Virtually Presenting

We have a paper accepted in the Global TIME: Global Conference on Technology, Innovation, Media & Education ( and we have chosen to present virtually. The conference organisers wanted presentation submitted in advance and a recording needed to be made to go with it using their system and with a facilitator. This post is describing the experience of making the recording.

We were given a number of times slots to choose from on the web site, all the times were in Eastern Standard Time and during their working day. We selected one at 10.30 am their time, which would be 3.30 pm in London where I and a co-author would be. We didn’t receive any confirmation email, but that didn’t worry us. We logged in an hour early to check the audio and any other technicalities, and left a message in the chat that we would be back in an hour. When we came back we discovered the facilitator and another presenter there about to start recording. After a brief exchange the facilitator claimed we were late and should have been there at 10.00 as that was what was on her schedule! Anyway we arranged to come back later and did our recording.

Doing the recording was quite nerve wracking in that we were told if we made a mistake the whole thing would need to be done again, it wasn’t possible to splice back to the last slide. We had decided that my colleague would do the first half of the presentation; we would then mute the microphone; swap over; unmute and then I would continue. It was definitely better doing this recording with someone else in the room, my colleague was able to watch the chat box from the facilitator while I concentrated on what to say. However we both felt we had each said a few too many umms.

After it had finished I asked the facilitator how many of these she had done and what problems she had experienced. She had done about 10 (her colleague was also doing some) and that most of her problems were technical, for instance people who had animations in their PowerPoint’s lost them when they were uploaded.

Lessons learned from this experience:

  1. Always issue confirmations of times;
  2. If you are working across time zones, be very clear of the time (and day) in your time one, and provide an easy way for them to translate it.
  3. Provide a sandbox area for people to try in advance of the real recording.

If you are interested in our work the reference for the paper will be:

Williams, S., Spiret, C., Dimitriadi, Y., & McCrindle, R. (2012). Auditing Technology Uses within a Global Voluntary Organisation. In  Global TIME: Global Conference on Technology, Innovation, Media & Education. Online: AAEC.

It describes work we are doing as part of a KTP ( with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (

About Shirley Williams

Shirley Williams is a National Teaching Fellow and Professor of Learning Technologies at the University of Reading. She is involved in a number of research projects related to learning technologies, communities, social networks, Digital identity and knowledge transfer. She also enjoys reading and cooking.
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