Video ‘enhanced’ the Radio Star…

Posted on Nov 10, 2010

Today saw me fortunate to attend my first RSC (NW) event on the subject of ‘Using Video Technology

The day started off with the workshop being welcomed by Andrew Quarmby from RSC (NW) via Skype, which was a nice touch as it demonstrated the ‘instant’ nature of video calling, whilst retaining the ‘humanity’ of a face-to-face environment.

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We were then cautioned over being blinded by any shiny technology, but to always bear in mind whether it added value to what we trying to achieve. A walk-through – talk-through of Skype was provided for those attendees who were not Skype users demonstrating

  • Video calls
  • Recording Skype calls. (Pamela, Call graph, etc)
  • Exchanging files
  • Sharing desktop

… and for those of us that were using Skype, John Dalziel informed us that the latest beta version of Skype allows for up to 10 concurrent video calls to be made. (of personal use to me, as it will allow me to contact 3 x sets of Grandparents when my 2 1/2 year old is in a rare ‘good mood’).

John also directed us towards a resource that highlighted the environmental benefit of using technology to replace face-to-face events.

After a short break we had a look at ‘Interactive Training & Online Assessment’, with Nicola Harper from KAPLAN Financial providing us with an overview as to how they had used WebEx to facilitate synchronous online learning events to a widely dispersed audience.

What was interesting to hear from Nicola was that WebEx licences can be increased or decreased depending on the perceived need and that any chat-room sessions can be archived and displayed.

S&B Automotive Academy were next up with, what I thought was an exactly cracking example of using ‘live’ webcams

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to assess vehicle maintenance apprentices undertaking an assessment whilst providing evidence. The clip below, shows a live stream from a garage servicing bay, the quality, panning and zooming functionality was truly superb.

There were quite a few questions asked such as

Q – “How can a remote video feed provide evidence of something that requires a physical check

ADuring any assessment, the mentor is present to provide any feedback/confirmation etc that the video stream itself cannot validate.

Q What do External Verifiers (EVs) think of this approach?

AEVs love the system as the quality of evidence is observable.

QHow much?

A£500-600 (although, I can’t quite remember what you got for this) –

I’m not sure as whether there would be any call for this on my site, as it is quite a small site and most of the work that takes place could not be streamed outside of our Firewall, however there could be applications for this to swap working practices amongst our other sites around the world.

RSC (NW) provided a great USB key with an eXe resource on it, to provide further examples and research into the use of video.

So what am I planning to do with all this newly acquired info?

All in all, it was a  great day. Many, many thanks to all of those who contributed to its success (both in person and ‘virtually’) and I’m already looking forward to the next workshop.

Keep up the great work RSC (NW)!

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