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…
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:
- You can post and receive collaboration notices from CAPspace and the CILC Collaboration Center.
- New programs from content providers come out on email from both VCcontentproviders.org and CILC.org.
- There are a few scattered Ning sites for videoconferencing. In my opinion, they are poorly attended and hard to follow. (IVC Site Coordinators, Videoconferencing in Education, etc.)
- We have twitter and blogs for learning from each other.
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??