It’s an unusually grey and cool day in Los Angeles, a perfect day for the National Genealogy Society 2014 Family History Conference now taking place in Richmond, Virginia. I’ve cleared the calendar this afternoon and I’m getting ready for the first live-streamed session, Elizabeth Shown Mills presenting “Using Evidence Creatively: Spotting Clues in Run-of-the-Mill Records.”
Nice news from Gena Philibert-Ortega that I won registration
to the 2014 NGS Family History Conference.
Last year at this time I was blogging and tweeting from Las Vegas at the 2013 NGS Conference, and won the Twitter Challenge prize of free 2014 registration. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend in Richmond this year and NGS kindly allowed me to use the prize as virtual registration for the live-streamed session. As I set up my online account I’m learning that virtual attendance has a lot to offer.
Boston University is sponsoring the 2014 Live Streamed Sessions in two-tracks. Each day offers five presentations and full access to the complete conference syllabus and program.
I’ve viewed many online webinars and live-streamed presentations, with varied tech experiences. Some interfaces are simple to use, others more complicated. Typical streamed sessions, such as the 2014 RootsTech streamed and recorded sessions, allow viewing only. Sometimes the format is available in multiple formats for computer, iPad, or other mobile devices, but often it is computer-only.
In setting up my account for the NGS program, I was excited to see that the sessions are available in three different formats:
- AudioPoint Download or Streaming – Hear presenter with synced visuals; best on mobile device
- AudioPoint DVD-ROM – Hear presenter with synced visuals; best on computer
- Audio MP3 – Audio only; plays on computer or cars, easily burn CDs in iTunes
PlaybackNow is delivering the live-stream media and other content through a custom website. The website has full instructions for viewing online, downloading, loading files to iPod or iPad. NGS On Demand online access will be available within 24 hours of the recording and for three months following the event.
I’m looking forward to trying out this new conference experience this week. With the addition of the syllabus, synced audio and visual, and downloads, virtual conference attendance is looking like a good value in online education.
The only downside, as far as I can see, is that pre-registration was required and closed 30 April 2014. I’ll write more about the live-stream experience after I have a chance to take it for a test drive.