Synchronous States: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Synchronous States:


teleconferencing morphed to Voip eg Skype, Vontage. realtime video conferencing ... Skype. 24 people in conference call. support for webcameras ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Synchronous States:

Synchronous States
  • a workshop and live demonstration of synchronous
    technologies ACURIL XXXVIII - Jamaica 2008

John Fracasso (BA,MLS) Manager - Computing
Services Faculty of Information and Media
Studies University of Western OntarioLondon,
Ontario, Canada

With thanks to
  • This presentation will be posted to
  • http//
  • Mr. Shankar Lall
  • setup and coordination Jamaica
  • Ms. Adele Merritt Bernard

Outline and take aways
  • overview of synchronous technologies
  • how they are used today in general and in
  • specific examples of some low/ no cost
    applications you can use
  • questions
  • Take Aways
  • Tools discussed are primarily Hosted Online
  • many of the low /no cost tools are just being
    developed and require patience
  • just start using a variety of these tools and
    find the ones that are the best fit for you and
    your organizations
  • use the right tool for the task at hand eg dont
    use a webconference when a one line email will do
    and vis versa dont write a 20 page email when a
    10 minute virtual meeting is the better choice.

Collaborative virtual environment
  • includes synchronous
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Messaging
  • Whiteboards
  • Shared desktop
  • includes Asynchronous
  • Email
  • Static Web pages
  • Project management
  • Tasks to do
  • Calendars
  • Forums / Wikis /Blogs
  • Document / Data storage
  • Versioning
  • Check in / out
  • An Example - Microsoft Sharepoint

Synchronous Tools
  • web, video and audio - conferencing
  • real time text based software eg Instant
    Messaging, chat rooms

Why Synchronous
  • Just one important piece of a virtual
    collaborative environment
  • multi sensory
  • picture is worth a thousand words
  • real time interactions
  • feedback is instant
  • distance not a barrier - collaborate with people
    from anywhere
  • distance can be across an island or across an
  • further apart the greater the cost savings ie
    plane fares
  • green reduce CO2 footprint ?

Who is using this stuff and for what ?
  • Lots of people for lots of things
  • Dedicated uses at first eg-
  • telephone like applications
  • teleconferencing morphed to Voip eg Skype,
  • realtime video conferencing
  • dedicated hardware point to point morphed to
    webconferencing/webinars WebEX
  • quick series of email morphed into Instant
    messaging chat
  • MSN, Yahoo etc

Synchronous tools now much more common place
  • Webconferencing regularly used for
  • Training
  • Sales
  • virtual presentations
  • Brain storming
  • Project management
  • Social networks
  • Business sales, support
  • Education

Group Work
  • Quality of interactions important
  • Using the right communication channel for the
  • Email is NOT good for complex interactions
  • Virtual Face to Face (F2F) much better for
    certain activities
  • How to work together virtually is a learned skill

Uses in Libraries
  • Training
  • Allow expert guests to interact with local
  • Consultation
  • Researchers
  • Patrons that are remote or with disabilities
  • Virtual reference
  • Collaborative initiatives

Specific Library Related Examples
  • Pace university library reference is on demand
  • link from any library catalogue page to a
    librarian via voice over IP and text chat
  • http//
  • Webjunction (gates foundation and oclc ) is a
    cooperative of library staff sharing and using
    online resources that enables them to identify
    and embrace appropriate technologies and apply
    them to their daily work.
  • Uses Wimba to offer real time workshops on a
    variety of topics
  • http//
  • OPAL is an international collaborative effort
    by libraries and other organizations to provide
    web-based programs and training for library users
    and library staff members
  • http//

ACURIL Examples ?
  • Conference
  • online workshops like this one!
  • preparation for
  • organization of
  • live broadcast of parts for individuals that can
    not go
  • provide recorded segments
  • Committees and SIGS
  • provide opportunity to forward projects during
    the entire year
  • Governance
  • Executive meetings that dont always require a

Features to consider
  • costs purchase /rent
  • minimum system requirements
  • ease of use how complex
  • sharing desktops / browsers / mics
  • polling / text chat / whiteboard / presentation
  • recording of presentation / chat
  • install client vs plugin vs flash/java
  • number of rooms/users supported
  • controls moderator / user

  • can be expensive
  • low cost alternatives often lack full features,
    are early in development or limited in numbers of
  • ads
  • beta and startup companies may or may not be
    around (dont put all eggs in one basket)
  • reliable, nimble data network required
  • must be scheduled
  • more complex and prone to problems
  • may need technical support / security?
  • new way of doing things takes time and practice
    to use it well

ModelsLocal Installation vs Online Service
  • Local running on your own desktops and servers
  • Open Source software is most economical
  • appliances now on the market eg Rhub
  • need in house technical group to make work /
  • your organization is in control
  • desktop based software now coming out eg
    Microsoft Meeting Space, One Note
  • Service Hosted using someone elses equipment
    and software
  • Dependent on someone else but no real tech issues
  • costs vary tremendously on depending on volume
    and features
  • Blended elements of both local and service

Install your own Local Web Conferencing Open
Source software
  • Requirements
  • Server and server infrastructures
  • mostly Linux based
  • DimDim
  • Openmeetings
  • Webhuddle
  • Vmukti http//
  • also was known as

Hosted Requirements - General
  • Fairly new pc and browser with ability to install
    any plugins or latest versions of the base
    technology used eg Flash,Java
  • Decent telecomm bandwidth (network speed)(wired
    connections generally much more stable especially
    when large amounts of audio/video data is being
  • Webcam and/or headset/mic (audio)

Hosted Technical Issues to consider
  • Security - ie how sensitive is the information
    being communicated
  • Platforms what does the solution support ie OS
    based Windows/ Apple / Linux
  • if Browser based browser specific, plug-in
    required? Java ?
  • Bandwidth requirements ?
  • Dependability?
  • Standards based ?
  • Interface - simple to use?

Hosted services to try
  • vast majority hosted limited number of seats
    almost always free

  • LOTS and varied try a bunch and pick the ones
    that suit you and your organization in terms of
    what you want to accomplished
  • Remember that there is always more than one way
    to achieve a result eg use Camstudio to record a
    session even if the software does not have that

Large Commercial web conferencing
  • generally free trials or limited number of seats
    are free
  • prices vary greatly as do feature set
  • Webex grand daddy of web conferencing
  • http// (opal)
  • Voxwire (one time fees very good)
  • http//

  • 3 free users max
  • very full featured
  • give away 3 users in hope you purchase their
    service for more people.

Adobe ConnectNow
  • beta 3 person limit
  • 100 flash based
  • good audio and video
  • shared desktops
  • other collaborative things coming
  • beta is was called Adobe Brio
  • http//

DIM DIM hosted edition
  • pro version up to 1000 access to more
  • free version - web conferencing service for up
    20 attendees
  • show desktop
  • show slides
  • text chat
  • presenter audio and video via webcamera/mic
  • can alternate hosting (free accounts )

Audio focused
  • Voice over IP (voip) uses internet for voice to
    voice communication
  • Skype
  • 24 people in conference call
  • support for webcameras
  • skypecasts (beta) host large number individuals
  • mikogo add-in desk top sharing
  • Ineen unlimited in cascade mode
  • Gizmo project (similar to Sykpe)
  • Google Talk

  • 15day trial of professional features
  • Free for life 10 users good for presentations
  • Skype enabled edition
  • No video
  • java based

  • http//
  • free up to 20 people
  • audio and webcam support
  • has ads
  • some limits - 5 viewbooks 50page limit per book
  • no session recording yet
  • desktop sharing (new)

Social Network oriented conferecing
  • good multi user video support
  • 5 video participants
  • no desk top sharing
  • can record the session
  • vawkr more ad hoc just video

Recording/broadcast options
  • MS Media Encoder
  • Camstudio
  • Free live audio/video
  • Good for a few connections
  • can also record
  • avi
  • records screen, plus audio and video
  • avi
  • convert to flash option

  • Please come up to the computer and the mic

THANK YOU for Coming
  • http//
  • copy of presentation will be up by the end of the
    conference in Presentation Documents Section
  • links
  • will be up for a month or so
  • Contact me
  • email fracasso
  • need someone to test something with
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