Online Activity 3.4

The internet allows video and audio presentations through a variety of technologies. There are three common methods of presenting information and the types of presentations have quite different requirements and features.

Video conferencing requires specialized hardware on both ends of a communication and is typically designed for connecting two to three sites. Traditional video conferencing provides high quality video and audio communications.

Web conferencing most often uses an internet browser like Google Chrome. The presenter creates a meeting and invites participants through email. At the scheduled time participants join the meeting and may see and hear the presenter and the presentation screen. Participants may type messages or talk to the presenter and the presenter may allow a participant to become the presenter. Web conferencing is designed to connect 2 to 250 participants.

Live streaming is sharing a presentation by providing a hyperlink to the live event. Participants can hear and see the presentation and send comments to the presenter. Live streaming works well where it is not known who the participants will be but the presenter is willing to openly share their presentation. Hundreds of people may view a live streamed presentation.

In teaching with these different methods each has advantages and disadvantages.

The type of equipment required can be a limitation as specialized equipment may not be available.

The number of participants would also guide which technology would be best to use.

The quality of the audio and video is a consideration as to which technology to use.

That participants are seeing live video and audio utilizes more senses and makes the materials more life-like and more memorable.

In my teaching I use all three technologies. Web conferencing is most commonly used because it is quick and easy to setup. Participants see a video of the presentation, presenter and the narration. If I want small group point-to-point connections, typically to another university, then I may setup a video conference. For larger non-specific audiences I often consider live streaming the video presentation.

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