In 2012, Diane Dyson and I presented at the second #CdnImm event: Knowledge-Sharing on Canadian Immigration. Our focus was on employment information/services/technology use with newcomers, etc.
Here’s a brief overview: “You already know how important employment is in the settlement process for newcomers to Canada. But, just where are they getting their employment information, how good is it, and what are their outcomes related to information sources? What’s your role? What are you doing? Can you do it better? How can we learn from each other to work towards better employment outcomes? How can technology help (hint: your clients are better at using it than you are)?”
At the previous event, Colleen French of the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) participated in the backchannel discussion on twitter. And, she wondered whether it might be possible to figure out a better way for those outside of Toronto to participate.
Awesome idea, and why not, right?
So, for this event, we decided to replace the #cdnimm twitter wall with a CoverItLive liveblog and livestream the event using livestream.com. There were between 9-11 “viewers” externally (depending on the timing), and they actively participated. They asked questions during the presentation and, when we broke into small groups in the room, they had their own online discussion, which we then presented back to the main group.
A successful experiment
I think it was a total success. While we were only on wifi, the video connection seemed stable and, more importantly, they were able to listen to the audio. Looping the virtual with the in-room participants didn’t discombobulate the presentation or discussion at all. On the contrary, it added to it and made the session quite interesting. In fact, our virtual participants asked more questions during our presentations than folks in the room, which was kind of neat!
And, the small group discussion went very well, both online and in the room.
But, hey, don’t take my word for it! Check out the live blog/discussion, video recording and slides from the event below.
So, the video is long. We turned it on just before we started and left it running while we did our small group work in the room (which means there’s a chunk of time of kind of ambient nothingness and snippets of conversation!). So, jump ahead to the 13 minute mark for the actual start of the session. At about the 1 hour 10 minute mark we dive into small group work, so jump ahead to 1 hour 44 minute mark to watch folks present what their groups discussed.
And, here are our slides: