Canberra Live is a website which aims to provide a catalog of local events that can be viewed online. These may be events staged by educational institutions, the community, not-for-profit groups, businesses, or the ACT Government.
It was through this site that I watched a live streamed event:
- Professor Brian Schmidt AC – Nobel Laureate and Distinguished Professor of Astrophysics at ANU,
- Dr Paul Francis – prize-winning educator, science communicator and astrophysics researcher,
- Professor Ian Chubb AC – Australia’s Chief Scientist and former Vice-Chancellor at ANU,
- Dr Iain Hay – Assistant Professor of Education in the Faculty of Education, Science, Technology and Mathematics at the University of Canberra and
- Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington – Deputy Vice-Chancellor at ANU.
This panel discussion, moderated by freelance science journalist Rod Taylor, will be an opportunity for students, educators, lecturers and distance learners to hear local perspectives from Canberra-based academic leaders about the opportunities and challenges of MOOCs.”
It was a great opportunity to experience a live streamed event as a viewer, as well as observing this sort of event from a tech perspective.
We now have the technology to produce and deliver live video content over the internet. While we have the tools to be able to do this there is technical knowledge and expertise which can really enhance or hinder the success of the event.
The panel was using a combination of lapel microphones and hand held microphones. The lapel mics on two of the panel members were places on their left lapel, however the panel convener was on their right so they were facing away from their micrphones and it was difficult, and sometimes impossible to hear what they were saying. The audio had some issues early on and lost sound entirely for a time.
Rather than see this as a failure I found it very valuable to see this scenario and will keep it mind should we use this technology in the future. I also believe that it is better to have a go and to have it not work out perfectly rather than not do it at all. There were some really great questions from the live audience and responses from the panel members. One panel member was talking about digital natives and said that “this is their world,” referring to online spaces, internet and computer technology etc. and that really resonated with me. This demonstrated a genuine understanding of the audience for MOOCs, and that in order to respond to students expectations and needs and develop innovative ways to deliver content using new technologies we need to acknowledge and embrace this reality. The virtual/’real’ divide is not necessarily as far apart it is often imagined to be.
Teach with Smarthistory has created online courses including this one on Modern Art. Interestingly they also have information such as How to Watch and Listen Critically which gives tips and advice for students who are learning online, How To Cite Smarthistory, and Thoughts on Teaching & Images.
MoMA has been running a few MOOCs to try them out: https://www.coursera.org/#moma