Webex : International video conferencing

Webex is a video conferencing platform designed for holding multi participant meetings and seminars with audio, video and screen / application sharing functionality.

We’ve been using Webex to facilitate the distance learning aspect of the EMBA (Executive Masters in Business) at LCF for the last year. After an initial slow uptake this EMBA course is now employing Webex for weekly meetings connecting participants across 3 continents.

Over the last couple of days we’ve also used the platform  for a meeting with an Artscom contact in China using the teleconferencing option available (using an international toll free number). The call was supported by a translator (Chinese/English) who was in a third remote location and was able to translate between the other participants.

This mornings conference was an applicant for the position of Dean of Media and Communications based in Pennsylvania. In this last instance the applicant used the screen sharing features to present a power point to a panel of around 20 LCF staff from the School of Media and Communications, part of which consisted of a case for providing distance learning solutions for students. After the presentation we used Webex again for a formal interview.

Its exciting to see how these sorts of video conferencing software solutions can be used to enable communication across the globe.

One area of interest to me is the attitude toward this sort of application. If it was a simple 1 on 1 skype call to a relative I don’t think there would be the slightest concern, people would be happy to muddle through, but because of the ‘serious’ business application users seems a lot more cautious, I guess because they are concerned that technical issues may lead to awkward silences or worse total breakdown in communication.

However with any luck the calls have been a success, something that will hopefully lead to further use of this platform in future, as staff develop trust in the potential of Webex and similar platforms, to save time and money connecting users in an increreasingly global education / industry market.

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