping the non-decaf coffee which I’ll have tomorrow is good or I’ll be really, really, really cranky.


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