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  • Home Working Survey

    Posted on May 19th, 2009 Marieke Guy 1 comment

    The Telework Association is currently running a survey collecting data about the productivity of people who work at home for some or all of their working time. This is the first of what will be an annual survey and they are comparing home working productivity with productivity of conventional working.

    Please have a go at completing the survey. There are just 10 questions so it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.

    If you know of any other people who work from home, however occasionally, then please pass this on.

    They are also running a webinar entitled Flexible Working – Good for Everyone? on 15th June 2009 : 2pm – 4.30pm. The webinar is being delivered by Wisework Ltd and will include a panel of experts, to whom participants will be able to pose questions.

  • GoToWebinar Strikes Back

    Posted on April 24th, 2009 Marieke Guy No comments

    I’m going to be involved in another webinar event. This time I will be using the GoToWebinar software.

    My session on Creative Commons will be part of the Coping With Copyright series organised by JISC Legal and JISC Regional Support Centre South West. They are running a summer series of free online sessions focusing on specific aspects of copyright to help users consider some of the issues around copyright and provide them with advice and resources to help them do the right thing!

    My event is billed as:

    Wednesday 24th June 2009, online @ 2pm
    Coping with Copyright – Considering Creative Commons (JISC RSC-SW)
    This session is presented by Marieke Guy who is currently working as a Research Officer in the Community and Outreach Team of UKOLN. Much of her work involves exploring Web 2.0 technologies and their relevance to the communities we work with.

    Creative Commons (CC) licences are a way to clarify the conditions of use of a work and avoid many of the problems current copyright laws pose. This presentation will provide a basic introduction to CC and its implications for the information professional. Participants will be introduced to the concept of the commons, shown the current CC licences available and presented with a number of creative commons case studies.

    In the interactive section of the presentation they will be taken through the process of choosing a licence and given time to spend searching for CC licensed material. The final discussion section will consider the role openness and Creative Commons will play in the future.

    Booking is essential for this session – to book go to RSC-SW and click on Events.

    Other events

    Wednesday 22nd April 2009, online @ 2pm
    Coping with Copyright – Web 2.0 and the Law for e-Tutors (JISC Legal)

    Further details of the event are available on the JISC Legal site.

    Wednesday 6th May 2009, online @ 2pm
    Coping with Copyright – Digital Copyright with Confidence (JISC Legal)
    Further details of the event are available on the JISC Legal site.

    Thursday 4th June 2009, online @ 2pm
    Coping with Copyright – Web2Rights (JISC RSC-SW)
    Booking is essential for this session – to book go to RSC-SW and click on Events.

    Friday 12th June 2009, online @ 2pm
    Coping with Copyright – Guilt-free Google Grabbing! (JISC RSC-SW)
    Booking is essential for this session – to book go to RSC-SW and click on Events.

    I’ll have a go at trying out GoToWebinar sometime soon and will post a review on the blog.

  • Squirmy Creatures: My first Online Presentation

    Posted on February 25th, 2009 Marieke Guy 3 comments

    On Monday I presented my first Webinar for Regional Support Centre Eastern on Blogs, Wikis and more: Web 2.0 demystified for information professionals. Earlier today I presented my second Webinar, also for RSC Eastern on Blogs, Wikis and more: Web 2.0 demystified for learning and teaching professionals. We had almost 20 people for each webinar – at the second apparently nine people were sat round a conference phone listening in. It was really exciting stuff (for me – not too sure about the participants!). Not quite a baptism of fire but still  a big learning experience.

    I’ve blogged about my previous attempts at using Elluminate but, despite the practice, actually presenting for a whole hour was quite an experience.


    The screen dump above shows the Elluminate application and the Colchester Institute Web cam.

    A few thoughts and lessons learnt…

    1. It’s quiet out there

    Presenting to an audience who you can’t look at or hear is very strange. There’s no body language, eye contact or verbal utterances to help you know you’re pitching it at the right level. For all you know you could be talking to yourself. You just have to believe that they are still there and are still listening. I did ask for questions at certain points but it’s probably a difficult environment in which to do that. Maybe I’ll get some questions by email.

    Lesson Learnt: Have faith, they are still listening, well..at least one person is so you’ll just have to keep going.

    2. An hour in Webinar time seems to be shorter than an hour in real time

    I had a quite a lot prepared but the time just seemed to fly by and the participants didn’t get very long to ‘try stuff out’. Although I’d rather have too much stuff than nothing to say maybe it’s better not to try to cover too much. I didn’t read anything out from notes, Web 2.0 stuff is something I talk about a lot and it felt more natural to just talk rather than read. I hope the participants feel this worked OK.

    Lesson Learnt: The time flies by when you are talking to yourself!

    3. You need a good admin team

    The RSC Eastern team (Maryse Fisher and Shri Footring) were great. They did a fab job of getting people to sign up for the sessions and were great support. Some really useful notes on how to plan a successful Webinar are available from Techsoup – RSC eastern have obviously read them.

    Lesson Learnt: A good admin team are key.

    4. Make sure there are no distractions

    It’s a real worry that someone will ring your doorbell or call you up while you are presenting. I actually hid my land line phone so I wouldn’t be able to hear it if it rang.  The problem was I couldn’t find it afterwards!

    Lesson Learnt: Remember where you’ve hidden your phone!

    5. Little things can throw you

    During my first presentation the ‘hand raised’ icon lit up and started beeping. This completely threw me, I wasn’t 100% sure other moderators could see it or were able to deal with it. It was almost like when someone presses the ‘call air hostess’ button on a plane and you suddenly get quite agitated. You want to know what’s the problem, is someone going to sort it out? I found I just couldn’t relax till the the icon went back to normal.

    Lesson Learnt: Ignore other stuff that’s going on and focus on your slides.

    6. Having a Participant view wasn’t as helpful as I’d hoped

    I had my laptop set up to show the participant’s view. It was good to glance at and check they could see the same things but there just wasn’t the time to scrutinise it. During my first presentation I was a little concerned people could see my comments to the other moderators (it wasn’t that I was saying anything particularly private I just didn’t want them to see my general paranoia!) but I didn’t get a chance to check.

    Lesson Learnt: Let the other moderators deal with the stuff that is going on. Sending messages to only the moderators does what it says on the tin.

    7. Try to block out the chat pane

    I was confused over whether I should check the chat pane or ignore it. I found it a bit of a distraction really. Maybe I’m not as good at multi-tasking as I thought. Or maybe when you are presenting you just need to go into a ‘zone’ and checking a chat pane keeps dragging you out of it.

    Lesson Learnt: Ditto what it says in point 5.

    8. I don’t want to listen to what I’ve said

    I remember last year I gave a presentation which didn’t go according to plan. Nothing really happened, I just felt it went wrong. The presentation was recorded and I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. When I eventually did it wasn’t as bad as I’d thought it was. People who are watching (or listening) can’t see what’s going on in your head or the squirmy creatures in your tummy. That said the vast majority of us don’t like watching (or listening) to ourselves. For that reason I won’t be able to listen to my Webinar. However if you are interested in listening to (and looking out for my mistakes) the Elluminate sessions are available at from the RSC Eastern site.

    These thoughts may not be of great use to those of you about to give your first online presentation but they may make you feel that you are not alone. Squirmy creatures happens to all of us!