Day 12: Sounds, Silence and Such

20 Days to Being a Better VC CoordinatorGuest blogged by Roxanne Glaser

Because our philosophy of using videoconferencing is based on interactiveness, today’s post will focus on how to manage your site to maximize the quality of the audio that you are sending.

It is truly amazing that I get to work everyday with technology that I watched on cartoons. The technology of the codec takes audio and video and moves it to distances near and far. The trick is to learn to wait for the technology to work its magic and not talk too much when you should be waiting. It takes a few milliseconds longer for video to switch if you are in a multi-point, bridged call like we use for Texas History Mystery or MysteryQuest connections. With these 7 tips, you can make the connection run much more smoothly.

7 Tips for Better Audio in a Videoconference

  1. Use pauses. Say what you have to say and then mute your microphone.
  2. When asking questions, ask the question and show a visual of the question (if possible) and then use teacher wait time. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.
  3. If participating in a challenge or a multi-point event, always go in the same order. A good facilitator will tell you the order in the beginning and follow it throughout the connection. Write this order somewhere for the students to see so that they will know when their turn is coming.
  4. Place the microphone on a hard surface near the student speaking area. (If you hear a weird echo, the microphone might be too close to speakers in either the television or the videoconferencing system.)
  5. Assume that we can see and hear you. When you first check in, state, “Hello, this is ______ from ______ school in __________.” Then mute your microphone. The other site(s) will respond back to you.
  6. Mute the microphone before you move it. ALWAYS!
  7. Keep all paper away from the microphone. This includes copy paper, butcher paper, tissue paper, newspaper, candy wrapper paper and any other kind of paper that you might have in the room with you. For some reason, microphones magnify paper noise about 1000% in a videoconference. (If anyone knows an engineer, ask them if that is the exact number!)

Here’s an old post by Janine on Planned Pauses

Comment Comments–What are some other tips for improving the audio quality in videoconferences?

How do you teach your staff and students about effective use of the microphone in a session?

0 replies on “Day 12: Sounds, Silence and Such”

  1. I have found that isolating the VC area by closing the door eliminates alot of the halway trafic noise. Our school is one big long hallway.

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