TRC Webinar Meetings: 11

    Connect GraphicIntroduction

    The Texas Regional Collaboratives has a license with Adobe Connect which allows us to have up to 5 online meeting rooms occupied with up to 100 simultaneous attendees. These rooms will be used for the most for meetings originating from the State TRC office or meetings which involve participants from multiple TRC regions.  An Adobe Connect meeting can support:

    a Type A meeting in which there is one presenter who is streaming their video/audio and  shared screen with attendees or
    a Type B  meeting in which all or at least several attendees are able to share their video/audio and screen.

    Participating in the first of these is quite simple as does not require any application other than a recent browser with Flash capability.  While you will not be able to verbally talk to the presenter, a shared chat window will allow you to ask questions are make comments during the meeting. This web page will address  Type A meeting participation.  We will list the equipment and skills you need to be a presenter soon.

    Attending a TRC Webinar Meeting

    You will be given the URL for the meeting and a log in process via email. You can access this URL with any recent browser that supports Flash. Visit the Adobe Connect Meeting Test Page ahead of time to check for any compatibility issues. Item 4 in this test is for a Flash plug-in that only presenters need. Log in may require your email and a password, or you may be ask to join as a guest in your invitation.  If you are ask to join as a guest enter your full name First and Last and wait to be accepted into the meeting.  Watch this short video if you are about attend your first TRC webinar meeting.

    The meeting room will be presented as a group of pods, with the specific layout being determined by the presenter.  These pods can include any or all of the following basic pods:

    • Live video and audio from the presenter or other attendees that the presenters enables,
    • A chat room that allows chat among all attendees or just to the presenter,
    • A pod for the presenter to share anything visible on their display, or a set of slides,
    • A pod for downloadable files that support the meeting,
    • A pod for sharing web links.  When the presenter can use this pod to control your browser opening up web pages as you listen.  If this occurs you will need to know how to close these pages to get back to the meeting room,
    • A Notes pod for taking notes.  The presenter may ask an attendee to take meetings notes or use this pod for collaborative writing.
    • A whiteboard pod for collaborative authoring,
    If your local network does not have enough bandwidth or blocks your access to the live meeting, you may still be able to watch the archived version of the meeting.

    Tips and Techniques for Participation

    • If the presenter is sharing content that is too small for you to see, look for a Fullscreen button to the bottom of left of the share pod.  Be sure to click it again when you need to see the normal Connect interface.
    • If the presenter opens a browser window on top of the Connect interface, you will need to close it when the discussion of the page has concluded to see the Connect interface again.  If the page does not open, click the link being discussed in the Web Link pod to see the page.  This will be necessary if you have block pop up windows selected in your browser.
    • Look for the Status Option button to show your status to the presenter.  (see right)
    • Note that the Pods will change for different meetings or during the meeting, depending on the needs of the presenter.

    Participating with Audio and Video

    If you wish to be able to interact verbally during a meeting you need a USB  audio headset. Almost any USB headset that proposes to be compatible with your operating system should work.  The most common brands are Logitech, Plantronics, and Altec lansing.  The cost will be between $30 and $100. These can be purchased at Fries, Office Depot, Best Buy, etc.   Participating with video requires that you use a webcam or DV camcorder with a digital cable. (Firewire IEEE). We not be encouraging video participation.

    Generally, we plan to use audio for our meetings not video.  Here are steps for getting a USB headset with a microphone to work with Adobe Connect. 

    • Plug headset into a USB port (Connect not running yet).
    • In Mac system preferences, choose the Sound preference. Select your device for Input and output. Note on the input tab it is possible to change the level if you are told your voice is over driving the input.
    • On Windows Vista open your Sound control panel to choose your device for Playback and Recording. If you later you need to adjust the level, note the Properties button here that will allow you to adjust Levels. Close.  (you probably do not have to do this each time)
    • Now enter the Adobe Connect Webinar room using the link provided to you.  From the Meetings menu, choose Audio Wizard.
    • Follow the directions each screen to setup and test your headset. Note on step 2, the first time you may have to choose your device from a popup menu in the dialog.  You might also have to say yes if asked to "Allow" access.
    • Close the Wizard when completed.
    • Finally, press and hold the Talk button at the bottom of the screen in Adobe Connect to talk or press the lock icon to the right to lock your mike in on position.  Only do this if you are the primary speaker or host.

    Watch this video to see how to configure Adobe Connect to use your headset and camera.  Note that you can choose to participate with audio and not need a webcam at all.  Purchasing a USB microphone by itself is okay, as long as you wear earphones to eliminate echo.

    Online Resources to Learn More