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Virtual Presentation at CLESOL 2012

19/09/2012

CLESOL 2012

A few months ago I received confirmation that my abstract was accepted at the CLESOL 2012 Conference. I was overjoyed at the news. Then I also found out, due to reasons beyond my control, that I wouldn’t be able to attend the conference in person! A feeling of devastation crept in…I contacted the organising committee and explained the changed circumstances. I also suggested that I could make the presentation by remote – virtually. Hmm, interesting idea of presenting my Kiwi English classes in Second Life from Second Life using a video-conferencing tool. Of course at the time I just mentioned this option – without thinking! When they accepted the option, I had to start thinking, thinking very hard indeed!

Spent a few sleepless nights on trying to figure out LiveStream, which only streams for few minutes – not the 25 mins required. It only has a ‘chat’ option, which is not so reliable. So I had to go to plan B, or was it C? Adobe Connect should do the trick, I thought! Where do I get it from? How much is it going to cost me? What have I got myself into? Talk about procrastination! I’m virtually the queen of avoiding writing reports! Anything to get out of that literature review, which seems to go on and on and on…Anyway, we’ll talk about that in another blog post.

My investigation skills took me to Adobe’s web site. I had a look at Adobe Connect, and to my surprise, there was the option of a 30-day trial. I registered, downloaded the software, created my new class – Kiwi English, and there it was! Clicked on ‘Share my screen’, and voila, CyberAmber was waving from Koru! I was watching all this, with my chin dropped half way to the floor, on my ever so reliable iPad! Yes, iPad! The app is free; once you get the email to the room, well, you’re in.  Ok, I was testing all this on the same network, and I did get a pop-up message on the laptop ‘…the bandwidth may not be enough for the required operation…’. Ok, ok, just for a second, to see that it actually works. It did! It did! I couldn’t believe it!

Here I was, the night before the actual pilot run of interviewing students, and asking them nicely to fill in a questionnaire, I was testing the ‘tools’ to transport me, or should I say my avatar, to North Island for the presentation for which I need to finish the research project. A vicious or virtuous cycle? Either way, it’s extremely exhausting, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Part 1 – success. Part 2 – still to be tested by the organising committee. Few more sleepless nights methinks!

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