Using connect with Polcom – hybrid approach
Marrying Adobe Connect and Polycom to Deliver In-service Training
I’ve spent some time this past semester (Fall ‘07) working with an undergrad adult ed class. A major project for the students has been to develop an in-service training for extension staff that will be delivered “at-distance”. This past Friday was the first in-service and I’d like to elucidate our setup for content delivery, which included participants connecting via Polycom and Adobe Connect.
The Polycom unit (VSX700e) is located in a smaller conference room. This room has been recently upgraded and includes a Pioneer flat panel for videoconference display, a ceiling mounted microphone and 2 ceiling mounted Bose speakers, for audio. The question, or challenge, was, how can we integrate an Adobe Connect meeting and have it come as close as possible to replicating the “presence” of a full on video conference?
The schematic diagram lays out the components, as I set them up in the room. We were able to capture the audio of the presenters and Polycom attendees and channel it into the Connect meeting by using 2 MLX V63M condenser mic’s, fed through a Behringer Eurorack UB802 mixer. A webcam, placed on the conference table broadcast the presenters to Connect meeting attendees.
The system required 2 “operators” – the presenter narrating the powerpoint using the Polycom set-up and a Connect host, clicking through the presentation, in -sync with the main presenter, and fielding text questions from Connect attendees. Questions from Connect participants were then read aloud to include the Polycom attendees and also to re-enforce the connection between the 2 mediums.
Some comments were offered, at the end of the in-service, regarding the issue of presence and the differing methods ofdelivery and while Connect attendees did indicate a slightly more detached feel during the presentation. The overall response was positive indicating that marrying these 2 tools may be an effective practice to increase the accessibility and reach of web cast presentations.