The following tips have been modified slightly from a wonderful list of suggestions from DART connections and although directed primarily at people who use dedicated videoconferencing equipment they can be adapted for use with other tools such as skype, zoom, qq, ghangouts etc
- Set camera presets before joining the conference (to do this, position the camera, hold down the no. 1 on the remote until the monitor tells you no.1 preset is activated, then position the webcam and preset a no. 2 etc To revert to the no. 1 preset, simply click the no.1) Preset the whole class, small groups of students and individual students who may ask questions.
- Close any drapes or blinds as daylight is a variable light source and can conflict with interior room lighting.
- When setting presets, adjust the camera and fill the screen as much as possible with people rather than tables, chairs, walls, lights or the floor.
- Microphones should be 1 metre away from video conference camera and distant from other electronic equipment.
- Mute microphones until invited to speak by presenter. These are high quality, sensitive microphones and pick up everything and can be very distracting to all involved. If noise is greatest from your classroom, it will activate your image up on the monitor and push the presenter into a small image.
- Display options – click on the display button until you get the preferred display setting for each element of the videoconference
- Questions: If there are a number of schools participating, have your questions ready before the Q & A section of the presentation. Or write them down as they come to you or students or better still, open up and share an online backchannel eg todaysmeet
What suggestions do you have? What has this list missed?