Getting ready for Reform Symposium Conference


I have been helping with Reform Symposium (#RSCON4) preparations, mostly with some training and ideas for presenters and moderators on using BlackboardCollaborate.

Some things work and some things don’t!

We all have our “wish lists” of what we would ideally like to do/like to have available when we present at conferences. It isn’t always possible/practicable to do exactly what we would like. Most venues will have some restrictions of some sort on our dreams.

Online venues may often appear more restrictive than the face-to-face environment. However they do often also have advantages, not least of which is the opportunity for people from around the globe to join sessions at no significant cost in time, travel and money. Enabling a global audience to participate does itself impose some restrictions – not everyone has access to fast Internet connections and if we truly want to be global in our reach we need to consider this when planning our presentations. BlackboardCollaborate is a very good platform to use as it is less bandwidth “heavy” than many alternatives and also has great tools for interactivity and audience participation that can be used without high bandwidth.

Despite the bandwidth advantages of using BlackboardCollaborate there are some applications it is better to avoid or use with great care when participants may face bandwidth challenges. One of these is using application share to present a Prezi.

No Prezi in BbCOthers are:

  • keeping your webcam live throughout – a few minutes at the beginning is usually OK;
  • multiple live microphones – better to restrict the permitted number of live microphones at any one time to one or perhaps two;
  • any rapid scrolling or change when application sharing;
  • using breakout rooms.

Those have evolved for me over several years of BbC experience in working with online students in regional Western Australia where we experience regular bandwidth challenges, but even so are far better served than many parts of the globe!


If you are presenting or moderating and have not yet had the opportunity for any training then join us on Thursday/Friday for one of our regular Edublogs FineFocus webinars (start time 23:00 UTC/GMT on Thursday 10th October – evening in the USA and Friday morning in Asia/Pacific) for a session aimed at helping presenters and moderators. This session is in our usual *Edublogs/BlackboardCollaborate Community Partnership room

*NB you cannot join this room from iPad or Android.




4 thoughts on “Getting ready for Reform Symposium Conference

  1. Great suggestions Jo, love it. I would also add not to use Webtour, but better share links (URLs) in the chat – works for me 🙂 thank you!

  2. Thank you Maria, and thank you Marijana! I agree that sharing links works much better than Webtour which can also be problematic. Webtour uses the participants’ own browsers so there is less data going through the BbC servers and then “down the BbC pipe” from there to individuals than is the case with the other practices.

  3. Thanks Jo, and a wink and a virtual to frequent online collaborators Maria and Marijana. The three of us often meet in Elluminate so the platform works for us, and we have learned to avoid the pitfalls you mention. After reviewing the printed training materials, my one unanswered question is WHEN do we upload our slides for our presentation, in the few minutes beforehand?

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