9 Reasons to Webcast Your Commencement
1. Your students can see themselves, and their friends, walk the stage. Without having to tote their own video camera or rely on a long shot from Mom or Dad.
2. Students may actually pay attention to your speaker when they watch the on-demand webcast. With all the hoopla, regalia and a healthy dose of nerves, they are bound to miss a nugget of wisdom.
3. Even though it's a hugely important rite of passage, family and friends can't always attend. Back in 2007, we did a story about a father stationed in Iraq who watched his daughter's graduation via Mediasite. The beauty of webcasting is in its ability to span time and space.
4. You're making history. Think of UC Merced. Their commencement for their first full graduating class was Michele Obama's first commencement address. But it doesn't matter if you have a notable speaker, or if this year marks a first or last or other anniversary of note. Bottom line - your graduation ceremony is significant, and it's worth documenting, archiving and preserving for the future. You never know how far your grads may go.
5. There's only so much space. Getting tickets to commencement can be tough. By webcasting the ceremony live, Great Aunt Betty can watch from the air-conditioned comfort of the family home or hotel room, and meet up with the happy grads for a celebratory meal later.
6. They can bookmark their moment. With the "play from" feature in Mediasite, students can find the moment they walked the stage and send that link out, queued up and ready to play. If the "share" function is enabled, grads can just pause when they find their face, click share and then check the box that says "play from." If sharing isn't enabled (which would be too bad!), here's a sneaky tip: just add "&playfrom=INSERT-THE-TIME" at the end of the URL. You have to convert the minutes to milliseconds. Here's a handy site to do it and here's an example of what it looks like:
7. Spread the link love. Given the prolific use of social media, most grads are going to want to share the link. It may sound cynical but this is a chance to drive more visitors to your website, particularly if their friends are going into, or looking to change, college. Consider an embedded Mediasite presentation - like Marquette University did - to keep your URL front and center as it gets shared through your students' social networks. Or create a commencement landing page with links for all your ceremonies, like University of Houston, Chapman University, Johns Hopkins University and University of Florida. Don't forget to use the branding in the Mediasite Player too - and be sure to link it back to somewhere on your website.
8. Your alumni may be interested in your speaker too. Many alums get nostalgic at this time of year. An on-demand webcast of the graduation address gives them a reason to come back to your school, even if it is just to spend some time on the website. University of Houston used the ceremony pre-roll to call out alum achievements. Or maybe you are giving an honorary degree, like the University of Tennessee gave to Former Vice President Al Gore (read more about it here). Either way, homecoming is a long way off, and graduation gives you a reason to stay in touch.
9. Put a face on your school. A high-quality video webcast of your commencement can help raise awareness of your college's leadership. Capturing their time at the podium, when usually they are in top form speaking to the assembled crowd, may give you sound bites you can use in other college promotional materials.
Here's a roundup of a few of the commencement ceremonies we've seen - or will see - via Mediasite this season. Did we miss yours? Feel free to add a comment and share your link, and any words of wisdom for others mediasiting commencement.
- Ashland University
- Bryant University
- Chapman University
- Dixie State College of Utah
- Florida State University
- Johns Hopkins University
- Lewis & Clark College of Arts and Sciences
- Lock Haven University College of Arts and Sciences
- Marquette University
- New Mexico State University
- Penn State University College of Information Sciences and Technology
- Slippery Rock University
- University of Dubuque
- University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, Advanced Degrees, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
- University of Houston College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management, Technology, Education and Colleges of Architecture, Engineering, Natural Sciences
- University of New Mexico Valencia
- University of Southern California School of Social Work
- University of Tennessee-Knoxville Arts and Sciences Commencement
- University of Wisconsin Platteville
- And here's a little something different, Arkansas Children's Hospital CEC 2010 Graduation
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