Simultaneous-Blended Conferences

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= A simultaneous-blended conference involves simultaneous live and streamed presentations


Description

From George Siemens et al:

"A simultaneous-blended conference involves simultaneous live and streamed presentations. For example, conference proceedings may be streamed live online (audio, graphics, or video), allowing participation by attendees who are not able to physically attend. The University of Manitoba used this technique in January 2007 during the Personal Learning Environments symposium (http://www.umanitoba.ca/learning_technologies/plesymposium/). Video of the event was streamed live, allowing remote participants to observe conference activities. Numerous conferences have adopted similar dual approaches—including virtual presentations broadcast to a face-to-face audience—to extend the reach of conference activities.6

Second Life adds additional opportunities for conference organizers to include remote participants. Eduserv Foundation's Symposium 2007 (http://www.eduserv.org.uk/foundation/symposium/2007/) simultaneously streamed all conference proceedings into various Second Life locations, with each location permitting up to forty avatars to attend. The visual presence of others increases the sense of connectedness for participants: “A key aspect of virtual worlds such as Second Life is the sense of presence participants feel in the space.” Similarly, the “power of presence” and the “enrichment of experience” have been cited as important sensibilities that enhance the learner’s experience in alternative spaces (virtual worlds) such as Second Life.7

A word of caution is warranted, however. Conference organizers and presenters need to be aware of the increased complexity that results from the use of technology. Second Life has a history of delays, since the system often “bogs down” under the strain of too many users. Speakers must be able to attend to both face-to-face and virtual audiences. With the possibility of Second Life failures or disjointed conversations as speakers try to blend two audiences into one coherent presentation, additional technical and human facilitation support will likely be required." (http://connect.educause.edu/Library/EDUCAUSE+Review/ConferenceConnectionsRewi/46312)


More Information

  1. Augmented Conferences
  2. Blended Conferences
  3. Online Conferences