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Just Like Being There

Just Like Being There
Quote: “Will a videoconference ever feel as natural as a phone call? If the latency is reduced enough, yes.”
Comment: Last spring, I ran a class using streaming video…it has potential – especially with geographically dispersed audiences. Learners in the course commented on how the streaming video component enriched the course…creating connections that were not possible in a regular online course. The big concern during the pilot was the technology. Lag time and bandwidth limitations put a damper on the experience (for example, in some situations, the learners were receiving the video feed upto 1 minute after it was sent. We were using IM to provide real time conversation…so basically learners asked questions in what they thought was real time…but the video stream was actually upto 1 minute “old”. As a presenter, I had to keep retracing steps to answer questions asked “in the past”. More sophisticated solutions will have less lag time (this was simply a pilot to experiment with the role of real time video in instruction)…but our experience revealed a technology with potential…but too far ahead of its time for most users.