• by Nicole Wise
    on February 28, 2013
    Video: How MOOCs Transform Education

    With a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse started a College Readiness Math MOOC this month, and students from more than 40 countries and 42 states are enrolled. 

    The university began this MOOC to enhance student math skills so they won’t have to take remedial courses when they enter college. High school seniors weren’t the only people who were eager to sign up, though. All age groups are represented: An 83-year-old grandmother wants to help her grandkids with math. Entire high school classes are preparing for college-level math. Even an 11-year-old prodigy who is advanced enough to take college-level courses signed up. All for free. 

    The course videos are streamed online via Mediasite as one delivery method, and some classroom activities are being planned to be streamed live worldwide to help make the experience more interactive and immediate. Mediasite user Jim Jorstad, Director of Academic Technologies at UW-L, and Bob Hoar, UW-L Math Professor, created a 10-minute presentation about what a MOOC is and how to create one and evaluate how effective it is. 

    The presentation is streamed via Mediasite. Click on the image below to watch. 

    Also, check out Jim's blog, The Learning Space, to learn more about the MOOC. 

  • by Nicole Wise
    on February 27, 2013
    Act Now and Save $300: Early Bird Registration for Unleash Extended to Friday

    Have you registered for Unleash yet? If you register this week, you can save $300 with our early bird rate.

    We’ve extended our special rate to March 1, so act now and attend Sonic Foundry’s annual user conference for just $695. That’s a huge savings!

    Unleash is the place to be to explore, learn, connect and play with other Mediasite enthusiasts and experts April 28 to May 1 in Madison, Wis. Each year the conference grows, and this year will be the biggest and best yet. Hundreds will attend from all over the world, so don’t’ miss your chance to be a part of it all. 

    This year there will be more Mediasite education, collaboration and plenty of time to ask your questions. With more tracks and more days this year, the possibilities to learn practical and proven Mediasite best practices and meet other video pioneers are endless. You’ll leave armed with the knowledge you need to take your video initiatives to the next level. 

    Learn more about what’s new at Unleash this year at www.worldofwebcast.com/post/whats-new-at-unleash

    If you want an even deeper discount, consider submitting a proposal for Show & Share. Our new presentation format allows attendees and presenters to share and discuss their success stories through casual, one-on-ones or small groups. Speakers can share their expertise with brief informal presentations and interactive materials, videos and photos. The call for proposals is now open, but that closes March 1, too. If your presentation is accepted, you’ll get the speaker discount to register for Unleash at the best possible rate: only $295. That saves you $700 off the standard registration!

    If you aren’t able to make it to Madison, consider registering for Unleash Online for just $95. 

    Register here

    We can’t wait to see you all here in Madison or online! 

  • by Tammy Jackson
    on February 22, 2013
    Feel-Good Mediasite Moment from Christopher Stan – UNLEASH Edition

    Unleash is not just a conference. It’s a great experience because there are networking opportunities. I get to meet people from different professional lines. Academia’s here as well as corporate folks and colleagues from other governments. And we get to compare notes. I always learn something new about how Mediasite can be used in another situation, or another way to use Mediasite. Plus, I get to talk to the people who actually created the device. And I learn things from them, as well. Plus, Madison is beautiful.

    ~Christopher Stan, Connecticut Department of Public Health

    Thanks for the kind words, Christopher. We do our best to make UNLEASH the best conference our users attend throughout the year. And this year we kicked it up a notch

    Christopher’s work at the Connecticut Department of Public Health – using Mediasite as a transformational knowledge sharing tool – isn’t too shabby either. Here’s where you can read more about that. 

    Happy Friday, everyone!

  • by Nicole Wise
    on February 22, 2013
    What’s New at Unleash?

    Unleash is just two months away, and we’ve got another action-packed, education-filled user conference planned for you this year. Unleash is your best opportunity to explore, learn, connect and play with other Mediasite enthusiasts, newbies and experts. If it’s been a few years since you’ve attended, we encourage you to come back to Madison, Wis. to see what’s new and take advantage of all the great learning opportunities. Our seventh annual conference, which takes place April 28 to May 1, will be a bit different from our past events. 

    We’ve amped up the Mediasite education, planned more collaborative, participant-driven sessions and included plenty of opportunities for you to ask your most pressing questions. There are more tracks and more days this year so the possibilities to learn practical and proven Mediasite best practices and connect with like-minded video pioneers are endless. 

    You-Pick Mediasite Training

    Mediasite training has been a hallmark of Unleash. It’s your way to sharpen your Mediasite skills and learn from experts here at Sonic Foundry. Previously held as pre-conference workshops, Mediasite training is now incorporated into the three-day program. You’ll have three full days of training and education. This lets you build a customized education agenda to fit your needs. New and novice Mediasite users will find comprehensive tutorials, and seasoned Mediasite users will dive deeper in advanced sessions. Plus, the new Developer’s Corner lets more advanced users explore Mediasite’s APIs, share code ideas and connect with other developers. 

    Show & Share

    Our new Show & Share format gives attendees and presenters the opportunity to share and discuss their success stories through more casual, one-on-ones or small groups. Using a poster-style room layout, speakers share their expertise with brief informal presentations and interactive materials, videos and photos. The call for proposals is now open. Learn more about this new format here and register by March 1. (If your presentation is accepted, you’ll get the speaker discount to register for Unleash at the best rate possible -- only $295. That’s $700 off the standard registration!) 

    Mediasite in Action

    Some topics require presenters to go a little more in depth. They may be a little more detailed than what a Show & Share can accommodate. During Mediasite in Action sessions, speakers will share proven solutions and practical advice gleaned from their successful implementations. You’ll leave with real-life examples and plenty of ideas to evolve your own Mediasite initiatives when you return home. If you feel you have a topic that you want to share but don’t think it fits into a Show & Share, contact Kristin Zurovitch to discuss your idea.

    Post-it Discussions

    We always hear from you that the best ideas you get at Unleash are through impromptu discussions with others. This year we’re introducing Post-It Discussions. Come to Madison with your “I want to learn about …” wish list to share on the post-it walls. Or you can post your areas of expertise and experience. We’ll help you find each other and offer opportunities and spaces for those valuable discussions.  


    1:1 Guru Time

    We also use Unleash to give you face time with as many of us as possible. We share the roadmaps, strategies and plans for Mediasite in the upcoming year. In addition to that, you have the opportunity to be face-to-face with product development teams, tech support staff and get answers to your questions. Book a 20- or 45-minute 1:1 session with one of Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite Gurus. These limited sessions always fill up fast so be sure to register early. You’ll also be able to walk up to the Guru Counter at any time and ask a question. 

    Learn more at www.sonicfoundry.com/unleash2013

    And remember, if you haven’t registered for Unleash yet, take advantage of our Early Bird special, which has been extended to March 1. Register for $695. That’s $300 off the standard rate. Plus, consider how to receive a deeper discount by submitting a proposal for Show & Share

    Note, the conference this year is a full three-day event starting on Monday, April 29, so be sure to arrive on Sunday to make sure you’re here for all three days. Plus, if you’re new to Unleash, we’d love to see you at the Newcomers’ Reception Sunday night.   

    Check out this video for more information:

    We can’t wait to see you here! 

  • by Nicole Wise
    on February 20, 2013
    #5 Lesson From MPI’s Hybrid Meeting Research

    Gillian Broadhead, director of Learning Light Limited, says “Lots of e-learning projects fail because the people who develop them don’t contact the learner.” 

    That’s the heart of the fifth and final lesson for you about planning and holding a successful hybrid event based on research from The Meeting Professionals International Foundation’s hybrid event research, sponsored by Sonic Foundry - Design for experience

    According to Samuel J. Smith, one of the researchers on MPI’s study, you have to think basic when you begin planning for a hybrid event. It’s this simple – If you don’t ask your audience what they need to get from your event you’re going to have a failure on your hands. 

    Back in December we shared with you Sam’s third tip – know what attendees and organizers want from an event - and this tip is along those same lines. Like Gillian said, talk to your attendees before your event begins and ask them what they expect. Design your event with the ultimate successful experience for your attendees in mind.  

    Joe Frascella, technical director for Swank Audio Visuals, was surveyed during the MPI research and suggested you “understand that to effectively implement a hybrid event that both the local live and the broadcast portions need to be produced in different ways.” 

    You have face-to-face attendees that you’re used to providing content for. You can control the audio, the lighting, etc. But you also have an online audience where you only control a few inches on their computer screens, and they’re just one click away from doing anything else on the internet. Think carefully about how you’re going to deliver content to that group. 

    Take Thrivent Financial for instance. 

    It had 1,000 face-to-face attendees for one of its conferences and a group of 2,500 candidates for an online audience. It targeted a segment of that online group and developed online content for those people that focused on their educational needs. Thrivent Financial understood who its audience was, how many there were and what their needs were – Marketing 101. 

    Thrivent created an entire virtual experience for their online attendees. It put the virtual studio where people spoke to the online crowd right in the general session. That way online folks could see people speaking directly to them and in the background they saw the onsite attendees walking around and networking as they waited for the sessions to begin.  That created a true connection between the online and onsite audiences. 

    There were exclusive interviews for the online audience while the onsite attendees were on breaks. For example, online people listened to senior leadership talk about new programs and initiatives. That kept them watching and connected. 

    Thrivent made the online experience personal by sending them workbooks in advance so each online attendee could take notes. Online attendees were able to chat with subject matter experts, too. 

    For more valuable tips, watch this video from Sam. He visited Sonic Foundry here in Madison, Wis. recently to record what he learned from the MPI research. 

    Lesson 5 - 5 Lessons Learned from the MPI Hybrid Meeting Research Project

    For the past several months we’ve been sharing short videos from Sam with hybrid event lessons. If you missed them, here’s a recap of his first four tips with links to the videos:

    1. Cannibalization is a Myth
    2. Have a Rehearsal
    3. Have Great Expectations
    4. Buying is Hard

    You can watch Sam’s entire free webinar “Insights from MPI’s First Hybrid Meeting Research” at www.sonicfoundry.com/HybridResearchWebinar and download the MPI research at www.mpiweb.org/hybrid.

  • by Nicole Wise
    on February 19, 2013

    Tomorrow is a big day for the University of Amsterdam. It’s embracing the MOOC trend by launching its first official massive open online course. 

    UvA will be the first university in the world to offer the MOOC “Introduction to Communication Science.” More than 2,000 people have enrolled so far, and this is the first MOOC to be offered in the Netherlands. The free English-language course lasts eight weeks and will deliver video lectures on every aspect of communication, from history and theory to the influence of the media on society. 

    And we here at Sonic Foundry are proud to say that we play a role in this MOOC, too. Tomorrow, Feb. 20, the university will host a special kick-off event in which people behind the project will discuss the MOOC and its future plans. The discussion will be live streamed via Mediasite, and anyone can watch for free from anywhere in the world.  

    Event details:

    • UvA MOOC Kick-Off Live Stream
    • Feb. 20
    • You can watch the event live here 4 p.m. UTC (Amsterdam time)/ 9 a.m. Central Time.
    • The webcast will also be available on-demand afterwards at the same address. 

    For more information, visit http://mooc.uva.nl and www.facebook.com/events/510891922294176/.  

    Check out Arie K. den Boon’s guest column in Inside Higher Ed about the MOOC: “The Making of a MOOC at the University of Amsterdam.” Boon is a visiting professor and organizer of the MOOC at UvA. 

    Also, stay tuned to www.worldofwebcast.com to learn what other university is using Mediasite to deliver its MOOC. We’ve got some more exciting news coming.

  • by Tammy Jackson
    on February 19, 2013
    Live Webinar Today: The Event Partner’s Friendly Guide to Expanding the Revenue and Reach of Hybrid Meetings

    Do you fear planning a hybrid event because you’re not sure how it fits into your event strategy, you don’t know if your venue has the infrastructure to support it, or your AV budget may not support it?  Does the long list of considerations – technologies, session formats, building a hybrid strategy – have you suffering from decision fatigue? Do you wonder whether your attendees will even understand or want to participate in an event that incorporates technology?  Don’t worry. It’s easier than you think to create a hybrid meeting with the right plan in place. 

    Tune in to our live webinar at 1:00 p.m. today to find out how Jim Kelley has lead teams that have successfully executed events for corporations and associations, deploying the best mix of meeting technologies for each occasion. Along the way he’s come up with a simple but effective guide to help ease planners into not only creating successful hybrid events, but also extending the value of the captured content to support adult learning models, help attendee retention and growth, and guarantee attendees will be back again for more next year. He’ll be taking your questions live and also share how to:

    • Deploy new technologies in small, manageable chunks
    • Associate revenue streams to the video
    • Leverage the online education after the fact
    • Boost and maintain your relevance to your attendees

    Here’s more about our speaker, Jim Kelley: In his role as the Director, Global Accounts for PRG, Jim leads the company’s association sales team.  This includes managing a portfolio of domestic and international events, working to continually refine and enhance services offered by PRG to meet evolving event needs, while overseeing the company’s industry involvement.  On a professional level Jim is active in PCMA, currently serving as the co-chair of the Education Conference and on a chapter level is the Director of Education for the Capital Chapter.  Personally he is married with two children; during his free time he enjoys coaching softball and soccer, exercising, and is an avid DIY’er around the house.

  • by Tammy Jackson
    on February 18, 2013
    From Flipped Classroom to Dual Enrollment: How ENMU Achieved Campus-Wide Capture

    Mary Fanelli Ayala, Ph.D., is set to take the mic in our next
    higher-education webcasting best practice series. She’s here from Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU), preparing to face the frigid winter weather of Madison, Wis., and answer your questions as she shares how ENMU used Mediasite to achieve campus-wide capture in 12 months. The webinar is tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. Central Time.  You can register to participate here

    ENMU is the third largest university in the state and covers a particularly large region. The entire eastern part of the state, to be exact. In the dean’s quest to make education accessible to the region’s traditional, non-traditional and dual-enrollment students (high school students taking college courses), she had to think outside the traditional classroom experience.

    Armed with a Title V grant, ENMU devised a plan to support graduate programs and other key academic initiatives with Mediasite as the central educational technology to bring it all together. Join Dr. Fanelli Ayala, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as she shares how they successfully met their ambitious timeline – from pilot to full-scale, campus-wide deployment in less than 12 months. She’ll outline the process of getting faculty onboard with some of the most ground-breaking initiatives in higher education including:

    • Facilitating a flipped instruction pilot. Faculty are exploring pre-recording their lectures for students to watch prior to class, leaving class time dedicated to dynamic discussions and interactions
    • Creating hybrid classes. Students in the classrooms and online interact simultaneously via live webcasts
    • Branching out into asynchronous distance learning.
    • Helping high school students earn college credits. New Mexico’s Dual Enrollment program allows high school students to take college classes, either on campuses or online, to earn high school and college credit.
    • Recording special events and guest speakers, providing professional development online, connecting alumni and more

    “We’re just having so much fun with Mediasite. Our college is thrilled about the way Mediasite allows us to reach more and more distance students without having to give up a lot of the traditional feel of the classroom,” Mary said. “For many of our professors this gives them a much better option than the traditional text-based flat online class that has no video or audio component. Mediasite lets our professors do what they do best which is teaching in front of students even though they are far away.”

    Mary will share her story live tomorrow. Here's that link again to register. You can learn more about her and the Mediasite program at the university here.

  • by Nicole Wise
    on February 15, 2013
    Got a Question? We’ve Got The Answer

    Photo: A Mediasite user talks to tech support during 1:1 Guru Time at last year's user conference Unleash.

    We care about our customers and want to be there for them to make their Mediasite integrations as smooth and seamless as possible. If you’ve got a question, we’ve got your answer. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out what some of your fellow Mediasite users have to say about our tech support. 

    • Carmelo Lopez Portilla from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory has been using Mediasite for two years to deliver live and on-demand conferences and classes to the laboratory and the public. 

      “Thanks to the constant improvement of Mediasite (version 6.1 is a must) and the great support from the Sonic Foundry team we are managing to bring the future of science to the rest of the world. We’re even able to stream mobile devices with Mediasite, making life easer for all,” the desktop and network support engineer said. 
    • Adam Kelley, IT Engineer at University of Maryland – College Park, uses Mediasite to deliver classes to students who aren’t able to physically be on campus. The distance students receive the same quality experience as the traditional classroom students, and Mediasite allows the school to enroll hundreds of additional students online without needing extra faculty or staff. 

      “Years ago when I first started using Mediasite, I was surprised at the level of support I received,” Adam said. “From complex system setup assistance to basic troubleshooting, Sonic Foundry support has always been an invaluable resource. I would highly recommend all who use Mediasite to take advantage of Sonic Foundry’s Customer Assurance to assist in their deployment, maintenance and troubleshooting of their particular Mediasite setup.”
    • For Eric Capozzoli, Project Manager, Media Technology & Production from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Mediasite tech support helped him seamlessly migrate to Mediasite 6.0. 

      “Thank you to the support staff for their efficient and continued efforts in helping us upgrade to Mediasite 6.1. I have bombarded tech support with questions over the past few weeks and I’m greatly appreciative of their consistent and timely support efforts,” he said. 

    We can help you, too.

    To register for the Customer Assurance Portal, visit https://support.sonicfoundry.com/

  • by Kristin Zurovitch
    on February 14, 2013
    Unleash 2013 Call for Proposals Opens – Show & Share Your Expertise

    I can’t believe there are only two months left before Unleash 2013! It seems like we were just wrapping up last year’s Mediasite User Conference, but our seventh annual program is just around the corner. This year will be our biggest one yet with hundreds from all over the world in attendance here in Madison, Wis. 

    Unleash is the best networking and learning venue for Mediasite enthusiasts worldwide, and that’s because of you. Over the years countless Mediasite users have shared their Mediasite best practices, how-to’s and practical advice for lecture capture, enterprise webcasting and video management. 

    The call for proposals is now open, and I hope you’ll consider sharing your Mediasite experience and expertise with your peers. 

    We’re doing things a bit different this year. Our new Show & Share format gives attendees and presenters the opportunity to share and discuss their success stories through more casual, one-on-ones or small groups. As a speaker you’ll share your expertise with brief informal presentations in a poster-style room layout.  But there’s plenty of opportunity for creativity and fun. We’re looking for engaging and interactive presentations. Think about how video, Mediasite presentations, photos or other hands-on props can be used while discussing your story. With multiple presenters in a large community space, the new Show & Share format allows attendees to move freely between several presentations and engage in deeper conversations with speakers. And that’s what Unleash is all about. 

    And this is the best part! If your Show & Share presentation is accepted, you’ll get the speaker discount to register for Unleash for only $295. That’s $700 off the standard registration! Hurry, the deadline to submit is March 1 so apply today

    Naturally, some topics require a more traditional presentation format. Unleash will have a select number of Mediasite in Action sessions for these types of presentations. So if you think your topic is better suited to this category, just contact me and we can discuss your idea. 

    According to long-time Unleash attendee Todd Hutchings from the Ontario Hospital Association, “the willingness of all those who attend to share their ideas, solutions and enthusiasm" is what makes Unleash so great. 

    “It doesn’t matter what level of understanding you have about Mediasite, beginners and experienced users alike can learn valuable information from the variety of sessions, workshops and networking opportunities that are provided,” Todd says. 

    Speaking isn’t your thing? That’s fine, too. Contribute by letting us know what you want to learn from this year’s conference.  

    Share your input in the Unleash discussion group in the Mediasite User Group Community. If you’re not a MUG member yet, you can join here.   

    I can’t wait for another information-packed Unleash! I hope you’re part of it. Remember, the deadline to submit a proposal is March 1 so act now.