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Will Parchment Workshops Be World-wide?

September 5, 2010

It appears that being able to attend a parchment workshop from the other side of the globe, could be a reality sooner rather than later.

For tutors that are already using Skype® technology to answer student’s questions, such as Mary, may want to check into the latest Beta version of Skype for Windows, which now has ten-way video calling.

Skype released an update to Skype for Windows, which allows you to make group video calls with up to ten people. This is in beta.
Should this work well, I have to believe that world-wide workshops can’t be too far away. For those that want to try this out, follow this link to download the Beta version that includes 10-way video calling.
The main drawback I see at the moment is this is limited to a total of 10 people — whoever is running the workshop and 9 other callers. The other drawback would be having an internet connection where-ever the workshop is being held.  As long as that is available, positioning the webcam on the tutors hands, and when not demonstrating, at another central point, shouldn’t be too difficult. The video call could also allow all the far away participants to interact with the rest of the room.
Sometimes technology can be grand!
I’d love to hear from you all about what you feel might be the pros and cons to using video-calling for far away workshop participants, especially those that have run workshops in the past. Is this technology something that can be used, and could it enhance a student’s learning experience? I’m interested in hearing what you all think!
  1. Mary Price permalink
    September 5, 2010 2:42 pm

    Having video conferenced when I was at work, I know that the larger the number of people taking part, the more difficulties that can arise. Although a good idea in principle, I would still find it easier either one to one or with a very small group. (I have been meaning to try out the beta version of MSN which now supports HD webcams.) At one stage we did try software training with participants in both the UK and the USA with groups of up to 10 at each end. It proved very difficult with time lapses which meant that by the time one individual at one end managed to attract the attention of the instructor (at the other end), the instructor had already moved on. I ended up taking the UK training over and doing it face to face.
    Case of try it out and see what happens I think.

    • September 5, 2010 2:57 pm

      Mary, that lag time can be disruptive even on a personal video call — but I always thought some of that lag and choppiness (for lack of a better work) was also dependent on the speed of both parties computer (ie the fast a processor each person had the more lag-time would be reduced)? Perhaps I was wrong, it just seemed to me to be a logical explanation.

  2. September 5, 2010 2:45 pm

    Wonderful news, C!! I have used Skype to teach my Parchment Etched Glass technique but Skype has always been limited to only one person. However, I can say that had it not been for Skype I would not have been able to teach at all because of the geographical distance between teacher and students!!

    Personally, I am very excited about this new venture Skype has finally brought to us and even though the ‘beta’ version is a ‘trial’ version, all you have to do to extend the ‘trial’ version is renew it and it won’t expire. One thing I am curious about though is….will there be a fee when this comes out of the ‘beta’ version? While reading the article I got a feeling there will be, so I think we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

  3. September 5, 2010 3:21 pm

    Hey girls, just chiming in. I agree with the lapse time. When I watch the news and see the videos from reporters overseas, the lapse time is there, as well as not so good a picture. I would if I’m viewing a technique, I’d need a good clear, sharp picture. Another drawback that I can see would be the language barrier. If all speak English it wouldn’t be a problem, but for those instructors that can’t speak English it would be difficult for us (or at least me) to follow. Also, for tech idiots like me, there’s also a learning curve of using the technology correctly . . . LOL!

  4. Jackie permalink
    September 5, 2010 4:39 pm

    I think it is a step forward, hopefully if one day we can all have the same level of speed then it will be a common place way to teach. Buet even with the delay problems etc I think being able to have someone give you relatively instant help is brilliant.

  5. September 6, 2010 4:57 pm

    It certainly sounds exciting for me. I’d love to have some instruction on some of the painting techniques. There’s only so much a DVD can do!

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