You may recall that after the last RoundTable in Houston there was general agreement that our growing group needs to include more people, but at the same time keep it small so that we can continue to enjoy full participation of every attendee around a table. This presents a paradox. Perhaps even a conundrum!
How we’re going to include more people and keep it small
For this RoundTable we’re going to beta test my idea to address the aforementioned conundrum. We’re going to break the 60+ attendees into four separate rooms of approximately 15 people each. In order to allow interaction between the rooms, we will have “touch points” during the sessions where we will be able to pose questions to attendees in other rooms and see/hear them responding.
The technology we’re using for this is Adobe Connect, generously provided by UMCOM Tech Shop. This will be a brave experiment that could fail spectacularly, or possibly be cool. If it works, Woo Hoo! If it proves to be cumbersome or we have technical or facilitation problems, we can always punt. With everyone’s input, we hope to devise a way for future meetings to keep it small for the best possible info exchange, to continue to include more people, and to allow at least the possibility of having a national meeting by linking multiple regional sites (an idea inspired by the Willow Creek Leadership Summit).
Since we’re using Connect to provide the A/V link among the four rooms, we figured it would be cool to use it to enhance the experience within each room too. Each participant will join an Adobe Connect meeting that includes the other people in the same room. That Connect session will be displayed on the projector in that room. Any participant can become a presenter in Connect, allowing them to demo, explain, or illustrate something by showing web sites, applications, etc. on the projector. Is that clear as mud? Even if you don’t understand the explanation, hopefully it will make sense once you see it.
Adobe Connect is an online meeting tool that will help us:
* more effectively exchange information in each room
* simulate a distributed RoundTable with meeting rooms in different cities
* Mac (any OS; Safari 2.x)
* Windows (XP/SP2 or Vista; IE6 or later, or Netscape/Firefox)
* Adobe Flash Player
* a broadband connection
* cookies enabled
To use Connect:
1. Set your screen resolution to 1024×768 (so if you present, your screen will match the projector’s resolution).
2. Download and install the presenter client:
* Windows: https://admin.acrobat.com/common/addin/setup.exe
* Mac: https://admin.acrobat.com/common/addin/AcrobatConnectAddin.z
* Alternate: http://www.cor.org/Information_Technology.41.0.html
3. Test Connect by going to the Chat Lobby at this URL:
* Login convention: (1stname).(Lastname) – (church initials) (for example: Clif.Guy-COR)
4. After a successful test, you’re ready to go to your assigned room and join the meeting for that room:
* Room A – http://umc.acrobat.com/itroundtablea
* Room B – http://umc.acrobat.com/itroundtableb
* Room C – http://umc.acrobat.com/itroundtablec
* Room D – http://umc.acrobat.com/itroundtabled
5. Once you log in, Connect will set a cookie. It’s a good idea to add a bookmark so you can quickly re-enter your meeting room the next day.