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.
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.
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.
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.