Testing Smooth

  • State of registrations and presentation proposals
  • Push for proposals
  • Learning BBB

We are getting a lot of registrations, and some proposals are starting to come in, which feels great. To see others starting to take action and get involved creates a gratifying experience. The community is emerging!

Registrations will be open until the day of the conference, but proposal submissions will be closing at the end of this month, so we are trying to time our push for proposals to coincide with the deadline. Some of us from English Online will be in Toronto and Calgary over the last two weeks for TESL conferences to meet people, present, and to encourage others to submit presentations.

Submitting a presentation for any conference is an as easy thing to put off when it’s a few weeks away. For us who are planning the conference, we have to keep it fresh in busy people’s minds over that last week before the cut-off date.

Apart from the proposal vetting process, we have been occupied recently thinking about the presentation software: BigBlueButton (BBB). Training and moderation is an important consideration to plan for now, then in the long run we can ensure everyone involved (moderators, presenters and attendees) will be familiar with BBB, and the conference can run smoothly. Luckily, we were able to test out BBB last week at one of our regular English Online webinars – which ran anything but smoothly.

It was an eventful webinar we had for our first trial run with BBB – identities in the room were cloned and the audio was not quite right, despite testing it beforehand. It was a frustrating experience, because I had gone through it with the presenters and thought we had everything covered. What I didn’t know is that there was a problem with the room settings that made everyone who joined our presentation room a moderator. We couldn’t force-out multiple identities, we couldn’t close people’s webcams that had been mistakenly turned on, and we couldn’t prevent anybody from simply claiming presenter rights and functions!

We learned a lot about preparation and about BBB. I feel we made great strides, too, in being able to pinpoint the root of the problem, and in the long-run it’ll help us foresee potential problems that may arise in the future. I feel fairly confident about using BBB, especially since we have a chance to test it out again a few more times before the conference. Another webinar runs on October 19th.