The Worldbridges community is planning a an Equinox Webcastathon this weekend (September 21-23) to give webcast academy participants the opportunity to hone their skills. I’ll answer your questions now.
What is “the Worldbridges community?”
Worldbridges is a collection of communities that use new media tools to help people connect, learn, and collaborate. Let’s say you have a group of people who are all interested in the same subject, but they’re spread all over the world. They can come together in a Worldbridges community to share ideas and resources and interact with one another.
This is mostly done through a “webcast.” A webcast is an audio conversation that is streamed live over the Internet. While this is taking place, listeners can participate in a text chat on the Worldbridges site. The hosts of the webcast are also in the chat room, so you can interact with them while they’re talking. Additionally, they sometimes use screen sharing tools to do software demonstrations and other presentations. In many cases, listeners are encouraged to use Skype to call in to the show and provide their own perspectives. The audio is typically released in podcast form afterwards, so others can listen to it later. There are also online forums on the web site to continue the conversation.
Worldbridges encompasses a number of different communities that all use these types of technologies. I’m mostly involved in the EdTechTalk community, a group of people discussing educational technology. This active group produces nine weekly webcasts. But there are many Worldbridges groups as well.
What is a “webcastathon?”
Most webcasts are an hour long or so. There’s one nearly every day, but they’re on at different times and attract different audiences. A few times a year, the group gets together to present a continuous weekend-long webcast. This gives new webcasters the opportunity to hone their skills and try out new ideas. It also gives listeners the opportunity to see what this is all about without having to tune in at a specific time.
“Webcast Academy?” I’m still lost.
The Webcast Academy is the place to go to learn how to do all of this stuff. It’s taught by volunteers and it’s free. You can sign up, take the class, and become a webcaster. The problem is that you need some practical experience, and the webcastathon gives you the opportunity to get some of that experience. The shows are generally very informal. Mistakes are expected. Everyone’s learning here.
Why should I care?
What are the 21st Century Skills? Globalization. Innovation. Information. Collaboration. They’re all here. This is a very welcoming and helpful community. It doesn’t cost money to participate. What are you waiting for?