Episode 82

"New Twists in Real-Time Sessions"

Duration 00:14:40      Recorded on September 27, 2010

Jonathan Finkelstein from LearningTimes joins Susan and Dan to talk about a couple technologies that are enhancing the synchronous world. If you're not familiar with Jonathan, he's not only the Executive Producer of LearningTimes (the fine folks who bring you this podcast and many, many other services), but the author of Learning in Real Time. We consider that the authoritative book on teaching with synchronous tools.

The focus of the discussion is two new features that are making a difference: closed captioning and virtual graphic facilitation.

Captioning has been going on for a while, but we're figuring out how valuable it is for community building. It creates a more inclusive learning environment. Some of the more novel uses of captioning include what Jonathan coined as "Cclogging" (closed captioning blogging, explained on page 121 of his book).

Captioning also helps people focus. It's a quick scan of what's happening in the event. And it addresses a variety of learning styles. Some of the web conferencing platforms have this feature built in.

We're looking forward to the day when captioning can be done automatically, but in the meanwhile, good stenocaptioners will remain employed :-) 20/20 Captioning and WGBH / NCAM handle real time closed captioning exceptionally well, and are partners of LearningTimes for their events.

Moving to another kind of "capturing", the group discusses what LearningTimes calls Virtual Graphic Facilitation. Readers and listeners, check out the illustrations at this link!

Here's another example:VGF

A good graphic facilitator visually captures what's happening in the room and adds organization to the ideas. One who works virtually does this at a distance and brings together participants who are at a distance with the images.

Having seen Dan Porter work his magic, Jonathan approached him about trying it virtually. It's been a hit ever since. One of the lessons Jonathan has learned is to be very intentional about what purpose is being served by virtual graphic facilitation. It seems to work very well when the conference session is open and free form and the facilitator can use his drawing skills to bring it together.

A slightly different use was to summarize the sessions at a recent Smithsonian conference. You can see examples above. Here, the audience was drawn into the graphics! The visual summary is a takeaway. It also acts as a teaser to make people want to go back and watch the archive.

You'll see other examples of use of graphics in the new LearningTimes website at http://www.learningtimes.com. Above all else these tools are about making the environment more human.

We'd like to hear from our listeners as to how they see using these strategies for instruction. And Jonathan is offering a reward for the best idea for how you might use closed captioning or graphic facilitation beyond the obvious uses. The best idea wins a free Virtual Graphic Facilitation!

About Us

The LT Green Room is a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are often drawn from members of LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe. The LT Green Room gives listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they're doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience.


Co-Host & Producer
Susan Manning
Co-Host & Producer
Dan Balzer
Executive Producer
Carl Heine
Special Inspiration