Wednesday, June 24, 2020

EduTech Asia Virtual Free Online Conference

Greetings from EduTech Asia Virtual, which started 23 June and runs until 26. There are streams from K12 to higher education for teachers and administrators. I presented at the 2018 conference live in Singapore, and the organizers have an event planned in person 11 November. But in the interim they have a live online free conference, which attempts, as closely as possible, to simulate the face to face experience. There are the usual keynote speakers, and panels. But what I found more interesting at EduTech Asia were the round-tables.

The round-tables were were with as many people as would fit around a banquet table. There was a moderator to lead the discussion, but most of the talking was done by the delegates. This format is being emulated right now, using Microsoft Teams. The online forum allows for more participants, bit works much the same.

One problem is getting used to Microsoft Teams, which I have not used before. I appear to not be the only one having problems. This may be due to using the web browser client, rather than an app. I can't work out how to turn off my camera, which I normally do to save bandwidth (most participants do not appear to have worked out how to turn their cameras on). The mute button for the audio is very slow to respond. Participants commented that my audio was breaking up. One curious point was that only about 120 kbps was being used, and the video displayed was very grainy, while my Internet connection is capable of 7 mbps.

Overall Microsoft Teams in the browser is usable, but very much poorer experience than Zoom. However, that is not a fair comparison, as I am using Zoom with its own app, not in the browser. Much to my surprise, I found there is a Teams client for Linux, which I will try for the next round-table.

1 comment:

  1. I found the Microsoft Teams client for Linux worked much better than the web based client. I found I could turn off video and mute the microphone. However, muting was still delayed by about a second, which was a distraction. Also the text chat had a considerable delay. Even with the app installed Teams what much less responsive than Zoom.