• by Tammy Jackson
    on May 28, 2013
  • by Tammy Jackson
    on May 21, 2013
  • by Nicole Wise
    on May 15, 2013
    Brothers from Opposite Coasts Unite at Unleash, the Mediasite User Conference

    Photo: Brothers Jeff Schwarz (left) and Steven Schwarz (right) live on opposite coasts but were able to meet up at Unleash April 28 to May 1 in Madison, Wis. They pose for a picture at Unleash’s Adult Swim at the Madison Children’s Museum. 

    Our annual Unleash Mediasite User Conference is many things — A place where for the past seven years the Mediasite community has come together to learn, play and explore new ways to push the boundaries of rich video. A place where users freely connect with one another to discover how to stand out and work smarter, better and faster. A place where Mediasite gurus meet, ideas are shared and creativity is unlimited. Now we can add “A place for a great family reunion” to the list. 

    Brothers Jeff and Steven Schwarz live on opposite coasts. Jeff, Director of E-Learning at Villanova University, College of Engineering in Pennsylvania, and Steven, Director of Information Technology and CIO at University of California Davis School of Law, used Unleash not only as a way learn how to take their video initiatives to the next level but also as an excuse to get together. 

    “I moved out to California in November,” Steven said. “It was great seeing my brother in Madison. Jeff has been telling me Unleash is a great conference and has come out for years. This was my first time at Unleash, and I really enjoyed the conference and learned a lot. It was great networking with peers and seeing my brother. Madison is an awesome town, lots of character, great food and beer and nice people.” 

    Now that they’ve returned home they say the things they learned at Unleash are helping them take their video strategies to the next level. UC Davis School of Law is a medium-sized school located in Northern California between San Francisco and Sacramento. Steven said currently it has eight Mediasite Recorders in the law school used to cover 10 classrooms. 

    “We record classes for students to be able to re-watch later to reinforce the classroom experience,” Steven said. “We have been using Mediasite for three years and plan on adding two additional Recorders this summer. Unleash helped us identify areas of weakness based on the best practices shared by Mediasite experts and our peers.” 

    Villanova University is a private Catholic school near Philadelphia, PA, and Jeff supports graduate level programs. (Learn more about how Villanova University College of Engineering uses Mediasite.)

    “Our classes are offered in fully synchronous formats online each night in conjunction with an in-class session. This gives our off-site students the chance to participate in the class in real time. We’ve operated eight live class sessions each night of the semester since 2004,” Jeff said. “Unleash was great because all of the sessions were related to my field and program. I also enjoyed meeting with the gurus for insight into the operations and upgrading of our system.” 

    Lucky for them another event is right around the corner so they won’t be apart for long. 

    “I plan on seeing Jeff again at InfoComm with the rest of the Mediasite gang in June,” Steven said. “It is great to be able to network with your peers and to build personal relationships with the people who support you. I look forward to seeing everyone in Orlando!” 

  • by Tammy Jackson
    on May 15, 2013
    Free Webinar – Just Flip It: From the Front Lines of the Flipped Classroom

    When we plan out the editorial calendar for our webinar series, we make a sincere effort to showcase the topics you care about. Judging by the response we’re already getting for this next one, Just Flip It: From the Front Lines of the Flipped Classroom, we’re on the right track.

    Sure, there are still traditional classrooms with lecturing professors rows of students watching, listening and taking notes. But that age-old model is turning a cartwheel in some of the best classrooms in academia. And chances are someone in your department is already flipping their classroom.

    Professor Ralph Welsh of Clemson University started experimenting with this technology-driven pedagogy three years ago, redesigning and refining his courses over time and putting the onus on the student to come to class already having watched the lectures and ready to engage in conversation. 

    During that time he’s met and overcome challenges and reset his teaching style to rave reviews from students. Join Ralph as he presents a how-to guide for introducing flipped instruction, and shares lessons learned along the way including:

    • How to overcome the biggest challenges of the flipped classroom, including managing student expectations
    • How to evolve a curriculum by taking in feedback, evaluating it and re-introducing new methods into the classroom
    • Tips on how to educate your colleagues on your new workload and get your department on board with what you’re doing

    If you’d like to join the webinar there’s still time to register. It’s Tuesday, May 21 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CDT.

    For more on ed-tech best practices, watch Mediasiting Your MOOC: How UW La Crosse Transformed Online Learning Modules into a Massive Open Online Course and From Flipped Classroom to Dual Enrollment: How ENMU Achieved Campus-Wide Capture in 12 Months.

  • by Tammy Jackson
    on May 10, 2013
    Ferdinand rowing for Temple

    Photos: (Top) Ferdinand in the white sunglasses rowing for Temple University. (Second) Ferdinand announcing the 2012 Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta on ESPN 3. (Third) Ferdinand shaking hands with his coach, Dr. Gavin White. (Fourth) Celebrating a win with teammates.

    (Part of an informal blog series on the people who make Sonic Foundry tick. See more stories here.)

    This weekend is the 75th annual Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, the largest collegiate rowing event in the world. In addition to the more than 4,000 athletes attending from 129 schools, there will scores of spectators and several sportscasters – some professional, others… well… 

    “Am I nervous? Last year, yes. But as soon as they said, ‘We’re going live’ it all disappeared because you start talking,” said Ferdinand Bergen, a sales engineer who’s been with Sonic Foundry for four years.

    Ferdinand will be commentating the regatta for the second year in a row, invited back to sit alongside Ducis Rodgers, sports director of Channel 6 Action News, the ABC affiliate in Philadelphia. A rower for 26 years, Ferdinand’s job tomorrow will be providing color and analysis of the event, which will be streamed live on ESPN 3.

    “We’ll talk about what comprises a successful crew. We’ll talk about the impact of the weather, the wind, how fast the river is moving. We teach everyone how the sport goes. I was a successful rower and a successful coach, so I’m very comfortable talking about the sport in all levels,” he said.

    Rowing is literally in his blood. His parents were both rowers and met through the sport. He rowed in high school and college, and his wife was the captain of the women’s rowing team at Temple. Since his parents have deep roots in the rowing community, his mother has had the honor of presenting Ferdinand with every medal he’s ever won in Philadelphia.

    Speaking of medals, it should be noted that Ferdinand has a special relationship not only with the sport, but also with this race. He’s won the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta four times in two classes, and still holds the course record for fastest final time in 2001.

    “I get a little misty when I watch the races because I don’t really row anymore,” Ferdinand said. “I get nostalgic because it meant so much to me growing up. It’s really neat to share the sport with a lot of different people over the interwebs as well as in the Philadelphia area.”

    Ferdinand will be live from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 11. You can catch him on ESPN 3 and Channel 6 Action News, the ABC affiliate in Ferdinand’s hometown of Philadelphia. 

  • by Kristin Zurovitch
    on May 09, 2013
    10 Tips for Engaging Your Online Audience

    Photos: (Top) Mediasite Events live streams a session at Unleash 2013, Sonic Foundry's Mediasite User Conference. (Second) Several large monitors displayed attendee tweets and Instagram pictures via TweetBeam and Hashgram. (Third) Attendees could download an Unleash 2013 app to stay connected. (Fourth) A remote attendee's picture: Caption - Connecting to #mediasite from Dubai for Unleash 2013. 

    Sonic Foundry has worked with countless organizations to put their meeting and event content online, and often we share tactics and strategies with our partners to help them engage their audiences, no matter where they are. We get to put our advice into practice every year during our own event Unleash, the Mediasite User Conference, which was held last week in Madison, Wis. 

    Our goal is the same as yours – converting online participants into future onsite attendees. While the event is fresh in my mind I’ll tell you how we drew the largest crowd to date both onsite and online and kept the online folks engaged throughout the event.

    1. Got a hashtag? We encouraged our customers and employees to share their conference experience over broad social media channels. So whether they were participating in a session, getting social with other users or just enjoying the food, they were posting. Using the same hashtag for all channels ensures that the posts, pictures, recaps and even jokes can be aggregated on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Online attendees quickly became engaged as well, tweeting to other attendees who were on-site and posting pictures of themselves from wherever they were participating. We used online services like TweetBeam and Hashgram to display tweets and Instagram pictures in common areas of the conference venue. They provided a powerful and engaging visual that prompted others to hop on the social bandwagon and contribute to the online discussions. Check out our conference pictures on Hashgram
    2. Have a roving reporter: Our public relations team acted like roving reporters during the conference. They posted daily play-by-plays or “show dailies” on this company blog, World of Webcast, to give online participants a feel for the onsite event. 
    3. Have an app: All attendees downloaded an Unleash 2013 conference app that had everything they needed: a conference program, maps to events, conference alerts, speaker bios. They could also message each other through and connect to the social channels through the app. Attendee Scott Lawson of QAD said this of the app for Unleash: "The app was cool, and a great addition ... far more than many conferences give you." 
    4. Conference Webcasting: Our Mediasite Events group streamed all the sessions live to the online audience who watched from around the globe. Remote attendees asked questions of the presenters and participated in polls. There are many benefits to webcasting key sessions live or turning your conference into a hybrid event. 
    5. Prize Giveaways: We gave a technology prize away to the person watching online who was the most engaged in social media, and our Rich Media Impact Awards ceremony was live streamed so we were able to wave and applaud to the camera in acknowledgement.  
    6. Personally greet your online audience: We told presenters to act like the camera is an additional face in the room. Periodic eye contact with the camera makes your online audience feel connected. We also reminded presenters that although the camera tracks wherever our presenters move, excessive movement may translate to a less than optimal online viewing experience. Also, if presentations included exercises to engage the in-room audience (e.g. polls, group/collaborative activities, games, etc.) we thought of how to also extend those for our online audience to participate.
    7. Consider chunking your presentation: We also encouraged our presenters to turn their presentations into shorter segments and pause for questions in between to keep it engaging. Online audiences tend to give their attention in 10-minute segments, after which it needs to be renewed.

    As you plan for your next event or conference, I encourage you to try some or all of these tactics to convert your online viewers into future onsite attendees. Happy planning! 

    P.S. Check out an article in BizBash, 15 Ways to Keep Your Online Attendees Engaged, for more tips from Sonic Foundry and other hybrid event gurus. 

  • by Nicole Wise
    on May 01, 2013
    Explore. Learn. Connect. Play at Unleash’s Mediasite Adult Swim

    Childhood. That was the theme of our Mediasite User Conference Unleash this year. We encouraged attendees to get in touch with their inner child and explore the possibilities of video, learn from the hundreds of Mediasite enthusiasts in attendance, connect with new people and just let loose from the daily grind and play.

    Last night we had the perfect setting to do just that. We held our version of an Adult Swim reception at the Madison Children’s Museum to bring out the playful side of Unleash.

    Madison band Super Tuesday, which our very own Shane Tracy is in, put their spin on the classic tunes. We stopped by a photo booth for some fun snapshots to document the night, took a ride on the huge hamster wheel, climbed, danced, built things, flew giant mechanical fish and enjoyed some Wisconsin’s local brews and delicious treats from James Beard award semifinalist Underground Food Collective. Oh yes, Wayne the Wizard was there making balloon hats, too. It was impossible to capture the event in pictures. You have to experience it to get the full idea, but here are a few that were snapped last night. You can see more pictures from last night and the rest of the conference at http://hashgr.am/mediasite and search #Mediasite. 

    Today’s our last day of Unleash, and it’s been the biggest and by far the best yet. Cheers to a successful conference and safe travels home. Until next year Unleashers!


  • by Nicole Wise
    on April 30, 2013
    Supporting the First Major Online Learning Project in Nigeria Using Mediasite

    Michigan Virtual University is helping respond to a huge need in Nigeria: online learning. 

    There are about 12 million annual applicants to 104 tertiary institutions in Nigeria and yet only about 300,000 people are admitted into universities each year. The quest for education by employed individuals looking to further their education without having to leave their jobs is huge, and e-learning is the only affordable approach to meet the demand for education in Nigeria and other countries on the continent. 

    Nigeria’s physical space and power and bandwidth constraints, as well as difficulties with travel, such as long distances, heavy traffic and poor roads, all hinder higher education. So the Michigan Virtual University is helping to move the traditional lectures into an online e-learning environment using Mediasite

    Kirby Milton of Michigan Virtual University shared this story with Unleash attendees today. If you’re registered for Unleash and missed this session, you can watch it on-demand later today from the Unleash 2013 Attendees Group on the MUG. Also, be sure to check for an email after the conference with links to all the on-demand content so you don’t miss a beat. 

  • by Nicole Wise
    on April 30, 2013

    Today I (and 99% of attendees of Unleash) found out that I have Adultitis, that I may have difficulty laughing and that I should seek help now. Ouch.

    At our Day 2 Unleash keynote, “Superheroes, Star Wars & Cinema: A Geek’s Guide to Fighting Adultitis at Work and Home,” Jason Kotecki tested everyone in the audience by asking questions like this one:

    If I was at a formal dinner and someone noticed some toilet paper stuck to my shoe, I'd: 

    1. Subtly kick it off and act like it was no big deal. smile and say, 'I guess it never hurts to have some extra on hand.' 
    2. Immediately leave the room and avoid that person for the rest of my life. 
    3. Remove the toilet paper and suggest that whoever is in charge of keeping the restrooms clean should be fired.

    You can get tested for adultitis, too, at www.Adultitus.org

    Jason and his wife Kim, based here in Madison, Wis., started a company to fight adultitis and share strategies from childhood for living with less stress and more fun. Since 2000, their comic strips, website, books, live programs, web TV shows and other crazy projects have inspired folks to renew their childlike spirit and make memories with the people they love. 

    You may have adultitis if:

    • Your cell phone has become a body part.
    • The place where more and more meals are eaten is a car.
    • Your idea of a spa day is a computer next to a bubble bath.

    We’re all so wrapped up in the little details of our days that we forget to enjoy the little moments in life, which are the most important. Adultitis wants us to focus on the biggest, noisiest things when the important things are happening right under our noses. 

    “Every single one of us is going to die with stuff on our to-do list,” Jason said. 

    So how do we cure adultitis?

    Try Jason’s sticky cup trick: Glue and empty fast food cup to your car and go for a ride.

    “There will be some people who you have just created a national emergency for,” he said. “There’s no easier or cheaper way to have fun in any economy. If you’re still breathing there’s still a story to be told. Be brave. Be bold. Regret nothing."

    Complete this sentence and tweet your answer to Jason and Kim @JasonandKim: If I want to live a better story it might make sense for me to __. 

    Our Unleash online concierge Hershel Miller has the right idea. 

  • by Nicole Wise
    on April 30, 2013

    I’ve already heard about a pay-per-access webcast program at Ontario Hospital Association in Toronto, how The University of Auckland, New Zealand keeps its online viewers engaged with social media and how Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, NM is digitizing and managing thousands of hours of footage to meet national archiving standards. And it’s only 11 a.m.

    We’ve got another information-packed day of sessions and trainings at our Mediasite User Conference Unleash today. Here’s a little peak at what they talked about, but if you’re registered for Unleash you’ll be able to watch all sessions on-demand via the Unleash 2013 Attendee group in the MUG. Also, watch for an email after the conference with links to all the sessions. 

    An Introduction to Pay-per-Access

    Todd Hutchings of Ontario Hospital Association told us how Mediasite webcasts have helped OHA achieve a massive return on investment on its educational programs and reach new members. OHA is a healthcare non-profit serving member hospitals across the province of Ontario, Canada. It serves hundreds of members scattered over hundreds of miles.

    His department began using webcasting to enhance their educational offerings, reduce travel costs and meet the growing demand for online healthcare training events. The growing demand for live events increased the demand for offering presentations on-demand, too. In 2009, OHA began a pay-per-access model, which began generating revenue, and that revenue continues to grow each year. Todd says members who aren’t able to attend in-person events have told him that if he continues to produce live and on-demand presentations with Mediasite they’ll keep paying. When OHA began it had maybe $100,000 in revenue, and since it began the pay-per-play model, revenue has grown to about $350,000. 

    Learn more at www.sonicfoundry.com/customer/todd-hutchings

    Connected Webcasting: Exploring Elements of Social Media to Create Engagement

    Mark Dashper of The University of Auckland, New Zealand, gave an interesting talk about how he keeps his viewers engaged in webcasts through social media. Before we get into his social media talk, a little background:

    • The university’s Faculty of Education provides professional development to 250 K-12 teachers across New Zealand.
    • Travel to schools scattered across the vast island proved to be too time consuming and costly.
    • The university selected Mediasite for its ease-of-use, cutting-edge technologies and its ability to engage viewers.
    • The university saves thousands of dollars annually by using webcasts, and it’s now the largest K-12 professional development provider in New Zealand.

    With that said, Mark doesn’t want to just have people sit in front of webcasts and watch with no engagement. He compared that to the times in grade school years ago when teachers would wheel a video cart in and have student stare at a screen for the rest of class. For viewers in rural areas who aren’t able to attend in-person, online engagement helps the experience. 

    “Facebook and Twitter and other social outlets are the glue that holds people together when they’re not together,” Mark says. 

    Learn more about Mark at www.sonicfoundry.com/customer/mark-dashper

    Controlling Content Chaos: How Sandia National Labs Streamlined Its Video Management Strategy

    Rogulja Wolf of Sandia National Labs talked about Sandia’s new video content management project involving decades-old footage of environmental testing, research and historical content. You may have seen this popular footage of a nuclear test Sandia did back in the 80s. (It’s the first few seconds of the video.) Sandia crashed a US F4 Phantom Jet traveling at 500 MPH into a concrete wall built to withstand a nuclear blast. It worked, the jet was vaporized, and a Sandia employee calls it the most seen piece of video in the world. 

    Like other footage Sandia creates, whether it’s of environmental tests, historical content such as when JFK visited the labs or research of the effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, much of it is of public record. A few years ago Sandia received a FOIA request for this jet crash video. Problem was Sandia has thousands of hours of footage dating back to the dawn of the nuclear age. It wasn’t easy to find.

    Sandia eventually found the film, but the process spurred a multi-year project Sandia is now beginning: digitizing everything so that anything – no matter how obscure – can be found with the click of a button. Some of the footage is in an online video library on Sandia’s servers. But right now much of the video is stored in an underground, temperature-controlled facility and is on many outdated devices. Sandia needs to modernize these decade-old films and videos and make them easily accessible to its customers, employees and the world (if they are deemed non-classified and appropriate for public viewing), and it’s teamed up with Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform, to do so.  

    Learn more about Rogulja and this project at www.sonicfoundry.com/customer/rogulja-wolf