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Let's go virtual: Online meeting models

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From AZLA, 2010. PowerPoint presentation from the Tuesday 1:10 p.m. program called "Let's go virtual" by Sandy Rizzo and Janet Fisher

From AZLA, 2010. PowerPoint presentation from the Tuesday 1:10 p.m. program called "Let's go virtual" by Sandy Rizzo and Janet Fisher

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  • 1. Let’s Go Virtual! Online Meeting/Conference Models
    Janet Fisher
    Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records
    Sandy Rizzo
    Red Mountain Branch, Mesa Public Library
    Arizona State Library Association Conference November 16, 2010
  • 2. Look around
    You may be your library’s representative at this program, or
    perhaps even at this conference.
    We’d like to help you:
    Stabilize/increase attendance at staff training or meetings.
    Share information/ideas with colleagues no matter where they are.
    Include all meeting members, whether they can attend face-to-face or not.
  • 3. What makes us qualified?
    During the last 3 or more years we have:
    planned, organized and participated in virtual statewide group meetings several times each year
    participated in meetings or taken training presented by others using wide variety of virtual connection options
    provided virtual training classes and planned, implemented and participated in a completely-virtual regional conference last summer
  • 4. Necessary basics
    Software – proprietary or open-source
    Connectivity - internet access; telephone connection
    Telephone and/or VOIP
    If use telephone, you may want a speakerphone
    VOIP is voice over IP – sounds through computer
    headphones/microphone to listen and communicate verbally
    People and content
  • 5. Selecting software
    Comparative information to gather:
    Technical aspects
    Rooms and seats (What’s a room? How big is it?)
    How often will you use it?
    Your own preferences
    Cool features to look for – polling; chat formats
    Ability to archive – video, audio, and chat
  • 6. Look for reviews of software
    Web Conferencing Tool Options
    Web Conferencing Tools: Right for You? How to pick a package that meets your nonprofit's needs
    By: Brian Satterfield February 12, 2010
  • 7. Reviews (cont’d)
    Web Conferencing Tool Options
  • 8. Reviews (cont’d)
    TechSoup.org - Web Conferencing Tools: Right for You? How to pick a package that meets your nonprofit's needs By: Brian Satterfield February 12, 2010
  • 9. Suggestions for choosing a product
    Get free trial – test product as currently available
    Test all aspects – those you’ll use and those nice to have
    In addition to reviews, speak with associates who have experience with products under consideration or with other virtual program software
    Compare several before deciding
    Cost – justify whether will use enough to purchase (could realize cost savings over travel costs)
  • 10. Screen shot – OPAL (participant view)
  • 11. Screen shot – OPAL (moderator view)
  • 12. Screen shot – OPAL (web conf view)
  • 13. Screen shot - GoToMeeting
  • 14. Screen shot – Adobe Connect
  • 15. Screen shot – AT&T Connect
  • 16. Screen shot – DimDim (dimdim.com)
  • 17. Demonstrations
    AT&T Connect
  • 18. Getting comfortable
    Beauty of using virtual method – can plan and participate from anywhere
    Start small, then expand uses
    Hold regular meetings of small, core group
    Get comfortable with software and what it can do
    Build experience within group; contact “experts” if necessary
    Test use of elements that are more than basics
    Always test software a few times prior to the meeting
  • 19. Preparing for your virtual event
    Plan details for all anticipated aspects of event
    Prepare backup plans in case something fails
    Put together images that attendees will see on their computer before and during the event
    PowerPoint very helpful
    Work with speakers to ensure that they are comfortable and that their materials “translate” properly into software
  • 20. What can you do to help attendees?
    Provide connection instructions in advance
    Provide practice time(s). Guide/documentation helpful
    Schedule several speakers – change of voices
    Limit session length (45 min to 1 hr presentations; meetings can be longer)
    Send/post meeting materials in advance
    Related handouts
  • 21. What can you do (continued)
    On day of meeting, have host log in before meeting starts (15 minutes?)
    Host welcomes attendees as they log into meeting room and answers connection/functional questions
    Have person act as technical support to be available by phone/email/chat during meeting
    Verify that attendees can see pages you’re seeing and can hear clearly
    Use that chat box!
  • 22. Online presence
    Event “nerve center” – schedule, link to software “room,” technical support, materials, contact information, Web 2.0 add-ons…
  • 23. Obstacles and Reactions
    Listening for long stretch is difficult
    To alleviate feelings of isolation, set up on-site space where group can participate, if appropriate
    Look away from computer periodically
    Overcome technical discomfort
    Become familiar with software through practice
    • Note: Virtual meetings/conferences don’t suit everyone all of the time. On-site or face-to-face gatherings still have a place
  • IT issues that may crop up
    Plug-in/version issues (alternative?)
    Sound issues (level, clarity, extraneous noise)
    Material loading issues (bandwidth)
    Delays and IT coordination problems in the field
    Formatting issues
    Pushing pages – how it’s done, skill in doing
    Capabilities beyond viewing Powerpoint
  • 24. E-room Etiquette
    Don’t add off-the-cuff comments
    No visual cues from audience, so try to listen/read closely. Ask periodically how all are faring
    As you get comfortable, use emoticons (smiley face, frown…) to allow quick, easy communication, verification
    Integrate “texting” shorthand, if all are comfortable
    Be aware of spelling/typing errors
    Consent: “IMPORTANT NOTICE: This WebEx service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to the recording, do not join the session.”
  • 25. Psycho-Social Elements of Virtual Connections
    Speaker-to-audience distance – can’t always perceive reactions, needs
    Attendees may not feel “connected” – may multi-task or leave computer more frequently.
    Can open unequal participation experiences, especially if some live and some remote, or due to technical issues
    Quality of speakers – skill, vocal abilities, ability in virtual environment with Q&A important
    Stream of conversation can become disjointed
    Chatting – sometimes difficult being concise with complex thoughts/comments
  • 26. Psycho-Social Elements of Virtual Connections (more)
    Chat (to whole group or privately) allows more people to share ideas, provides social connection
    Chat permits those struggling to seek and obtain help
    If geographically distant from group, hearing voices and using chat provides link reinforces group connection
    More are able to participate than without virtual option
    Can multi-task (research for program, email, etc.)
    Archive/chat retention allows way to cover gap in learning/understanding
  • 27. What has worked well for us
    Identify Minute-Takers and/or Chat Monitors
    Assign person responsible for loading presentations
    Utilize online event registration system
    Open? Closed? Password
    Paid event?
    Put technical documentation together in advance
    Have Planning Committee meet frequently using intended virtual software
    Use other tools to ease work – bit.ly, Doodle, time zone converters, Zoomerang, wiki to prepare/schedule/ evaluate
  • 28. Why do it? Six-State Evaluations
    “Virtual conference sounded bit dull, was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed programs and interaction provided by chat room and mics….. We also drew in our non-docs specialists for a few of the programs, which could never happen at a tangible conference.”
    “Don't have a chance to go to FDLP conferences and meetings, so was great to be able to attend and have another person on staff attend.”
    “Was very helpful to have schedule in advance, complete with program titles and times adjusted for time zone….. I must say, I was not disappointed with programming. At some conferences you hike all over town to get to someplace you've never been, only to find out that program title really doesn't match the content!! You did an excellent job of describing programs. ”
    “Great conference, wonderful experience. Learned a lot and will apply what have been learned in the current job.”
  • 29. Try it!
    Small meeting/discussion
    Larger meeting
    1-hr, ½ day, full day training
    Few limits – check your software details
    Participate in webinars offered in library world to learn what you like, become comfortable in virtual environment
    Try things with your library customers (as you move toward integrating new technologies)
    Baby steps – participate, then offer your own
  • 30. View archives
    Six-State Virtual Government Information Conference, August 11-13, 16-17, 2010
    Website: http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/govpubs/conference/6state/index.htm
    Wiki: http://virtualsixstate.pbworks.com/w/page/24738327/FrontPage
    Gi21 (Government Information in 21st Century)
  • 31. ContactsJanet FisherLaw and Research LibraryArizona State Library, Archives and Public Recordsjfisher@lib.az.usSandy RizzoRed Mountain BranchMesa Public Librarysandy.rizzo@mesaaz.gov