Tag Archives: VC Community

"One Technology Girl" No Longer

Today is my last day at Berrien RESA as an Instructional Technology Consultant. I have accepted a position as Associate Dean for Higher Education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University (also here in Berrien Springs, MI) starting tomorrow!

I will be moving my blog over to http://blog.janinelim.com so that I can blog about a broader set of distance technologies: including videoconferencing, online learning, blended learning, and webinars / webconferencing. Soon, I’ll tell you more about my new job on that blog. There’s nothing there yet! Still have a bit of set up to do. I’ll let you know here when it’s ready for subscriptions.

But today, I’d like to thank all of you, my readers, for your great comments, input, and feedback over the 6+ years that I’ve blogged about videoconferencing. It’s been such a great learning journey and a great continuous conversation! I hope that you will continue the conversation with me on my new blog!

What will happen to VC Out on a Lim?

This blog is hosted on WordPress.com, and so will be here “forever” as vcoutonalim.wordpress.com for sure, and for another year or two as vcoutonalim.org.

I am also hoping to make an index to this blog sometime in the next month or two so it’s easier for you to find the information that is buried here. So watch for another post with that!

What about TWICE?

I’ll be staying on the TWICE board for another year at least. Sustainability plans are in place!

  • Sue Porter will continue to coordinate Read Around the Planet and be the front line support for CAPspace. Polycom‘s support of these two projects is still in place of course!
  • Scott Sherrill, our programmer for CAPspace will continue to improve the site. There are still many improvements we want to make to CAPspace!
  • Max Graves will take over the coordination of the TWICE Verification Partners.
  • The TWICE ASK committee has taken over the management of all the ASK programs, and billing will come from TWICE instead of Berrien RESA.

What about MysteryQuests?

The MysteryQuest and HistoryQuest sessions I’ve been running have been bequeathed by Berrien RESA to Whirlidurb, an excellent curriculum videoconferencing services provider. Roxanne Glaser, Content Director, is the best multipoint facilitator I’ve ever known, and she has assisted with materials development and facilitation slides for my Quests since 2007. In addition, Whirlidurb has the bridging capabilities (thanks to super bridge dude Shane Howard) to continue this project with a high level of quality for your experience.

Everything Else

The other videoconferencing activities of Berrien RESA, including VCcontentproviders.org and the Teachers’ Favorite Awards will be taken over by my replacement. Check our website in early September to get new contact information.

Keep in Touch

To keep in touch, please note these links/resources:

Thank you again for being part of my learning community and sharing feedback, ideas, resources, and suggestions!

Board Meetings via Videoconference

The TWICE board has been meeting over videoconference since we started in 2001. The “Jazz workshop” leadership have always met over videoconferencing since it started in 2005.

So it’s a little amusing to me to read articles like this one from the Wall Street Journal. (Unfortunately I’m a little slow in blogging this 4/25/11 article, so you can only read the full article with a subscription now.)

As videoconferencing technology becomes more sophisticated, it is slowly moving up the corporate ladder to the boardroom.

In the article, board of director concerns with videoconferencing were listed while also describing the growing use of VC:

  • people feeling “at a distance”
  • people getting less involved over VC than they would face to face
  • lack of ability to have side conversations

You may think of additional issues from your experience.

On the TWICE board, we have tried to bridge the distance in a variety of ways:

  • Side conversations with a back channel chat tool such as Skype
  • A “roundtable” section at the end of the agenda for people to share their projects, programs, ideas, questions, issues
  • People make appointments with each other after the meeting for further conversation or switch to the phone after the VC
  • The chair of the meeting with call specifically on people who haven’t commented recently
  • We use the split screen to have everyone seen
  • We use thumbs up or similar gestures for voting or getting attention or requesting the floor
  • We meet TWICE a year face to face
  • We try to be deliberate about collaborating and connecting with each other outside of the official board meetings

What tips would you add for making videoconference board meetings more effective?

Interviews via Videoconference

Well, it’s job interview season, and so I thought I’d share some links and resources for interviewing via videoconference.

What about you? Have you experienced a job interview via videoconference? From either the employer or prospective employee perspective? Tips or suggestions? Please comment!

ISTE Early Bird Registration Ends May 1

Are you going to ISTE this year? Need a reason to?

Early bird registration ends May 1!

Join the SIG IVC pirates – on site in Philly – or via distance!

Participate in the ISTE Videoconference Playground!

Here’s a snippet from Roxanne Glaser, Lead Pirate and Planner of this amazing experience:

Work has begun on the Video Conference Playground at ISTE 2011. Last year, I led a band of pirates as we shared our passion for video conferencing with others in Denver. Here are some of the pictures from last summer.This year, in Philly, the playground will be even bigger with more connections and equipment for you to learn about in a fun, hands-on environment.

We are looking for more people to help us create an exceptional learning experience for attendees who want to learn more about the power of video conferencing in the curriculum.

Read the full post here and get involved!

6th Blog Anniversary!

Wow! Today is the 6th anniversary of this blog! Thank you to all the readers for your comments, partnerships, and collaborations over the years!

Been pretty busy with VCs the last two months, so it’s been a little quiet around here. I apologize for that. But here are some links and posts to consider today:

Read Around the Planet in the News

Did you know this year was the 10th anniversary of Read Around the Planet / Read Across America celebrations via videoconferencing through TWICE? Here are some blogs and news articles from RAP this year:

Today’s VCs

Upcoming VCs

I’m still trying to fill the following videoconferences:

Celebrate with me and sign up for a VC! :)

    Participate in the ISTE Videoconference Pirate Playground

    Are you going to ISTE this year? Even if you’re not, you too can participate in the ISTE Videoconference Playground!

    Here’s a snippet from Roxanne, Lead Pirate!

    Work has begun on the Video Conference Playground at ISTE 2011. Last year, I led a band of pirates as we shared our passion for video conferencing with others in Denver. Here are some of the pictures from last summer.This year, in Philly, the playground will be even bigger with more connections and equipment for you to learn about in a fun, hands-on environment.

    We are looking for more people to help us create an exceptional learning experience for attendees who want to learn more about the power of video conferencing in the curriculum.

    Read the full post here and see how you can get involved!

    Blogging 2010 in Review

    Just for fun, here is the report that WordPress emailed me today:

    The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

    Healthy blog!

    The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

    Crunchy numbers

    Featured image

    A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

    Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 65,000 times in 2010. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would have performed about 3 times.


    In 2010, there were 189 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1200 posts. There were 208 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 52mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

    The busiest day of the year was January 7th with 402 views. The most popular post that day was List of Test Sites.

    Where did they come from?

    The top referring sites in 2010 were remc11.k12.mi.us, linkedin.com, google.com, speedofcreativity.org, and twitter.com.

    Some visitors came searching, mostly for h323 ports, h.323 software, adjectives, vidyo review, and video conferencing test sites.

    Attractions in 2010

    These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


    List of Test Sites December 2008


    Ports Used in H323 Videoconferencing January 2007


    Open Source H323 Software July 2006


    Skype August 2009


    Skype vs. H323 Videoconference Carts March 2010

    An Appeal for the K12 IVC Listserv

    Take a step back with me, and consider the history of videoconference listservs, and the current state of listservs for videoconferencing.

    Bottom line: Get on the K12 IVC Listserv! Here’s why…

    Listserv History

    For the last decade or so, we’ve had several great listservs to use to discuss videoconferencing, share ideas with each other, advertise videoconferences to each other, and share research surveys.

    • Collaboration Collage or “edvidconf”, the oldest listserv for videoconferencing
    • The K12 IVC Listserv, started by NIERTEC
    • Megaconference Listserv, mostly higher education
    • Megaconference Jr. Listserv, mostly Internet2 sites
    • TWICE listserv, mostly Michigan sites

    When I did my own dissertation research survey in the spring of 2008, these were the numbers on each listserv:

    • Collaboration Collage: 2,300 subscribers
    • K12 IVC listserv: 300 subscribers
    • TWICE: 290 subscribers
    • Megaconference Jr.: 30 subscribers

    You can see from this list, that the largest number of subscribers were on the Collaboration Collage listserv. When I first got started with videoconferencing in 1999-2000, I remember how much I learned on that listserv.

    • People discussed technical issues
    • Ideas were shared for providing support
    • People advertised content provider programs and collaborations
    • I remember Dan Gross’ particularly long and detailed posts to the listserv. I learned so much from those messages!

    In September 2010, the Collaboration Collage listserv closed down. I don’t know if anyone else feels the loss, but I feel so sad that we may have lost contact with those 2300 people!

    The K12 IVC Listserv

    This listserv was born out of the 2002 K12 National Symposium of Interactive Videoconferencing. From that symposium, a listserv was created, along with a literature review, and a website with case studies. Since funding was cut for the Regional Educational Technology research organizations, these resources have all gone offline.

    Thankfully CILC offered to take over this listserv and so it still exists. You can sign up here. Here’s why you should be on it:

    • It’s the last remaining place to post live real-time posted (unmoderated) announcements for K12 videoconferencing nationally and internationally.
    • It’s the last email place to discuss any issues or ask questions.
    • It’s the easiest one stop place for graduate students to ask research questions about videoconferencing. We all want research on videoconferencing, but we need to make it easy for research to be done!
    • Content providers need a place to send announcements about their programs.

    But… are listservs dead?

    You might be thinking that listservs are a thing of the past. It’s true that some functions of the videoconferencing listservs are no longer occurring on a listserv:

    But, what about these functions:

    • How do we get research surveys on videoconferencing out to a large audience? How does a graduate student access the K12 videoconferencing community for research?
    • How do content providers advertise their programs to a wide audience? What if they want to advertise beyond just the “new” advertising that comes from VCcontentproviders.org and CILC.org? Established providers have their own email lists, but what about the new providers?
    • Can you think of others?

    The K12 IVC Listserv

    So, don’t you agree?! People interested in videoconferencing need to be on the K12 IVC Listserv! I am super grateful that CILC has hosted it and left it unmoderated. We need access to each other! This listserv seems to be the main way to do that.

    What do YOU think? Are listservs dead? How should researchers and content providers get access to K12 videoconferencing educators??

    Hovering Makes Videconferencing Look Hard

    Do you know any techs who insist on being “onsite” for every videoconference?

    I’m coming to the conclusion that hovering makes it look hard. If the tech has to come out for every videoconference, how can the teacher or media aide feel that they can do it themselves?

    The fact is, teachers can use the VC remote on their own!

    A teacher in Jazz Workshop uses the videoconference remote.

    In the Jazz Workshop, on Monday afternoon, we send participants off to small groups to practice dialing, moving the camera, setting presets, and adjusting the volume. On their own! And they do fine!!

    Here is a comment from a teacher participating in the July Jazz 2010 workshop. Emphasis is mine.

    There are a plethora of resources to enhance learning with students with videoconferencing.  Why haven’t I used these resources before?  Fear of technology is the response. However, after this workshop, my perception has been changed.  It is easy to use the equipment and find a videoconference appropriate for your classroom.

    I came into this class very apprehensive about videoconferencing.  I wasn’t sure I could run the equipment and felt it was going to be over my head. However, I feel I have grown so much as a VC newbie!  I feel comfortable looking for programs, filling out registration forms, and confident in my ability to be a leader in our building.  I am really excited about sharing this information with our school through a staff meeting or allowing teachers to come in and observe during a videoconference.

    How do we help teachers move past their fear?

    • Give them the remote!
    • Let them play with it!!
    • Give them short, easy cheatsheets and let them practice in a non-threatening environment (i.e. first when they aren’t in front of kids!)
    • Help them see how easy it us!

    What do you think? Do you agree? How do you reduce the fear for your teachers?

    I Have an AAT Number!

    I have an email alert set up with ProQuest Dissertations and Theses on the word “videoconference”, so I can get an alert when any new studies are published about videoconferencing.

    I was pleasantly surprised to get an alert for my dissertation in July!

    It’s published with “open access” which means that you can download the PDF.

    So, if you’re interested, check it out! I know, you probably don’t care! But anyway, more research published about VC in K12!

    By the way, the AAT number (3410311) is the last piece I was waiting for to get the full citation for my dissertation. Hence the excitement.