After my post about Meetsee, I was really pleased to get a response from it’s creator. I thought it is well worth sharing parts of the conversation, as it gives an insight to just how connected users and creators are though the interwebs. Rather than get all the answers from me, please add your voice to the questions! It can only assist the development. Much better than ‘yeah butting’ later.
I can see from his outline of the service, just how effective it would be in education, as the issues are really just the same!
When designing the Meetsee virtual office, I did a good bit of reading and interviewing colleagues to figure out what problems we wanted to solve for remote workers.
- Remote workers do not feel connected to their coworkers or managers. They don’t get to know them or build the trust necessary for a cohesive team.
- Managers had difficulty knowing what their distributed teams are working on, how they are feeling, etc. Most managers do this by walking around and talking to employees.
- Workers had a difficult time finding the documents and people they are looking for. Meetsee was designed to address these issues.
How do you think educators will want to use Meetsee (office hours, classes, study sessions)?
Yes I do, it is flash based and has a neat audit trail. It is low bandwidth and works better than some other ‘flash based’ video conferencing tools I’ve used. I like the positioning between play and work. There are plenty of uses for study and out of school, especially if you are looking at distributed learners – which is often the case in Australia. When I showed the Educational Development Team this week, they all jumped in and stayed all afternoon. It has something about it that is addictive, and therefore interesting to students.
What classes/subjects do you think can be successfully taught inside a Meetsee room?
I think that K12 is ideal for Meetsee, but I also think that student/tutor classes could be run, especially if sudents can drop off or collect assignments. There really isn’t much you can’t ‘teach’ or ‘learn’ online these days.
Are there other university users to consider other than faculty and students?
Yes, HR for one. Having a range of induction materials etc., the IT Helpdesk could be implimented well for technical support. There are also a lot of research academics, though these vary in IT savvyness. I could see a collection of ‘rooms’ representing student services on campus, and staffed by student interns.
How important is privacy to students and faculty (i.e. should students be able to see each other’s full name, email address, virtual location in Meetsee)?
Critical. I would suggest allowing a teacher to sign-up and then allow them to create ‘classes’ and ‘avatars’ within the class. Students and email is always problematic. Most web-savvy teachers set out guidelines for usernames, ie John Smith, becomes JohnSM. I would therefore see a teacher having a classroom, and students attend it, like normal. If anything, you might have a student locker room for their files.
What additional tools are needed in a virtual classroom?
I think an ability to have a transcript of the text chat (just in case of bullying). Most kids are well behaved online, but you’d have to have private rooms for classes – but at the same time, allow teachers to connect their room to others – a little how Open Simulator backs Islands together. I’d also think that you might have a ‘drop box’ for assignments, and maybe a micro-blogging gizmo. A few drag and drop hyperlinks would be nice, so they can connect to their wiki’s, Google etc.,
I hope this helps, and it would be amazing to think that all those EdTech’s out there will add their toughts.
Meetsee is the ‘wow’ of the year for me! Well done!