Not that many years ago I would mount my 'dale and head out with buddies Rob and Bruce at 7:00 am on a Saturday or Sunday morning to complete a 100 mile bike ride by noon. Five hours was what we allotted - keeping speeds above 20 mph including stops, rotation drafting among the three of us. Each of us would have 2/3 of the ride in the easy slipstream of the others. That was what it was like today - slipstreaming again - this time it was slipping through electronic streaming.
Today was the first live session. Bruce Chaloux, Bob Hansen and Witt Salley - all with years of leadership in online learning administration - shared their perspectives on where we are today. They are a veteran lineup who daily "live" the challenges and opportunities of online learning. They set a good context for our coming discussions. I have worked with them for years on a variety of projects, so it was a comfortable conversation about where we are today in online learning.
We will receive the analytics from ITS soon, but clearly many hundreds of participants linked into the panel discussion stream. The audio and video of the .ppt were clear and sharp. The front end discerned the type of feed required by the client and directed it to either the Flash or the HTML5 stream. I am told that it looked and sounded particularly great on iPads. We have already tweaked the design of the #edumooc Twitter scroll - it should be flawless next week. I am reminded that progress requires patience. It is well worth the time and effort. What we are learning may be useful to others who seek to send out live sessions to a thousand or more simultaneous viewers while making a visible, easy-to-access Twitter back channel. In terms of bandwidth use and economy, it is much more efficient to link the speakers rather than two-way linking of hundreds of participants via a Web conferencing system. The design and load testing today makes us all most confident about the using this for future MOOCs and other broadly disseminated events. Very exciting.
Em will trim up the recording tonight, and we will have it posted by morning. Thank you, yet again, Emily.
I am really excited about the lineup to follow. We have top-notch panelists. I had hoped to have Seb Schmoller on today's panel (director of ALT in the UK), but he will join us for the look ahead at the future of online learning in August. That's going to be a great session with Cable Green, Curt Bonk, Bruce Chaloux, and Seb.