Day 4: Can You See Me Now?

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

Our challenge today will focus on some visual aspects of videoconferencing. Showing signs, objects, and students in a videoconference does take a bit of planning ahead. We run many curriculum videoconference projects each year and have learned some tips about how to present content in conferences. A few small adjustments can significantly improve the visual quality of your connections.

7 ways to improve what others see from your site during a videoconference

1. Site Identifying Sign: large PRINT, san serif font and BOLD can be on 8.5 x 11, but needs to be stable.

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Advanced: include contact phone number and a map of your location

2. Use a document camera to show objects or 8.5 x 11 documents clearly to other sites. This is an essential tool if you are teaching a class via videoconference because you can write as you teach.

3. Fake a document camera. Zoom in and create a preset.

  • To create a preset on a Polycom, move the camera so that it captures the document.
  • Press and hold one of the numbers on the number pad.
  • Watch the screen. It will tell you when the preset is activated.
  • Next, move the camera to where the class would be sitting. Press and hold a DIFFERENT number.
  • Watch the screen. When it tells you that preset is stored, you are ready to test your presets.
  • Press the number of your first preset and the camera should move to the document area.
  • Press the number of the second preset and the camera should focus on the whole class area. Keep practicing!

Don’t be afraid to either zoom the camera in tight or move the document or object close to the camera. Zoom in on a smart board. This was used for an interactive Mad-lib during our Holiday Challenge.

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Here are many more examples of the power of a great zoom from our Monster Match and Landmark connections this past year.

4. Seat your students appropriately for the type of connection. A presentation where students are just listening is different than a Gadget Works connection where students work in groups. Always check to make sure how the partner site would like for your students to be seated.

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5. Have a place for student speakers (with your sign for bonus points). This is a great place for students to stand to ask questions. It seems that the students take the preparation to a higher level when they stand rather than when they remain seated next to their buddies and ask questions.

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6. Set up a couple of desks near the microphone.

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7. Use tape to mark the spot that coordinates to the preset.

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Now for today’s challenge. Make your site sign. Practice with your presets. Add an idea to our list. We need four more tips about improving what we see from each site.

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About Roxanne Glaser

Runner, doodler, technologist. I am passionate about healthy eating, running, art, education, and making things.
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