Yesterday I dipped in to the JISC Conferencing in Universities and Colleges workshop held at the University of Warwick. The event explored the role of video conferencing in reducing travel and was presented by the JISC-funded SusteIT project in collaboration with the EAUC Travel Coordinator’s Group, the Welsh Video Network and University of Warwick.
Unfortunately due to other commitments I didn’t have time to watch all the talks (a full programme is available from the JISC Web site) but did catch some of Jonathan Owen’s session on Conferencing at the University of Warwick. Warwick have a dedicated full time Videoconferencing support and development officer and now facilitate 40-60 calls per month (with a target of 150 a month). Warwick have also taken the decision to have five dedicated telepresence suites to encourage staff to make more use of the facilities. Telepresence technologies allow a person to feel as if they were present. At Warwick some of their approaches include use of a life-size image, integrated lighting and directional audio and compatibility with other systems.
Other presentations during the day include Peter James, Professor of Environmental Management, and Lisa Hopkinson, SusteIT Project Manager, University of Bradford on Conferencing in the Sector – Research Findings; Paul Bonnett, Videoconferencing Technical Co-ordinator, JANET on JANET Conferencing Services Today and Tomorrow; Geoff Constable, Welsh Video Network Support Officer, University of Aberystwyth, on Videoconferencing in Wales. There was also a talk from Heppie Curtis, Research Assistant on Conferencing at the University of Bristol who I worked with on the Greening Events II Project.
The event was video streamed in two different ways: by TConsult, a communications consultancy firm and the Janet Video Streaming service. I guess with video conferencing being the theme of the day it was important to make sure it worked!! There was also a discussion space on CoverIt live which offered opportunities for people to vote on different questions, nice touch. Unfortunately the question I voted on (How many people have used the following services: Adobe Connect, Collaborate, Ja.net?) would only let me choose one answer!
Resources from the day will be available from the Event page.