You should be using Adobe Connect. No excuses.

If you work for a school board in Ontario providing central support (like I do), you should be using Adobe Connect. It lets you have virtual meetings.

This post is not to explain how to use the service. It’s just to tell you that you should.

I mean it

Have you ever driven to a distant school (in our board, some are nearly 5 hours distant) for a short meeting?

Have you ever traveled to another part of the province for a series of lectures and PowerPoint presentations?

Have you ever participated in a teleconference which would have benefited from visuals?

Have you ever left a distant meeting and noted to yourself that a memo would have been equally effective (that is, not at all)?

I want you to consider learning to use Adobe Connect yourself.

Save time

Stop driving everywhere. For real. If I drove to Wawa every time I needed to demonstrate something that I could do online, I’d spend five hours in the car I didn’t need to.

Save money

Stop driving everywhere. I know, I just said that. My trip to Wawa costs several hundred dollars, and I think that money is better spent elsewhere.

Do better

Teleconference is very confusing. There are no visuals, or people are trying to follow along with something they’re holding. You can’t talk while others are talking (chat pods are nice for this). Sharing web links is nearly impossible.

But I don’t have time to learn it!

Yes you do. You just spent 7 hours driving to and from Sudbury. Instead, take two hours to practice Adobe Connect with someone in another board and you’ll both be experts, for free, and you’ll have 5 extra hours to spend with your family and five hundred extra dollars to bus students to a special event.

But my participants don’t know how to use it!

They don’t want to drive all day either. Send them a link to this post.

A note about services

Adobe Connect is not the only service out there for this kind of online collaboration; it’s just licensed for use in publicly-funded Ontario schools. Google Hangouts are great, and there are a variety of other ways to connect online. Pick something, please.

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4 thoughts on “You should be using Adobe Connect. No excuses.

  1. I couldn’t agree more. We just upgraded to a recent version of Adobe Connect and I have to say being in a position that you’re wanted in so many locations for sometimes the smallest of things to help with, it is a time and money saver as mentioned.

    I will say this though as it is one of my biggest pet peeves when asked to participate in such meetings (this is not directed at you @Brandon!): if you host an Adobe Connect session, PLEASE drop the phone-in audio and use your microphone and speakers! :)

  2. Agreed, but if they’re going to use their local mic, people with no computer experience really do need to be walked through the experience. There’s always time wasting mic disasters if people don’t know what they are doing.

    There’s an opportunity here, though! Brandon, I nominate you to make a thorough screencast training video on how to use Adobe for the completer beginner. Then users could just be sent a link and told to watch this before attending. This could revolutionize adobe connect PD in Ontario! :D

    The problem is the local mic settings. People need to be shown how to quickly troubleshoot those issues. Where to find the volume adjustments in windows, how to run the audio wizard in AC, how to make sure the computer is using their headset mic, how to mute and unmic their mic, etc.

    Incidentally, just a few days ago I had two teachers come to me, “the computer expert,” to ask about adobe because they were all scared about using it for an upcoming meeting. It’s even one with the silly teleconference at the same time. Of course it was one with the teleconference along side.

  3. As a product of the Ontario school board (Halton then graduating from McMaster) and now the Adobe Connect Product Evangelist – I couldn’t’ agree more!

    If you’d like some short tutorials for both hosts and participants – we’ve got some great information here: http://www.connectusers.com/learning_center/getting_started/

    Try the Quick Start guide for Participants – it covers VoIP settings and teleconference setup too. Or attend any of the free daily live training sessions offered – it might save you a long drive. If you don’t find what you need, please let us know and we’ll do our best to provide it.

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