Saturday, November 14, 2015

Ye ol' Fashioned Webinar

Photo Description: An old fashioned radio with three buttons and a large round tuning display.
Yesterday I participated in a webinar on respectful language for the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals. It was a wildly cool event. Here I sat in my home, tea beside me, Joe listening in the front room, as we broadcast into different offices and venues across the United States. It's estimated that over 1000 people heard our, sometimes very lively, discussion.

So many people comment on the down side of technology and suggest that technology is creating a cold and disconnected society. I'll leave that for others to debate. For me, this experience of technology was exactly the opposite of that. It allowed people to come together from far flung places to listen to three people, all in different places themselves, talk about a subject of real importance in regards to providing service to people with intellectual disabilities.

It's a different way of presenting and I find it odd talking while looking at my computer screen and having no evidence, other than the numbers at the side of the screen that identifies the number of sites linked in and listening, that there is anyone there at all. There is no audience feedback, no nodding heads, no quickly grabbing a pen and writing something down, nothing.

Well, there were some rapid fire questions coming in on the comment box and some feedback from the woman who was the technical genius behind it all ... and that was at least encouraging.

When it was all over, we had a quick call to debrief and decided that since we received so many questions and had so little time to deal with them, we'd have one more where we just answered questions. We locked in the date and then said our goodbyes.

Joe had an interesting comment afterwards, he said, "all these years later, all this technology, and it's created the ability to broadcast a radio show to small groups of people sitting around the wireless." I suppose that's true. It was like a radio show.

And that's an even cooler kind of image.


clairesmum said...

that IS cool!

Belinda Burston said...

It is very cool, and I loved Joe's view of it all. Yes, it is exactly that, a sort of radio call in show! :)