Friday, February 27, 2009

I am an impatient man

I admit it. I harass people who put on conferences, seminars and talks on mathematics, education and technology and then don't stream or video-archive them. Given the size of our country and the cost of travel between major and minor centres (not to mention the whole green aspect of the issue), I think it's imperative that we use video to make the audience as large as possible. For example, there's a math-education group in Canada -- they advertise really interesting seminars. To everyone in Canada. They're held over a lunch hour or in the late afternoon. So they get, what, 20 people in a room in Ottawa or Edmonton. This is so wasteful. How many more could they reach if they stuck a FlipVideo in the room with them and plunked the video down on their website?
It can't be hard to do; I've done it. NCTM in 04, MAA in 05. I didn't do it at the OAME last year because the room was so small and crowded with people there was no camera angle ... but then I also posted everything on my conference wiki (which is a whole other issue).
Now, people will say ... what about the cost? Why pay for going to the conference when I can just watch it online? Well... there's a big difference between being there and watching it live or even later. Face-to-face gives us so many opportunities that video just doesn't -- I'd much rather attend in person. But what about using a micro-payment model for the video archives? Heck, even a tip-jar. For live-streams, why not a video-attendee rate?
This issue has always been on the back burner for me (ask the poor administrator of the math-ed group mailing list) but Educon 2.1 really made it clear for me. If I'm going to a conference physically, I want to make sure that people who aren't as lucky as I am can get in on it, too!
Post a Comment