Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Recording for Tips & Tricks Kick-off No. 2 is available

The Kick-off no. 2 took place in WiziQ, a flash-based free of charge solution with a very nice user interface. The recording can be found here An intriguing session and I am sure that the audio isnt as bad as it is in the recording. My experience with flash-based recordings is that the tracks of the recordings very rarely match up and sometimes sound as if it was spoken minutes apart. But this is not the real thing. Well, I am not sure. It certainly is a nice tool with a high quality whiteboard, webcam feature, text chat etc.

When you listen to the recording, dont expect a structured program. It is a get-to-gether for socialising purposes and there are elongated breaks of nobody talking and some backgroud street noises or people breathing. But not a lot of talking.

What is quite funny is the discussion about the webcam. Dave never showed his face and pointed the webcam outside the window, sitting in an Internet café. It was a nice view of people passing by and he showed us the great blue skyp in California in winter. After being prompted by some participants, that they cant see his face and that they felt the webcam wasnt working, he then pointed out that he doesn't want to show his face because he didn't think he was good looking enough. Lateron though, Dave gives an elaborate speech about the importance of using a webcam in class, how good it is to see a face and a few issues that have to do with positioning of the webcam so that you seem to be looking at the audience and not at your computer. He also welcomes the second person with an excited: Good to see you and commments on the great lip-sink of an Australian teacher (sorry forgot the name) when talking from London. He sounds also excited to see Hala with her traditional head covering and enthusiastically comments on her beautiful smile. Yet we never see Dave's smile.

There seems to have been a Kick-off No. 1 but I cant find the recording. This Kick-off seemed to have been the Thursday around the 17th. Dave talks about it but no message as of yet.

Great to see and experience WiziQ which is free of charge. Not sure whether it stays free of charge since it is called Beta and the company who produced WiziQ seems to be a software development company Sikhya Solutions, LLC in the US. So it is not a University or so who provides these services free of charge. But who knows it might stay free and it does not seem to have any limitations in the no. of participants. Vyew also is the same. By the way, Vyew has Video and Audio now. Great tool. In both cases the general missing feature of flash-based solutions is the co-browsing. You can paste link in the text chat which will open a browser window on the participants PC similar to pasting a link in Skype text chat or so. But you cannot actually display and annotate webpages and only hope the participants see the website.

I can recommend watching the recording. It is rather lengthy though with loooonnng breaks of nobody talking.

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