Stream your events online
Stream your internal events to your colleagues abroad | Mandate Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC | Collaboration with Nadia von Holzen, Jany Barraut, Carmen Eckert, Manuela Schumacher | Year 2018
Just before the end of the year I was part of an e-facilitation team that supported the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC in several blended learning activities. Here is what I have learned.
How to organise a blended learning event?
Organising an event that takes place in a physical place and is streamed to the web for others to participate in takes extra preparation time. Also, it involves at least one additional facilitator who engages with the online crowd. My learning curve has been very steep, thanks to Cesar Robles from Helvetas. Cesar has been experimenting with blended learning for quite some time and has prepared excellent how to do guides. On this learning webpage, scroll down to the Skype for business guidelines for webinars and online events.
Why use a real film camera?
My role was to capture the action on camera and stream it to the web. Using a cameraperson to stream internal learning events to its colleagues around the world was a first time for SDC. Up to now, SDC has been using a 360 degrees USB camera, which automatically displays to the online audience the person speaking. This works well in small settings where those at the workshop can sit around one table. But when you stream bigger events, it makes sense to use a film camera: Compared to the automated camera, the cameraperson is in a better position to capture key moments from the event.
You can zoom in on the speaker and show him up-close. The online audience will thank you for this. Already, they are sitting far away from the action. With a film camera they get at least a TV-like image from the event. The feedback we received, emphasized the importance of good image and audio for the online audience to stay engaged in blended discussion moments.
What streaming box to use?
To stream the image from a professional camera to the internet, you need a video converter card. I have looked at different cards and settled for the Blackmagic Web Presenter. I use the basic box together with its optional Teranex Mini Smart Panel.
My main reason is: Since I have to stream from an SDC laptop I can’t install any extra software. This box allows you this. Probably any laptop recognizes the signal as a simple USB camera without any additional plugins.